Monday, November 16, 2009

The Palin Predicament

Sarah Palin's autobiography, aptly entitled Going Rogue is on the store shelves and its sales numbers are leaving Dan Brown and Stephen King in the dust.

As one of the most anticipated books in recent years, Palin attempts to settle the score with her Democrat critics, the liberal media, and even disgruntled former aides within the McCain-Palin campaign.

Palin's appearance on Oprah today seemed to play well with audiences. The ratings are not yet in but the show is likely to see a significant boost in viewership given the former Governor's celebrity at the moment.

All seems to be going well for Palin. But things are rarely what they seem...

This "Hockey Mom" is not being taken seriously as a professional and national political figure. The public is hungry for the latest gossip about her or her family.

The interview is the perfect example and highlights why producers want her on the show.

How can Sarah Palin appear presidential when the interviewer asks no policy questions?

Did Oprah ask Palin her position on health care? Was the Governor asked if she agreed with Obama's (mis)handling of the economic situation? What does she think of education in America?

We will have to wait for these answers because Oprah did not pose these questions. She went on, at great length, to discuss that fame-starved blockhead Levi Johnston. Oprah was very eager to hear what went wrong with the campaign despite the election being held over a year ago. And Ms. Winfrey was puzzled as to how Palin could be in elected office as a mother of five.

It can be argued that this was not the proper forum in which to discuss political ideology but it underscores Palin's predicament: many in the public and the liberal media are obsessed with the former Governor: what she reads, where she buys her clothes and how much they cost, is her marriage failing, etc. but could care less about her policy positions.

Her résumé is not respected, her accomplishments go largely unnoticed and she seems uneducated to the left because her alma mater is the University of Idaho and not one of the Ivy League elites.

She has work to do before she can be wholly accepted as a viable contender for the White House in 2012. Crafting a message and then delivering it to the masses while promoting her book would be a sufficient start.

Palin must speak to the issues, offering real solutions and innovative ideas, if she hopes to turn this celebrity book tour into a national political campaign.

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