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Time for some Palintology

An article on Sarah Palin? Why, you may ask. (Thank you, the Washington Post, for the lovely title.) Well, she has just published a book which currently sits at #1 on Amazon’s sales rank in books. There is a parody of it, Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book by satirist Micheal Stinson and political cartoonist Julie Sigwart, which is already out of stock at (see review at the “Sarah Palin Truth Squad” blog).

The article which gave my post its title takes the book’s publication as an opportunity to deal with the Palin phenomenon in a larger context. Richard Cohen, op-ed columnist with the Washington Post, suggests it might be a much worthier cause for ex-president George W. Bush to put his money, not into one of those memorial libraries that the US has enough of already, but into an institute for the study of Sarah Palin. This is his conclusion:

[T]he Institute for the Study of Sarah Palin will mull what she represents. She has a phenomenal favorability rating among Republicans — 76 percent — who have a quite irrational belief that she would not make such a bad president. What they mean is that she will act out their resentments — take an ax to the people and institutions they hate. The Palin Movement is fueled by high-octane bile, and it is worth watching and studying for these reasons alone.

Of course, there has been more favourable media coverage of Palin’s book – by Oprah Winfrey, for example. The title of Christopher Beam’s review of that interview is an allusion to the famous Palin interview by Katie Couric, when the Republican candidate for Vice-President couldn’t name a single publication she reads: “Sarah’s Book Club: Sarah Palin talks about Going Rogue with Oprah.”
Before analyzing the favourable conditions and treatment Palin was granted by Oprah, Beam gives his conclusion at the beginning:

Palin’s appearance on Oprah on Monday afternoon, the first big interview on the tour for her book Going Rogue: An American Life, is not likely to relaunch Palin’s career. It will take more than a single sit-down, no matter how successful, to change the minds of the six in 10 Americans who think she’s unqualified to be president. The Oprah appearance did, however, play to Palin’s strengths in a way that no major interview has

Let me finish by quoting Emily Bazelon from her post “Sarah Palin is Right About One Thing”, which was published shortly after Palin announced her resignation as Governor of Alaska in July:

… whatever the cause, Palin is right that her term of office has turned into a circus. And that Alaska may well be better off without her.

Let’s hope Bob Schieffer is right (CBS News/Early Show, 16 Nov 2009):

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