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Going berserk over 'Going Rogue;' Democrats' reaction to Sarah Palin book and publicity

November 17, 2009 |  3:24 am

Republicans Sarah Palin and John McCain at the very beginning of their doomed presidential campaign in 2008

Wow, for somebody who's supposed to be such a political joke, an Arctic ditz and eminently dismissable as a serious anything except maybe a stay-at-home hockey mom, Sarah Palin is sure drawing an awful lot of attention from Democrats and eager critics.

The launch of her "Going Rogue" interviews Monday on "Oprah," of her book today, of her on-air chat today with Rush Limbaugh at 10 a.m. Pacific and of her mid-America bus book tour Wednesday ignited a surprisingly large blizzard of derogatory Democrat dis-missives.

Every few minutes another note from Democratic National Committee operatives and others dropped into electronic mailboxes across the media-verse, helpfully passing on even the tiniest tidbit of negative news about Palin.

You know how sometimes a friend tells you how much he/she doesn't really care about....

...someone else. Really doesn't! And repeats it a sufficient number of times that you become convinced of precisely the opposite?

So maybe she does matter after all.

In ABC interviews to be aired today, Palin says a 2012 presidential bid is "not on my radar," which is Politician for, "We'll see."

One e-mail was headed "Palin's rough year," which overlooked her $1-million-plus book contract, the kind of rough patch even many Obama Democrats wouldn't mind enduring in the current job market.

It contained a quote from respected Republican strategist Mike Murphy about Palin saying: "She’ll have a muscular career as a political celebrity, and she’ll have a voice. I just don’t think that she’s a strong political candidate.”

Sarah Palin Book Cover

Accidentally absent from the message was any mention that Murphy was a longtime political intimate and strategist for John McCain, whose feckless 2008 campaign staff comes in for so much criticism in Palin's book.

(BTW, as a historical aside, that bobbling of Palin was noted in this space on Oct. 2, 2008, in an item headlined: "McCain's 'Stop Sarah Palin' strategy working like a charm.")

There was another headline arriving Monday, saying Palin has no political future and attributing that to Bob Schieffer, a newsman at CBS.

That's the TV network that produced the disastrous Palin interviews of 2008 (detailed in Palin's book) and this year's late-night sex joke about an underage daughter of Palin's.

We also received word of a new survey: "Just over half of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll have an unfavorable opinion of her overall, as many say they wouldn’t consider supporting her for president and more – six in 10 – see her as unqualified for the job."

And early this morning Noel Sheppard reports on a Palin panel that got out of hand last night on CNN.

One of the more interesting but surprisingly not surprising anti-Palin bits came in news from HuffingtonPost, which published word that ex-VP Al Gore's TV channel Current has broadcast a cartoon which says Palin's real Twitter name is "Gun-Ho" and refers to Palin as a TWILF.

That's a play on a crude acronym thrown at Palin during the 2008 campaign, "VPILF." 

The Web item suggested disingenuously that TWILF stood for "Tweep I'd Like to Follow." The F actually stands for another verb we don't choose to publish here. But it is indicative of the vehemence already directed at the conservative female former Alaskan governor. As if some see her developing into a danger before she does.

Palin will have ample opportunity in coming weeks and months to rehab her image and soar into a new political life, at least as a bounteous political fundraiser, or burn out like one of the incoming space rocks in last night's Leonid meteor shower. And there's plenty of time, too, for other Republicans to emerge.

What's very interesting beyond Palin's show biz book-selling promotion is a possible developing change in the way U.S. presidential candidates emerge as new media enables newcomers to become known to voters faster than previously.

All of the last three presidents achieved the White House on their first try. Each of them held another elected office at the time -- two governors and one senator.

However, at the moment, none in the current field of potential Republican candidates -- Palin, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and soon Tim Pawlenty -- holds an office, allowing them to raise the multi-millions and collect political chits full-time for a realistic 2012 campaign in which the concept of change to believe in will switch to the GOP side.

That kind of selection process would be more akin to parliamentary democracies like Canada where prominent figures can become political party leaders and then get elected to office and lead the government or opposition.

One thing is certain: The current crop of GOP leadership, both within and without Congress, makes Benadryl seem like a stimulant. Love her or hate her, that chemistry changes this week with the addition of what's-her-name.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Related items:

Sarah Palin's book tour: What to watch for

Sarah Palin's steamy passage about hubby Todd

Sarah's new Twitter account

Video clips of Sarah Palin with Oprah

What's actually in Sarah Palin's book

Palin's roguish book tour schedule details

The secret Sarah Palin speeches we never heard

Sarah Palin breaks with GOP to endorse Conservative

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Photo: Mike Segar / Reuters

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