Get ready for Sarah Palin: The Movie. Undefeated, a $1 million, two-hour documentary about Palin, will debut next month in Iowa before hitting the early primary states of New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada — and eventually enjoying a nationwide release. Made (in secret) and financed by conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, Undefeated is a "sweeping epic... designed, in part, to help catapult Palin from [a] presidential afterthought... to the front lines of the 2012 GOP conversation," says Scott Conroy at RealClearPolitics. Though the film doesn't include an interview with Palin, she helped Bannon gain access to Alaskan officials and the film's narration features audio of Palin reading from her memoir, Going Rogue. Is Palin running — and will this movie really catapult her to the top of the GOP heap?
She's baaaaaack: "All of Washington" may have decided that Palin wasn't going to run for president, but that conclusion now looks premature, says Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast. This film's release, in Iowa of all places, clearly puts Palin back in the 2012 picture. This has all the hallmarks of a Palin campaign PR effort: "It is entirely controlled by her; it is designed as pure propaganda; she is running against the media; she is running as a victim; she is running for revenge."
"So you thought she wasn't running?"
This is at least a trial balloon: "Bannon's piece of political hagiography" is a way for Palin to check her standing in the key early battleground states, says Andy Kroll at Mother Jones. "If the film catches fire" in places like Iowa and South Carolina, that may be "the nudge Palin needs" to enter the race. And if the movie tanks, "that might be a sign the country isn't ready for a Palin presidential bid, and that she should sit this one out." In either case, it's a good way for Palin to get her name back in the news.
"New Sarah Palin hagiography: Springboard for 2012 presidential run?"
Undefeated could backfire: The documentary certainly suggests she's running, says Joshua Green at The Atlantic. Too bad Palin's so wrapped up with "complaining about her various and sundry enemies, and practicing a brand of right-wing identity politics that's a far cry from what she did in Alaska," where, as governor, she actually accomplished a lot. The movie reportedly apes Palin's new, alienating style — using images of lions killing a zebra and a medieval soldier with an arrow in his back to dramatize ethics complaints filed against Palin. Given that tone, the film "could be a complete disaster."
"The Sarah Palin disaster movie"