The year Sarah Palin changed politics forever
Palin is more than a political figure and more than a TV star, says L.A. Times television critic Mary McNamara. She's both, and that's a game-changer
You can easily imagine Sarah Palin in a new prime-time drama called "Politics: The television show," says Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times. The protagonist would be a "prickly but plucky politico-mom who brings her hard-won real-life knowledge to Washington." But "Palin isn't a character." She's a woman "determined to seize her moment" by deftly and "unapologetically" mixing politics and pop culture — and when she's done, writes McNamara, "it will be virtually impossible to pull them apart" again. Here's an excerpt:
Sarah Palin. They have become two of the most incendiary words in the English language, right up there with WikiLeaks and obesity epidemic. "Sarah Palin." Say it, write it, and evoke instant wrath or rapture. In the last year, she's become not so much a person or even political figure as a brand, a rhetorical franchise of multimedia proportions....
Here's a woman straddling two worlds, a frontier filled with rifles, snowmobiles, and fishing expeditions, and a meta-media landscape into which she sent her daughter Bristol as a safe-sex emissary and a "Dancing with the Stars" contestant. Here's a woman who understands that the here and now of American politics is not so much transparency as it is familiarity, that the message is nothing without the medium and you don't need to be a leader if you can be a symbol.
A lesson she learned from President Obama.