There is nothing quite like the Palin phenomenon. Is there anyone else in public life who, for a book signing, could draw a crowd that would have to be warned that they can't camp out overnight, but can only start standing in line--in December in Minnesota!--seven hours before the event begins?
In the comments on the Strib's story, meanwhile, liberal and conservative readers are duking it out. No one brings out the hate in liberals like Sarah. An interesting question: has there ever been anyone on the left who has prompted a similarly crazed reaction from conservatives? The closest I can think of--not very close, actually--is Ted Kennedy. It is instructive to compare the reasons why many conservatives despise Kennedy with the reasons why most liberals seem to lose their wits at the mention of Governor Palin.
Don Surber covers Palin's quips during her appearance at the Gridiron Dinner. She rocked.
An American original - who created her public self from nothing, Palin is out of the same tradition as Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt.
When a person can do that - can rise through sheer shrewdness and chutzpah: that person is interesting and scary. That person frightens people who prefer a status quo in which no one rises except through a traditional path - i.e. a more understandable path, and thus a path which is more comforting to observers.
What might she say? Or do? She's a wild card, and thus unpredictable and scary (even to her supporters). Sarah Palin doesn't throw soothing, modulated tones and bones to the left. Rather, she is more likely to punch the left squarely between the eyes. This is why I love her. Other Repubs don't throw punches as consistently or as overtly as Sarah Palin does. This is scary, to both left and right.
Everyone would be more comfortable with a more predictable Repub. politician - with a soothingly predictable Romney or Pawlenty, for instance.
But, would everyone be better off? Is comfortable what we really need?