Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether or not one should write about certain people. I fervently hope that Sarah Palin will eventually go away, but she keeps finding ways to keep her profile afloat in the general consciousness. While she was a vice-presidential candidate, it was important to report on her bizarre theories and Right-Wing extremism. Now that she’s not, why do we have to hear about her every couple of days, and at least once a week? It’s reached a point where she seems like a petulant child who isn’t getting enough of your attention and keeps tugging at your shirt. So when I heard that she’d whined about bloggers in her recent Esquire magazine interview, it only elicited a yawn.
Sarah Palin reminds me of the bikini girl from America Idol. While she didn’t march onto the national stage showing most of what God gave her, Palin had about the same depth of character, relying on smarmy quips, a winning smile, and apparently figuring that if she smiled enough and methodically employed that irritating hockey-mom routine, most Americans wouldn’t notice that she lacked the skills that her particular stage required.
I wasn’t very interested in helping the spotlight hungry Palin find yet another moment in the spotlight she hungers for. Since losing in the presidential election, Sarah Palin has spent most of her time wandering around acting like she actually won somehow, finding ever more creative ways to blame everyone else for the failure of the McCain/Palin candidacy. If she’d been on American Idol, she would have been one of those people who charmed the judges and got through several rounds while it was obvious to everyone but her that she couldn’t sing well enough to win the competition. I’m again reminded of bikini girl, who wriggled and batted her eyelashes whenever the cameras were near, but chose to go to bed when everyone else was rehearsing, and then acted like those around her were losers who’d dragged her down when the whole thing fell apart from lack of preparation.
This interview in Esquire magazine shows Palin running out of people to blame for her loss. She’s apparently still mad at media coverage of her candidacy, particularly “anonymous, pathetic bloggers” who she says spread falsehoods about her. She said reporters continue to question whether her 9-month-old son, Trig, is actually the child of her 18-year old daughter Bristol from a secret previous pregnancy.
“I’ll tell you, yesterday the Anchorage Daily News, they called again to ask – double-, triple-, quadruple-check – who is Trig’s real mom,” Palin told Esquire. “And I thought, ‘Okay, more indication of continued problems in the world of journalism.'”
Rumors that Bristol was Trig’s mother were rampant on the Internet shortly after McCain chose Palin as his running mate. But the mainstream media didn’t report the story until the McCain campaign announced that Bristol was pregnant (in part to tamp down the rumors about Trig). Bristol delivered a baby boy in December.
Also in the “it wasn’t me” vein, she reiterated her wish that she had had more input on strategy during the campaign.
“If I were giving advice to myself back on the day my candidacy was announced, I’d say, ‘Tell the campaign that you’ll be callin’ some of the shots. Don’t just assume that they know you well enough to make all your decisions for ya,” Palin said.
There wasn’t much more to the interview. Wriggling her rhetorical ass like Bikini Girl, Palin trotted out her hockey-mom routine, and said she hunts (got it – who hasn’t seen her shooting wolves from a helicopter at this point?) and goes fishing to provide “good clean healthy protein” for her family. She also revealed that Mooseburger is the secret to a good chili recipe.
“I don’t know if you can get it commercially in New York,” Palin said. “Come up here to my home, and I’ll prepare it for ya.”
Gods, why won’t she go away? Wasn’t she voted off already? Hasn’t her 15 minutes of fame expired? And why am I writing about her, even as I complain about her hovering presence? Am I addicted to watching this train wreck? Or is there something deeper, more profoundly disturbing, at work here? Is it the fact that collectively we just can’t bring ourselves to look away that gives Sarah Palin the capacity to remain in the public spotlight?
In a final revelation, Palin said she named her daughter Bristol in part for Bristol, Conn. – home of the sports network ESPN. That elicited a chuckle out of me. Not that there’s anything wrong with the place, but why in the world would someone (especially someone from Alaska) name her child after Bristol, Connecticut?
“When I was in high school, my desire was to be a sportscaster,” she said. “Until I learned that you’d have to move to Bristol, Connecticut. It was far away. So instead, I had a daughter and named her Bristol.”
Oh. Yeah. Well, that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Gods, it’s no wonder that Bikini Girl thought she could wiggle her ass all the way through American Idol. Verbally doing the same thing got Sarah Palin within striking distance of the White House. We’ve really lowered our standards if clueless sycophants like Sarah Palin can bullshit her way onto the national stage and keep our attention, even though when she opens her mouth nothing but gibberish comes out. I was about to say something clever like “where is Simon Cowell when we need him?” But I’m reminded that he was largely responsible for Bikini Girl having her moment in the sun, because he didn’t put a stop to the nonsense when he had the chance. It’s much the same with Sarah Palin. We keep turning the spotlight on her because we all want to know what stupid thing she’s going to say next.
Until Sarah Palin is relevant again, I’m not going to write about her. Her spotlight is fading. If she comes charging back in 2011 to announce her candidacy for president, I’ll dredge up all of the old issues and talk about what a dangerous, deceptive person she truly is. But until she has a chance of bullshitting her way into the White House again, I don’t see how Sarah Palin is relevant to the day-to-day troubles of the average American. More than anything I wish she’d take her dog and pony show and go back to the wilds of Alaska where she belongs. Thanks to her Neo-Con buddies and Religious Right compatriots, the United States has a lot of damage to repair. It would be kind of nice if we could get to it without Sarah Palin peering over our proverbial shoulder, shouting “Look at me! Look at me!”