Reality TV star Sarah Palin's lengthy interview with the New York Times Magazine's Robert Draper yielded the news that she thinks she could defeat Obama in a 2012 presidential run, but it also revealed a great deal about Palin's post-2008 world and how she sees herself in it. Here's what people are concluding from Draper's story.
- Why 'Palin Inc.' Is Such a Disaster Politico's Jonathan Martin writes, "Draper vividly depicts Palinworld for what it is: a seat-of-the-pants-operation where loyalty is everything and in which convention is lightly regarded. This is a large part of why she was such a logistical nightmare for campaigns. Palin didn’t want to expand her circle in a fashion necessary to meet all the demands somebody of her celebrity faces. So she wound up creating undue headaches for herself. ... But even Palin’s uber-loyal network seems to consist of individuals who act more as protectors than advisors. She and her husband, Todd, effectively run Palin Inc off their BlackBerries."
- Adversary to Dems, GOP Alike The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti beams, "What Draper's piece reveals is that, if Palin does run, she will campaign not only against the Obama Democrats but also against a Republican establishment that betrayed its principles and let down the country in the first decade of the 21st century. Fortunately for Palin, her sentiments jibe with widespread perceptions of the GOP."
- Driven By Resentment The American Prospect's Paul Waldman shakes his head, "I never cease to be amazed at what a festering bundle of resentments Palin is. Just a few years ago she was the mayor of a tiny town in Alaska, and today she's one of the most famous people in America. Despite her modest talents, there are millions of people who believe, and tell her constantly, that she ought to be the most powerful person on planet Earth. She's made millions of dollars in the last two years, for the easiest of things -- giving some speeches, having ghost-writers pen a couple of books, doing appearances on Fox, letting cameras trail her around while she goes fishing. And yet she can barely open her mouth without going on and on about how terribly victimized she is, and how everyone has done her wrong."
- Her Strange Answer About Her Reading The New Republic's Isaac Chotiner puzzles over Palin's response when asked what books she is reading. Draper writes that she "became testy" at the question:
“There’s nothing different today than there was in the last 43 years of my life since I first started reading. I continue to read all that I can get my hands on — and reading biographies of, yes, Thatcher for instance, and of course Reagan and the John Adams letters, and I’m just thinking of a couple that are on my bedside, I go back to C.S. Lewis for inspiration, there’s such a variety, because books have always been important in my life.” She went on: “I’m reading [the conservative radio host] Mark Levin’s book; I’ll get ahold of Glenn Beck’s new book — and now because I’m opening up,” she finished warily, “I’m afraid I’m going to get reporters saying, Oh, she only reads books by Glenn Beck.”
- Chotiner laughs at her "perfect political answer" name-checking Reagan and company. He sighs, "Does anyone find this remotely believeable? ... The larger question is why anti-intellectual Republicans [such as Palin and, earlier, Bush] feel the need to sound like they read more books than they really do. ... Sure, the Couric interview hurt Palin, but answers like the one above are not going to change anyone's opinion. This is the usual case of trying too hard, and as a result sounding silly. Even in elite liberal circles people occasionally admit to going a decent interval without a book."
- Thinks She's Too Good for Advisers? The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan writes, "No one advises Palin, except Todd and God. She has the glib cruelty of George W and the character of Richard Nixon. But Nixon, for all his faults, was authentic. Nothing about Palin is authentic. She knows nothing but appearance and the constant deception and seclusion necessary to maintain it."