Palin's Book Tour Sputters

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 20 2010 11:11 AM

Palin's Book Tour Sputters

She's going to sell more books than just about any 2012 presidential candidate, unless Deepak Chopra throws his hat in the ring. Let's just admit that. Let's also ask what it means that Sarah Palin's America by Heart is not anywhere close to the hit Going Rogue was. The new book debuted at number 2 on the NYT bestseller list , then fell to 3rd, 5th, and now 8th, which means it's unlikely it will ever get the "#1 New York Times bestseller" badge given to recent hits by David Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, and Glenn Beck.

Then there's this account from her book signing in Anchorage :

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The store was prepared to give out paper wristbands to 1,000 customers, assuring the first 500 they would see Palin. The next 500 had no guarantee; however, fewer than that showed up.
Her show's not doing too bad. Ratings for "Sarah Palin's Alaska," which tumbled after 5 million people watched the premiere, have remained stable at around 3 million. That's about as good as "Mad Men." No one's proposing a John Hamm candidacy, though.
 
Ken Vogel's story on Palin and the mainstream media is required reading here. Normally, when a politician opens up access to the MSM, as has been happening since the election, there's more excitement about him/her. But one of the reasons why Palin was such a phenomenon in 2009 and 2010, and so able to lock down good deals for books and TV, was that she was elusive. At what point does Palin become overexposed, and we learn the limits and real size of her fan base? Maybe we're at that point.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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