Fans of Andrew Sullivan’s fine blog, The Dish, have endured his hundreds of posts* about the prospect of Sarah Palin seeking, then winning the Presidency. Eyes have rolled. And choruses of “there he goes again” have reverberated through the halls at Notes & Rests. Invoking medical details about pregnancy and delivery that no one who will not soon give birth needs to hear before lunch, he has largely convinced his readers that Trig is probably not Palin’s child and that her tale about a long flight home to Alaska after her water broke while in a distant state is absurd. There have been even more posts — at least several hundred of them* — about how unqualified she is, how little she knows about, well, anything of policy substance, and how her family life is unconventional, etc. Who cares?
It’s been clear for some time that Sullivan’s fears are unfounded. Palin prefers the easy life. Once the governorship of Alaska proved too vexing and boring for someone of her star quality, she quit, realizing that it had become unnecessary for her to do difficult things ever again in order to make a living. And, whatever else it may be, running for President is hard. People ask difficult questions. They expect you to know stuff. And, having flubbed the handful of lengthy media interviews the McCain campaign allowed, Palin has no intention of ever facing the media again on anyone’s terms but her own.
Her life since resigning is best described as “brand management.” She keeps her colorful family under wraps, she threatens to sue those who run afoul of that plan, and she rakes in as much in the way of public appearance fees as is possible. She’s a celebrity. A star. Her dream as a young sportscaster has now come true. And that’s that. In this narrow sense, Fox News has done the world a great favor: it has made this life possible for her so that the electorate doesn’t have to.
Last night on Fox News, Palin came very close to admitting that she won’t be running in response to friendly questions from Greta van Sustern:
After months of speculation, Palin publicly questioned [whether] it makes sense to seek the presiden[cy], asking “Is a title worth it? Does a title shackle a person?”
“Someone like me who’s a maverick? I do go rogue and I call it like I see it and I don’t mind stirring it up in order to get people to think and debate aggressively to find solutions to the problems that our country is facing,” she continued.
“Somebody like me, is a title and a campaign too shackling? Does that prohibit me from being out there and out of a box, not allowing handlers to shape me and to force my message to be what’s going on, or what contributors or political pundits want it to be?”
“Does a title take away my freedom to call it like I see it and to affect positive change that we need in this country? That’s the biggest contemplation piece in my process,” she said, adding, “You don’t need a title to make a difference,”
No, Ms. Palin, you don’t. And you shan’t have one. So, Sully, please, “leave it alone,” as we say in Texas, lest you join John McCain and Bill Kristol on the long list of people whose credibility will be forever tarnished because of their early and continuing fascination with this transparently unserious person. ______________