Debra J. Saunders

Rich also went after the Alaska governor for drafting a letter from God to her family about Trig, the Down syndrome baby whom she was about to deliver. Now, I understand that in some exalted circles, it is fashionable to make fun of people's faith, even when a working mother of four is bargaining with her God as she faces the daunting prospect of bringing into the world a special needs child. So: Ha, ha, ha. Thanks for the lesson in liberal compassion.

Newsweek didn't boost its credibility with its cover of Sarah Palin in running shorts next to the headline: "How do you solve a problem like Sarah?"

The Associated Press assigned 11 reporters to "fact-check" the book. I use quotes because the article ignores big issues in the book while it selectively culls minutiae. For example, Palin writes that a Supreme Court Exxon Valdez decision went "in favor of the people." The AP story somehow ignores Palin's history in pushing for monetary damages for the victims, but instead quotes Palin having once said she was "disappointed" at the court's reduction in damages. The piece fails to give Palin credit for taking a position that put the pro-drilling Palin at odds with Big Oil -- in its trivial pursuit to bare a niggling inconsistency. AP used a lot of people to tell readers nothing.

Much ink has been devoted to Palin's salvos against McCain campaign gurus Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, whom Palin blames for over-handling her and underselling McCain. Schmidt told "Politico" that Palin's book is "all fiction."

Palin wants readers to believe that she would have been a better running mate if only McCain handlers had heeded a grassroots "Free Sarah" campaign. The problem is: Palin's failure to own up to her knowledge gaps on foreign policy -- she couldn't even answer a simple question about bad Supreme Court decisions -- suggest that if freed to just be herself, Palin may well have fallen flatter faster.

The book begins with an Arctic-centric map that shows "The View from the Top of the World." It's a nice touch that shows how insignificant and distant Washington looks from Wasilla.

While I appreciate Palin sharing the perspective, it would be nice if she had taken on many of the perceptions some voters have developed of her. There's no question that many in the media treated Palin -- and her family -- poorly. That said, Palin herself blew the Katie Couric interview, and not just because she appeared impatient. Palin herself quit her job as Alaska governor, despite her obligation to state voters. Palin herself seems happy to parade herself as the far right's favorite victim, when a serious politician would be out trying to woo skeptics.

Sarah Palin has her shtick down. She's folksy and quotable. She has delivered a book that will thrill a base that loves to shout, "They done her wrong." Her true believers will see even measured criticism as another assault on their gal. At the end of the book tour, she returns to her now-familiar role of victim, a victim on the top of her world.


Debra J. Saunders


 
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