Wednesday, July 08, 2009


From a Politico article about Sarah Palin's forthcoming book:

"If she has an eye on 2012, she probably will write a carefully worded, bland policy book that won't make headlines," said Bernadette Malone, a former editor at Penguin Books. "If she's not running for president in 2012, she can write a much more candid book that's likely to get attention from both the press and the public. She can explain the real reason she resigned the governorship, and she can talk about how badly she was treated by specific people in the media and the John McCain campaign."

Oh, dear me -- have we become such a cautious, bet-hedging culture that, even when permitted for months to watch a half-mad, table-upending (but, to a certain following, utterly compelling) attention-seeker, we still expect that person not to grab our lapels for the thousandth time and say LOOKATMELOOKATMELOOKATME?

Hell, we just buried someone like that. I'm sure Malone, back in 1991, would have said, "Oh, if Michael Jackson wants to get back on the charts, I'm sure he'll play it safe and not release a video that goes from Disneyfied one-worldism to endless crotch grabbing and the smashing of car windows, along with a rap lip-synched by Macauley Culkin. Surely he'll want to play it safe."

People who make a huge point of selling you their strangeness don't ever stop doing that if it works. (And don't forget, we expect that from such people.) Of course she's not going to "write a carefully worded, bland policy book" -- even if she could motivate herself to learn enough policy to write a book like that (or at least to absorb the bullet points of what her ghostwriter wrote), she wouldn't do it. It's not her. And it doesn't mean she isn't running for president. She doesn't believe conventional rules apply in her case. Isn't that clear from everything she ever says?

Her book is going to be about the following: self-righteousness, showoffy piousness (about God, motherhood, and kids like Trig), score-settling (hi, Katie and Dave, as well as the entire McCain campaign staff), you-go-girl outreach to her female fans (accompanied by attacks on feminists who don't like her), one-of-the-guys talk about sports and the outdoors and Van Halen and Todd, and catchphrase patriotism. The only question will be the proportions. (I'm guessing very, very heavy on the Jesus.) Oh, and, of course, she's going to talk a lot about sheer world-historic horror of being forced to endure the living hell of a Democratic administration.

Yes, it will be a campaign book. And is that so strange? Obama's first book outlined his drug use and early racial wariness; it included nasty words (which he read for the audiobook). Um, he's president now. So what constitutes playing it safe?


UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan doesn't get it, either:

The real sell of the book will be the truth about the resignation, if she can keep it hushed up that long.

That's just a mind-boggling lack of perspective. Assuming any additional ethics faced by Palin are dull and relatively easy to lawyer away, all she's going to say about the resignation is what she's said since Friday, with better copy editing. That's not what her book is going to be about. It's going to be about a great country being under siege from a large number of horses of the Apocalypse (Obama, Letterman, Katie Couric, "anonymous bloggers") -- and guess who might just be God's avenger?

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