Lamestream Media

Lamestream Media

Lamestream Media

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Nov. 22 2010 4:50 PM

Lamestream Media

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There have been a number of recent media hits on Sarah Palin that she surely would like to explain as more nastiness from the "lamestream" media, but that’s going to be hard to pull off since the writers are prominent conservatives. She also can’t ascribe the attacks to sexism, since several come from women. Palin should probably keep in mind that comparing herself to Ronald Reagan diminishes, not elevates, her. Peggy Noonan , a Reagan speechwriter, was so offended by Palin’s defense of her reality show by citing Reagan’s career as an actor (Palin threw in a gratuitous reference to Bedtime for Bonzo ) that Noonan called her a "nincompoop." Next is Mona Charen’s column calling Palin someone who prefers to "chase money and empty celebrity" to actually governing. Now The Weekly Standard - whose editors are in part responsible for Palin’s selection as vice-presidential nominee because they stumbled upon her when they disembarked from a cruise to Alaska-appears to have turned on her. In a delicious take-down, Matt Labash describes her as a jingoist headline hunter who sounds like a "15 year-old Twitter-head."

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I don’t think this is a conspiracy, but a realization that she while she is a powerful political celebrity, she would be a disastrous candidate. I suspect Palin’s tease to Barbara Walters that she is mulling a presidential run is more a piece of marketing than a serious announcement. No doubt Palin-ensconced in her bubble of adoration-has convinced herself that she has what it takes. But since she fled the governor’s office mid-way through her term, I’m also sure that while she likes the idea of "President Palin," she doesn’t actually want to be president. Her kick is the adoration of crowds, not the mastery of policy. (And please, Palin supporters, let’s not hear the argument that what we want in a president is someone to inspire us, not an accountant mired in the details of policy wonkery. If a president has no interest in the facts and implications of policy, then that president is hostage to the agendas of those who do.) In order to keep up the speaking fees, Palin has to keep the presidential possibility buzzing around her. But conservatives know unless they put a stake in her ambitions, a Palin nomination would likely destroy their shot at the White House.

Photograph of tea party supporter a holding Sarah Palin book by Win McNamee/Getty.

Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.