New York Times Magazine: The Palin Network

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The New York Times Magazine author, Robert Draper, published an article about Governor Palin. We have all had our fill of Palin hit pieces rife with harsh criticism made by anonymous sources. Such is not the case with this particular story, seven pages in length. As Whitney Pitcher points out:

It is amazing how including quotes from former Republican strategist Mary Matalin rather than the anonymous, generic "GOP operative" or "high ranking Republican official" can give a news piece credibility. Politico and Vanity Fair could learn some lessons from the article's author, Robert Draper.

Agreed. People with names (i.e., real people) tend to have a completely different take on Governor Palin than do mysterious ghost commenters.

The article is quite lengthy and covers a plethora of issues, so one really must personally read all of it, rather than allowing excerpts to suffice. Nonetheless, here is some of the article.

“I am,” Sarah Palin told me the next day when I asked her if she was already weighing a run for president. “I’m engaged in the internal deliberations candidly, and having that discussion with my family, because my family is the most important consideration here.” Palin went on to say that there weren’t meaningful differences in policy among the field of G.O.P. hopefuls “but that in fact there’s more to the presidency than that” and that her decision would involve evaluating whether she could bring unique qualities to the table. “Yes, the organization would have to change,” Palin said during an hourlong phone conversation. “I’d have to bring in more people — more people who are trustworthy,” she clarified.


She went on: “I know that a hurdle I would have to cross, that some other potential candidates wouldn’t have to cross right out of the chute, is proving my record. That’s the most frustrating thing for me — the warped and perverted description of my record and what I’ve accomplished over the last two decades. It’s been much more perplexing to me than where the lamestream media has wanted to go about my personal life. And other candidates haven’t faced these criticisms the way I have.”

I asked her if by avoiding the national press, she didn’t bear at least some responsibility for the way the public viewed her. “I’m on television nearly every single day with reporters,” she shot back. “Now granted, that’s mainly through my job at Fox News, and I’m very proud to be associated with them, but I’m not avoiding anything or anybody. I’m on Facebook and Twitter. I’m out there. I want to talk about my record, though.” Palin was referring to “getting in there and cleaning up corruption, taking on the oil companies and the good old boys in the party, things like the natural-gas pipeline” and “getting things out of the government’s hands, like the state-owned dairy creamery in Alaska.” Asked if she believed in 2008 that these accomplishments made her at least as qualified as Barack Obama to be president, her response was immediate: “Absolutely. If I had any doubt in my ability or administrative experience that would’ve been put to good use in a McCain administration, then I never would have accepted the nomination.”


In truth, few are underestimating Sarah Palin anymore. In that endearing manner of the Beltway echo chamber, the prevailing narrative of Palin in 2009 was that that she was an incompetent ditz. This year’s story line is that she is a social-media visionary who purposefully circumnavigated the power-alley gasbags and thereby constructed a new campaigning template for the ages. The reality is that Palin’s direction is determined almost entirely by her instincts — or, as Fred Malek puts it, “There is no ├╝ber-strategy.”

Much more here.


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