LET IT GO, GOV…. There are plenty of reasons to be glad the presidential election is over, but one of my favorites is that we won’t have to hear the same tired smears against Barack Obama. By the time 2012 rolls around, his Republican detractors will be attacking him for developments over the next four years, not talking about flag pins, Britney Spears, spreading the wealth, and Bill Ayers.

But some folks apparently aren’t quite ready to move on just yet. Consider this exchange between CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Sarah Palin that will air this afternoon:

BLITZER: [D]uring a campaign, every presidential campaign, things are said, it’s tough, as you well know, it gets sometimes pretty fierce out there. And during the campaign, you said this, you said: “This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America.” And then you went on to say: “Someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he is palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

PALIN: Well, I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers. And if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol. That’s an association that still bothers me. And I think it’s still fair to talk about it.

Palin then went on to say that “now is the time to move on,” and that the “chapter is closed.”

Honestly, what is she talking about? Palin still thinks it’s “fair to talk about” Bill Ayers, and she brags that if “anybody still wants to talk about” Ayers, she will. Literally a few seconds later, Palin thinks we should “move on” because “the campaign is over.”

I’m curious if Palin can hear the words coming out of her mouth while she’s speaking.

My hunch is, the talking point smears are so well ingrained in Palin’s mind, hearing Blitzer say the words “pal around with terrorists” necessarily prompted her to start spewing her scripted nonsense all over again. It’s as if she momentarily forgot that Election Day has come and gone, so she repeated the words she’d said thousands of times before.

It’s kind of sad, really.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.