It’s easy to understand where Sarah Palin’s persona finds its appeal. She’s a relatable and easy-on-the-eyes mother of five from a blue collar background. She can shoot a wolf from a helicopter and emanates that folksy sensibility that suggests she’s just like you and me.
The problem with these characteristics is that they don’t qualify her as a serious political contender. Considerations of this kind are important, especially since Palin has suggested that she’ll be entering the Republican Primaries for presidential nomination in 2012.
Some may take issue with Palin’s views (anti-abortion, pro-Iraq war, pro-offshore drilling) but it’s not her politics that often arrive in the spotlight. Despite displaying significant weaknesses and knowledge gaps during her 2008 campaign with McCain, Palin seems to be pursuing empty celebrity rather than credibility or competence.
She is exposed to America via Twitter, Facebook, and her newly debuted reality show Sarah Palin’s Alaska on TLC. Karl Rove put it well: “With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show . . . I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of ‘That helps me see you in the Oval Office.’ ” Palin inhabits the world of feelings and convictions rather than expertise, and is publicly scornful of intellectualism and the “elite.”
Perhaps the same person who has visible notes scribbled on her palm during speeches should not also be in possession of the nuclear codes. Palin makes a relatable reality star, but is in no way equipped to be the leader of a world power.