Thursday, December 03, 2009

Is Palin "Going Rogue" on Her Book Tour?

The short answer: No.

Her book tour has been so tightly scripted and managed that it appears she's being "handled" much more so by her publicity team than she ever was by the McCain campaign.

In a recent report, we learn that there's some internal banter among the tour organizers about disallowing foreign press and in making Palin's tour an "English only" kind of thing. Fine. She'll turn the world against her even before she starts learning about them. And she'll turn even non-English speaking American citizens against her.

But that's an aside here.

The real story to me is her absolute refusal to let even English-speaking reporters and journalists have access to her -- even simply to report on the event, much less to ask her any direct questions.

She may be gun-shy of a potentially critical media, but if she can't take the heat of the press even now, how will she ever be able to mount any sort of campaign for national public office? Not only does it strike many as a sign of pettiness and weakness, but I think it is even politically ill-advised. Her silence is letting the press control the narrative about her. How is she planning to answer the growing chorus of even rock-ribbed Republicans and conservatives who have said that the book is nothing more than puffery and contains a lot of fabrication?

She wants all the trappings of a public and political life, but none of the challenges. I always thought she was essentially ignorant, uncurious, and unserious. I still think that. But I also used to think that she was at least confident and self-possessed. Lately, though, I can't help but think that she's more and more petty, vindictive, and weak.

In addition to finding her brand of rightwing populist nationalism so distasteful, I'm also finding her shtick to be increasingly petty and tiring. It's really kinda sad and pathetic, in a way. And I almost feel sorry for her. Almost.

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