Suzanne Fields

Sarah Palin arouses venom from the left like Hillary Clinton from the right. On the day after her Oprah interview, Richard Cohen in The Washington Post said it was time for "Palintolgy," punning ungallantly on the study of fossils.

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin FREE

In the New York Times, the television critic, writing about her appearance on Oprah, said "she still had the hunted look and defensive crouch" she demonstrated in the campaign. This is pretty much politics as usual. The dominant liberal media can't see beyond their stereotypes.

Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC put Sarah Palin's face atop several female bodies, one in a red, white and blue bikini and another in a tight black miniskirt and high heels. He decreed that "she's hot," not necessarily an insult, but he apologized for the pictures. Newsweek, which runs an Obama cover every other week, put her on the cover this week in running shorts.

Stereotypes of politicians and other celebrities are fair game and sometimes even fun. I once described Palin as the female Republican "Crocodile Dundee," who could wrestle an alligator or shoot and dress a moose and look good doing it. She quotes her father that her resignation as governor was not about "retreating," but about "reloading." Annie Oakley lives.

Beauty (and the beast) may be in the eye of the beholder, but political personalities are shaped by many forces. Palin's memoir "Going Rogue," which is what a John McCain staffer accused her of when she went off their script in talking to a reporter, is how she wants to position herself as an independent thinker, not bound by conventional notions of partisan togetherness, of party or of ideology. She likes the idea that she can duke it out within the Republican Party, not always toeing the party line.

She emphasizes "commonsense conservatism" that she says appeals to a broad spectrum of independents as well as Republicans, drawing on an appreciation of free market values and low taxes. Economic ideas were not her strong point during the campaign, when the Republican ticket never recovered from McCain's limp response to the economic downturn. Nor did she have much to say about foreign policy and was unfairly ridiculed for noting (correctly) that Alaska was close to Russia.

Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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