Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sarah Palin: What's It All About?

Sarah Palin: What’s It All About?
P. Schultz
January 29, 2013

            Below is a link to an article by Chris Cillizza that was published in the Washington Post on Sarah Palin and what she meant. Here is the concluding paragraph from that column:

“The Palin story is, in the end, one of tremendous talent misused. Like any number of playground greats who never make the NBA or, when they do, wind up disappointing, Palin had as much natural ability as anyone this side of Barack Obama or John Edwards, but was unable to translate that talent into results once the bright lights came on. That she never made good on her remarkable natural talents is a sign of how the political process can chew up and spit out those who aren’t ready for it.”

            Well, you get the point. As the tag line in A Bronx Tale has it: “Wasted talent.” That is the sum and substance of the Sarah Palin story.

            And yet I cannot help but wonder whether that is enough. What if Sarah Palin was set up? And what if, after a bit, she figured this out? And also figured out that she had taken the bait? Katie Couric played her part in the set up, which served Katie’s interests well, did it not? This might help explain some of the behavior that Cillizza emphasizes in his column:

“It’s impossible to trace what began the transformation in Palin but it’s a fair guess to say that her interview with Katie Couric was the spark. Palin seemed to be either over- or under-briefed for the interview and came off as standoffish and, worse, not up to the job for which she was running.

“In the wake of that interview, Palin had a choice: Would she acknowledge she was off her game and try to reboot with another (or several other) major network interviews or would she bunker in, insisting the fault lied with a “gotcha” media?

“We all know the path she took. Palin leaned hard into her “lamestream media” attack and began turning on everyone, including the man who had vaulted her to the national stage. In the process, she somehow lost the mantle of reformer that made her so attractive to many voters in the first place. She embraced a sort of anti-intellectualism in which her lack of knowledge about foreign affairs was unimportant since it was a test put into place by a media who wanted to destroy her.”

            Well, perhaps, it isn’t so hard to “trace…the transformation in Palin” as Cillizza would like to believe. We don’t know, for example, what Palin was told leading up to the Couric interview, whether she was misled about the tenor of it. And, of course, it would serve the status quo quite well when Palin “lost the mantle of reformer,” would it not? And perhaps she did embrace “a sort of anti-intellectualism” but that was hardly unique to Palin. In fact, something of the sort served both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush quite well, as I remember it. What might the difference be? Perhaps the difference was that Palin represented a threat to the status quo, while Reagan and Shrub did not.

            I was not and am not a fan of Sarah Palin. However, if “the man who vaulted her to the national stage” had actually betrayed her, I could understand why she turned angry and “wasted her talents.” Betrayal brings to the surface the most powerful of emotions, rage most importantly. Ask any Vietnam vet. If this happened, Palin did not “lose it;” she just decided she was not going to play the game. If so, then I say two cheers for Sarah Palin.

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