Sarah Palin, Reviewed

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 24 2010 9:20 AM

Sarah Palin, Reviewed

I tore through Sarah Palin's America by Heart yesterday for a review -- it's posted here .

Nothing that's happened since the campaign seems to have inspired her as much. A strange literary tic of America by Heart recurs whenever Palin starts to describe her life since leaving the governorship of Alaska. She sets a scene, describes how she got there, and then—moves on. Her run-ins with real Americans are less opportunities to tell readers what those Americans think than occasions to tell us how deeply she understands them.

"We've visited Walter Reed Hospital to meet mighty warriors," writes Palin, "and I've twice visited Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where wounded troops from Iraq and Afghanistan receive treatment."

The reader knows what's coming next. Palin, the world's most famous holder of a degree in journalism, will introduce those warriors. She pivots immediately. "Just before my visit," she writes, "my brother sent me a description of the American military man that I think is spot-on—with the exception that it doesn't include American military women." There follow 19 paragraphs reprinting the entire letter, versions of which can be found in any number of places online . The mighty warriors retreat into the scenery, but Palin really, really appreciated them.

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David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.