Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Yesterday, Howard Kurtz wrote:

I'm increasingly convinced that Sarah Palin is running to head a media empire rather than a presidential campaign.

On that front, she is nothing short of an extraordinary success. She's got a multi-year gig at Fox News. She just signed a deal with Discovery's TLC for a documentary about her native Alaska. Her memoir was a runaway bestseller....

Of course, the possibility that she may seek the Oval Office -- despite resigning as governor after 2 1/2 years -- stokes interest in everything Palin does. But when it comes down to raising money, participating in debates and having to be interviewed by the likes of Katie Couric, I don't think so....

I've said the opposite and, well, when I see Palin on the verge of interviewing LL Cool J her first time out as a Fox News host, as well as that reality-series deal, I have to wonder if I've just been contrarian when every sensible person knew she wanted TV stardom more than the presidency.

But please recall the career the one "historical" figure from politics whom Palin considers a role model -- Ronald Reagan. His his last movie, The Killers, was released in 1964, two years before he became governor of California, and four years before his first run for the White House. On the verge of a political career, he took on the job of hosting Death Valley Days in '64 and stayed with it through '65. He had the Death Valley Days gig when he gave the "Time for Choosing" speech, which is said to have truly launched his political career, and which wingnuts still speak of with awe (they just call it "The Speech"). Oh, and he published his memoir Where's the Rest of Me? in '65 as well. I think Palin knows all that, at least in broad outline, and thinks it's a career path she can emulate.

Also realize that Palin isn't exactly setting herself up for all-consuming eighty-hour weeks tending to her media empire. She still doesn't have a regular Fox gig. Her reality show has a limited run. She had a ghostwriter for her first book, and she's not even going to pretend to be the author of the whole sequel, which "will include selections from classic and contemporary readings that have inspired Palin."

I think she's going to try to BS and soundbite her way through debates. Interviews with Katie Couric? Even if she were planning to be a traditional candidate, I think avoidance of the "lamestream" media would be a mark of virtue for her with her voting base.

So, yeah, I think she's still running.

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