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Frank C.

McCain picked her with almost no vetting, because he likes to make "seat of the pants" decisions -- not unlike GWB. Imagine that thought style, extended to the financial crisis, health care, future wars (McCain loves to say we need to exercise American military power more than we do) We are incredibly fortunate that he is not the President.

Kevin Wolf

"Me first" works in this case for those who see themselves reflected in that "Me", as you imply. What scares me is not the craven would-be Queen, but the even more craven subjects who see themselves reflected in so shallow an image. "Me and Thee first," as it were. I find this disturbing, knowing what the empty mirror really reflects. (If I might be permitted to go completely off the rails.)

muddy

I don't get the mama grizzly thing. It wasn't long ago that she was shooting at grizzlies, wasn't she? Her gov office had this giant bear skin over the back of the couch like an afghan.

Cathie from Canada

You know what I think is really scary? She is exactly the same now as she was two years ago, in the summer of 2008, when McCain first picked her.
She hasn't learned a thing, she isn't any better informed about anything, she hasn't studied a single book or looked into any public issues at all or talked to anybody outside of her comfort zone.

fuyura

I used to think she was like Huey Long, but that was before I realised the depth of her shallowness (so to speak). Now I think she wants to be the next Oprah, the adored incarnation of Real America. I'm sure she'll start out in the primaries, but I don't think she'll be unhappy to swing her support as queen (and kingmaker) behind someone else, particularly if that someone else ain't gonna win either, thus never becoming her rival. That way she can keep her prestige and glory and throne and self-perceived importance, and not have to do anything real.

Beel

Except Oprah is hardly shallow. However, the idea that McCain could have "done better than Obama" in any dimension of his Presidency is ludicrous, and will always be ludicrous.

MaryRC

I agree with your ideas on the source of Sarah Palin’s popularity but I think there’s an additional element to it.

She’s nasty. She dishes out mean-spirited gibes and burns but she’s thin-skinned and vindictive when she is the source of criticism. Her book and every interview promoting it was basically a settling of one score after another, from lowly bloggers in small-town Alaska to the McCain campaign staff to Katie Couric, with the most spite reserved for those who were the least threat to her. She doesn’t just retaliate verbally, she’ll get you fired if she can. And in reaction to Bristol’s and Levi’s engagement she couldn’t just grit her teeth and tell the world she loved and supported them. No, Mama Grizzly had to make it clear that the kids had disappointed her but what can you do. They’re technically adults. Here’s hoping they act more mature than they have done in the past.

And her people love it. The nastier she gets, the more thrilled and excited they are. She’s like the cutest most popular Heather in high school, the queen bee who makes everyone else cry, but she’s your friend. You’re safe from her and you can sashay down the high school corridors behind her as she bitch-slaps everyone in her path, basking in her reflected glory. And when she’s criticized and lashes back, it’s for every time someone dissed you and you wanted to retaliate.

I read blogs where the commenters rave about how humble and sincere she is, so God-fearing, a true feminist, Just Like Us, but they can’t hide that what they really love is her spite.

fuyura

Sorry; didn't mean to imply any personal comparison between Oprah and Sarah (aside from the "five letters ending in -ah"). What I meant was that she wants celebrity, and there ain't no celebrity bigger than Oprah's. Palin wants a national stage, wherein everything she says is automatically news. She has that now, and she's (I think) anxious to keep it. I think she's shrewd enough to realise that she while she could make a credible run in the primaries, she couldn't win the presidency. And even if she could, it would put too much pressure on her to actually have to work at running the country. But she could use politics to position herself in the media-- Fox or syndication or even a web-show.
I also agree with MaryRC about spite and nastiness being a big part of her appeal. Maybe a more realistic assessment would be that Palin is running to be the Anti-Oprah.

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