Sarah Palin, Superstar

Illustration for article titled Sarah Palin, Superstar

Like Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson, and Chris Daughtry, Sarah Palin may not have won one of America's biggest competitions, but her loser-status seems to opening doors all over the place. Book deals, movie roles, and talk show appearances are all in the works for Governor Palin, who, free from the restrictions that kept her from giving actual press conferences during the Presidential campaign, seems to be relishing the chance to reintroduce herself to the American public. Remember how we all thought she'd disappear after the election? And remember when Tina Fey, prophet that she is, looked directly into the camera during her final appearance as Sarah Palin on SNL and said, "I'm not goin' anywhere. And I'm certainly not goin' back to Alaska. If I'm not goin' to the White House, I'm either runnin' in four years or I'm gonna be a white Oprah so, you know, I'm good either way." Well, it turns out that Tina was right. Welcome to PalinMania, Part Deux: Sarah The Celebrity.Palin's spokesman, Bill McAllister, can barely contain is excitement over the growing media frenzy surrounding his famous client: "Tomorrow, Governor Palin could do an interview with any news media on the planet," McAllister says, "Tomorrow, she could probably sign any one of a dozen book deals. She could start talking to people about a documentary or a movie on her life. That's the level we are at here." Palin's objective, it seems, is to undo the damage inflicted on her public persona during the McCain/Palin campaign. The interviews she was allowed to give were complete and total disasters, and though the blame is being placed on everyone from Katie Couric to gotcha journalists to John McCain himself, it's hard to argue that anyone is more responsible for the flow of WTF that came out of Palin's mouth during those interviews than the Governor herself. Palin has backtracked on her claims of "gotcha journalism" and admitted that Couric's interview wasn't totally unfair. For Palin to suddenly embrace the media she blamed for everything during her campaign shows a calculated desire to keep her national profile high; high enough, perhaps, for a 2012 run at the presidency. Sarah Unleashed, however, is still having problems, like returning to her stump speech at the Republican Governor's Association Conference, much to the dismay of her fellow up-and-coming governors, including Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, who politely referred to Palin's speech as "interesting." Palin also seems to be overlooking the element that may ultimately be the key to her success: she needs to prove her abilities as a leader, as a governor, as more than a well-dressed, down home, huntin' fishin' shootin' son of a moose who just wants to connect with Real America. Before she hands in her resume for 2012, she might want to fix the problems in her own state, starting with the $500 million dollar natural-gas pipeline she bragged about all through the campaign that has yet to be built. Troopergate is still unfolding in Alaska as well, as are "questions over issues like financing Medicaid, increasing mining in environmentally sensitive areas and spending on transportation projects," according to the NYTimes. Her reputation also needs repair with her own constituents: as State Representative Les Gara, a democrat, tells the Times “She’s coming back to a divided state, where Democrats had supported her but they watched her for two months call the president-elect of the United States a terrorist sympathizer.” The Anchorage Daily News certainly isn't happy with Palin's celebrity rounds, releasing an editorial this week that demanded the Governor concentrate on the job she was actually elected to: "There are ... low graduation rates, plummeting North Slope oil prices, proposals to build alternative energy projects, the gas pipeline. It's time for the governor to refocus on Alaska's needs." So maybe Palin should consider, you know, actually getting to work repairing her state before she sets out to repair her own image. "She has to deal with the perception that she bobbled her debut," Claremont McKenna College political scientist John Pitney tells the AP, "She needs to stay home for a while. If she wants a future in national politics, her No. 1 job is doing a good job as governor." Sarah Palin Baffles Reporters By Rehashing Stump Speech At RGA Conference [HuffingtonPost] Pawlenty On Palin Speech: "Interesting" [MSNBC] Is Alaska Big Enough For Celebrity Palin?[AP] Cold Realities Await Gov. Sarah Palin In Alaska[AP] Back Home, Palin Finds Landscape Has Changed[NYTimes]

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Trixie from Toronto

I couldn't be happier about this because I was really hoping she'd offer more lofty insight about her position on Darfur beyond this stunningly intelligent bit of wisdom:

"My concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska's investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars."