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Sarah Palin: What's Your Deal?

Laura Cueva |
July 26, 2010 | 4:39 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Sarah Palin at a 2008 campaign rally. Creative Commons
Sarah Palin at a 2008 campaign rally. Creative Commons

After Sarah Palin and John McCain lost in the 2008 presidential election, I thought her run was over.

After the breaking news of her resignation as Alaska’s governor, I thought her run was, once again, over.

After her feud with soon to be son-in-law Levi Johnston, I thought this has got to be it, her run is over.

Yet it seems Sarah Palin continues to make her way in front of the media spotlight over and over again.

Is she really the ditzy gun-toting loon she so often comes off as, or is there a method to her madness?

I wish I knew the answer to that question, but as of late it seems it’s a little of both.

Whether she’s off tweeting made up words or convincing Fox viewers that drilling, both off and onshore, should continue, she knows how to command the spotlight. And just as easily as one might make fun of her, one has to admire her rise to the top of the Republican threat list.

Palin started her political career as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a small town in, well, Alaska. She stayed pretty much under the radar as far as politics is concerned, not becoming governor of Alaska until 2006. Her career then jetted into the public sphere when prominent Republican John McCain announced Palin as his running mate for the 2008 presidential election, a choice that shocked not only Democrats, but stunned Republicans as well.

Why was it so shocking? Palin was a fresh face from Alaska, a state that had never previously contributed any politicians to a major ticket and was the second woman to ever run for Vice President, the first to run as a Republican.

In other words, this fresh-faced Alaskan lacked experience.

Still, Republicans were hopeful that her freshness would do for them what Barack Obama’s did for Democrats: earn them votes.

But soon, she blundered.

It wasn’t only her lack of experience that showed during an interview with Charlie Gibson and during another with Katie Couric, it was her seeming lack of political and general knowledge. She seemed unaware of President Bush’s post-9/11 doctrine and said her state’s proximity to Russia gave her ample foreign policy expertise.

Most recently, she made up the word “refudiate,” a combination of repudiate and refute, and then compared herself to Shakespeare for coining the word.

So why is she still around? She doesn’t currently hold political office, she’s not all that bright, and it seemed her 15 minutes were up a long time ago.

It feels as if Palin’s playing a part. It’s clear people love drama, so Palin does her best to give us drama, be it through her outrageous politics or her family matters.

And it seems to be working for her. Her book "Going Rogue" was a hit and she’s now a correspondent for Fox News. Though she mostly gets negative press, as the saying goes, negative press is better than no press.

Her next move may be political office. Maybe she’ll head a new scandalous GOP campaign. Or maybe she’s showing daughter Bristol how it’s done so she can follow in her mother’s footsteps. Whatever Palin’s planning, she’s no dummy. She’ll likely be on TV for a while, so don’t be surprised the next time you hear her name atop the latest news hour.

 

To reach reporter Laura Cueva, click here.



 

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