Saturday, May 28, 2011


Look, I don't know if Palin is running for president -- when we first heard about the bus tour and the movie, the conventional wisdom was that the previous conventional wisdom was wrong and now it looks as if she's running, but then came the alternate conventional wisdom: that this is self-promotion but not promotion of a candidacy, because she has no campaign organization. If I had to guess, I'd say she's never going to announce a run, she's never going to announce that she's not going to run, she's going to threaten to jump into the race until the last conceivable second, and even then she's going to threaten to declare herself a candidate at a brokered convention as long as the race is in flux. Oh, and she'll also never declare herself a third-party candidate, but she'll never stop floating rumors that she might become one.

But in a way, it doesn't matter. The bus tour and the movie and the YouTube video may or may not be campaign material, but this Politico story makes clear what else they are: yet another example (the most elaborate yet) of Palin's obsessive campaign never to let any critic get the last word:

Starting Sunday, Sarah Palin enters enemy territory.

The bus tour that stands to return her to the 2012 spotlight is taking her to the part of the country that's the least friendly to her -- the northeastern U.S....

"There's no doubt in my mind the northeast is the least favorable area of the country to Sarah Palin," said Terry Madonna, a longtime Pennsylvania pollster....

You know how she reacts when, say, a pundit or late-night comic insults her. She tweets. She posts a long ghostwritten Facebook essay. She whines on Fox. She whines on Fox again. No insult can be allowed to stand. She can't bear the thought of just seeming high-minded and above it all. When criticism comes, she just can't ignore it. She has to fight back.

I think it's clear that this is just an elaborate, decidedly non-carbon-neutral version of that process. She's been told she's washed up. She's been told her appeal is narrow and limited to certain regions of the country, and she surely can't win a national election. She's been told her fifteen minutes are up.

Yeah? She'll show them!

It's entirely possible that she's already decided not to run. But even if that's the case, she's determined to show all us doubters and haters that if she wanted to, she could run! And win! Yeah, really!

It's just her nature. She can't not do this.

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