(1) This is red meat to the coastal elites (and wannabees) to which the magazine panders.
(2) Liberals continue to be afraid of Palin as a potential candidate.
The piece only makes sense if the underlying motivation is #1. Otherwise, it's a strategic blunder of the first order. I've had some disagreements with Governor Palin in the past -- for example, the way she handled Bristol Palin's pregnancy.
But any lingering doubts or disagreements any Republican might have with the Governor become irrelevant when one reads the assemblage of snippy innuendo, predictable negative-insider-quotes and the elitist, snobbish tone of pretention that underpins the entire piece.
And there's reason to believe that it' s not just Republicans like me who feel this way. It will be interesting -- when or if Governor Palin once again becomes a legitimate target of the national political media -- to see the extent to which normal people understand that "elite media's" contempt and condescension for Palin is the same contempt and condescension such "journalists" feel for regular Americans like them.
P.S. Anyone note the irony in Purdum's breathless announcement that "what [Palin] wants the public to know about herself doesn’t always jibe with reality"? Hellooo -- ever heard of a Chicago pol named Barack Obama? More generally, for what politician does this banal observation not hold true?