OK, it’s so easy to take shots at Sarah Palin that I always feel compelled to add a disclaimer: I’m no bleeding-heart liberal and I don’t think Obama is doing a heckuva job. Far from it. But people: It’s only been a couple of years since we turned one affable ignoramus out of the White House. Do we really want another in 2012? If so, why not elect me?
Here’s what got me thinking again about Sarah Palin: her interview Monday with Sean Hannity, in which she painted Katie Couric as an evil, manipulative shrew who made her look bad in 2008. Palin’s quote: “I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism.” Let’s leave grammar aside and look at the context: Palin was talking about the time Couric asked about her main sources of news, and Palin couldn’t think of any. Not one. That is a sorry state, alright, but it doesn’t involve journalism and it’s sure not Katie Couric’s problem. This is a level of ignorance that would concern the parent of an average eighth-grader, not to mention the American electorate.
Sarah Palin is popular, and photogenic, and non-threatening. I get that part. She’s also dim. She’s our Princess Di. That she has better numbers and name recognition than any other Republican besides Ronald Reagan should give both parties pause. This is a woman who quit her last public-service job halfway through in favor of the lecture circuit and a cheesy “reality” show on TLC. She makes George W. Bush look like Stephen Hawking. But somehow, people remain quite interested in her pronouncements on “the state that is so sorry today of journalism.”
In the New York Times recently, Frank Rich points out how her show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” amounts to an endless campaign ad which the agency pays the candidate, instead of the other way around. That’s just one of the advantages she enjoys. The other is never having to articulate a single coherent policy stance. If interviewers demand it, they’re part of the biased “lamestream” media.
Obama may well be a one-term president, and if so, maybe it’s what he deserves. But if Sarah Palin is the best the Republicans can do in 2012, we’re in a world of hurt.