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Is the Sarah Palin frenzy over—or has it just begun? said Kathy Kiely in USA Today. Palin headed home to Alaska last week after a spectacular 25-state book tour that drew tens of thousands of cheering fans, many who had waited hours in the cold to spend a few seconds with the iconic populist conservative. In its first two weeks, Palin’s book, Going Rogue, sold a million copies, and it is already one of the best-selling political memoirs in U.S. history. Indeed, despite quitting in July as governor of Alaska, Palin appears to be in a stronger position than ever. She’s definitely “on a roll,” said Jack Kelly in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In a new poll, Palin’s favorable rating has risen to 46 percent, just a hair beneath President Obama’s job-approval rating. That “turnabout in fortunes is all the more remarkable because no political figure in recent history has been subject to such vilification from our news media.”
Nor has anyone been more deserving of it, said Christopher Hitchens in the London Times. Peddling “bigotry and provincialism,” Palin’s tour bypassed major cities, keeping critics at bay so that this “silly theocratic demagogue” from Alaska might continue to find refuge in the “unbreachable serenity of her ignorance.” Her main qualifications for her lofty position in Republican politics, it seems, are her insistence that she already knows everything she needs to know, and her “ability to generate impure thoughts even among those who don’t like her.” Not only don’t I like her, but I laughed “out loud when reading her citations of Plato and Aristotle” in Going Rogue, said Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic.com. But perhaps most revealing of all was a quote about the sacredness of America that Palin attributed to legendary basketball coach John Wooden. The quote, no doubt carelessly copied from the Internet, turned out to refer to the stealing of America from Native Americans, and its true source was an Indian activist named John Wooden Legs.
Keep sneering, said Neal Gabler in the Los Angeles Times. The media’s condescension only makes Palin stronger. Her supporters see Palin as “just like them,” and they value her small-town earnestness over the elite’s expertise. What’s more, she has “a very good foil in the Ivy League–educated, erudite, articulate Barack Obama.” Palin can only hope the snarky laughter continues—because “she can ride that laughter right into the White House.”
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