Thursday, December 09, 2010


Besides the obvious -- that this almost certainly means she's running for president -- let me note that Sarah Palin's upcoming overseas trip is all about Sarah Palin reminding herself how terrific she herself is:

The Daily Beast has learned that Sarah Palin will be traveling overseas in the new year. At the top of the list: Israel and England, both countries she has said she wanted to travel to in the past. The schedule and itinerary is still fluid, but an overseas trip in 2011 will boost her foreign policy credentials, something she can turn to in a potential 2012 presidential run....

Palin has long wanted to visit Israel, and in a recent Facebook post wishing the Jewish community a Happy Hanukkah she reconfirmed her support for the Jewish state: "Today we should all recommit ourselves to ensuring that the miracle of a Jewish state endures forever. The dreidel is one of the most familiar symbols of Hanukkah, with Hebrew letters on it representing the phrase Nes Gadol Haya Sham -- 'a great miracle happened there.' Indeed a great miracle is still happening there."

Last June, Palin announced on her Facebook page that she had been invited to visit London and have a meeting with one of her "political heroines," Margaret Thatcher. She also wished the "Iron Lady," who suffers from dementia, a happy birthday in October....

I'm going to ignore Vanity Fair's claim that during the '08 campaign, according to unnamed McCain World sources, Palin "had no idea who Margaret Thatcher was"; since then, she's gotten up to speed ... or at least sufficiently up to speed to arrive at the conclusion that Thatcher was, well, just like Palin. Her June announcement of the planned visit to Thatcher was so ego-affirming that she leaked the Facebook post to Politico before posting it (because, y'know, there's such a long lag time when you post at Facebook). Think I'm exaggerating about Thatcher-worship-as-narcissism? Read what Politico wrote:

In a Facebook post scheduled to go up Monday, Palin writes: "I have received an invitation for a visit to London, and part of that invitation included the offer of arranging a meeting between myself and one of my political heroines, the 'Iron Lady,' Margaret Thatcher."

... "As I wrote last year when I offered her birthday wishes, Baroness Thatcher's life and career serve as a blueprint for overcoming the odds and challenging the 'status quo,'" Palin continues. "She started life as a grocer's daughter from Grantham and rose to become Prime Minister -- all by her own merit and hard work. I cherish her example and will always count her as one of my role models....."

... Palin recently touted Thatcher during a speech at a fundraising breakfast for the Susan B. Anthony List in Washington -- a speech in which Palin highlighted many of the "mama grizzlies" she believes are reshaping the Republican Party.

"Mrs. Thatcher, she never set out to be a woman prime minister, just a prime minister," Palin said. "Mrs. Thatcher used to say about politics 'You want something said, ask a man. You want something done, ask a woman.'"

And, regarding Israel, recall that Palin was being sold as a great friend of that country back in September '08:

Voters should feel confident in Sarah Palin support of Israel, Republican Jewish leaders and other GOP figures argued on Tuesday. Not because of the Alaska Governor's policy statements, a proclaimed understanding of the Middle East, or relationships with regional leaders. But because she keeps a small Israeli flag in the corner of her office window....

"I think it is extremely telling," said Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, "that if you are looking to get some insights into how people think, we came across a video of an interview that was done in Alaska, some sort of outdoors program. Some guy interviewing her as she was climbing up glaciers or something like that. Part of the interview took place in the governor's office in Juneau. What was really telling is that in one point in the interview there was a close up of her and you can see over her shoulder there was a flag of Israel in her window. I can assure all of you that is not done to appease the extraordinarily large Jewish community in Juneau. The fact that she has chosen to keep a flag of Israel on her wall tells her she has Israel in her heart."...

She also met with Shimon Peres that month and brought up the flag herself. So she's been working this angle for a while.

I'm intrigued by the Daily Beast's assertion that Palin's "schedule and itinerary [are] still fluid." Who else do you think she'll try to hit up for a photo op? Angela Merkel? The pope? Geert Wilders? Or will she just try to shoehorn in a visit to some troops, just so she can say they love her more than they do Obama? (Yeah, he got a pretty good reaction from some of the servicemembers who got to see him on his Afghanistan trip, but I bet the troops cheering Palin will be a lot whiter.)

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