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Palin stars in reality TV. Lights, camera, White House?

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Jay Leno's Tonight Show March 2, 2010by AP
 

It would be tempting  to write off Sarah Palin's latest money-making adventure as the end of an inglorious political career.

Word is the former Alaska governor and onetime Republican vice presidential candidate will star in her own reality TV show -- "Sarah Palin's Alaska." Discovery Channel is reportedly paying Palin more than $1 million per episode. As Washington Post TV critic Lisa de Moraes put it, Palin -- a bestselling author and Fox News contributor -- will serve as a "sort of modern-day Sacagawea" who will guide viewers toward the "characters, tradition and attractions in the 49th state."

But before Palin detractors get too excited, consider, as Al Gore might put it, a few inconvenient facts.

First, Palin astutely avoided a reality TV show about her family. Imagine how much she could have gotten pitching "The Palins," featuring her teenage-mom daughter Bristol, her Playgirl-posing almost son-in-law Levi, her First Dude husband Todd. "If it was 'The Osbournes,' and they were going to follow the family, then it would be interesting," one broadcast exec said in explaining why his network passed. "It's a travelogue about the state of Alaska."

Second, she is still planning to be a major force -- if no longer an officeholder -- in politics. In fact, Tuesday night she posted on her Facebook page a list of 20 Democrats she plans to target in the 2010 elections. "Come November, we're going to print pink slips for members of Congress as fast as they've been printing money," she wrote.

Planning to endorse and stump for Republican candidates, Palin can, with a simple e-mail, unleash a powerful lobby of supporters. Wisconsin Republican Sean Duffy says Palin's endorsement of his campaign for Congress was "like a 'Game On!' moment." 

Finally, there have been stranger routes to the White House. Ronald Reagan hosted General Electric Theater back in the 1950s and '60s, and traveled the country as a goodwill ambassador for the company, touring GE plants, which former First Lady Nancy Reagan credits with launching his public career. Woodrow Wilson was a college professor. And then there is this guy named Barack Obama, who started as a community organizer.

That said, no one has ever reached the White House after quitting their job as an elected official.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Palin on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on March 2. Credit: Associated Press

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Comments () | Archives (4)

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It's a travelogue of the state and its wonders, produced by Mark Burnett, who launched his career with the nature-and-adventure-oriented "Eco Challenge." It's hardly "Celebrity Rehab" or "The Osbournes." Fer cripes' sake. She really gets under your skin, doesn't she? And she doesn't even have to do anything salacious to do it. Says a lot more about the press than it says about Palin. And BTW, Obama quit being a state senator to be a senator and then he quit being senator to be president. Same for Biden. Same for Clinton. Same for tons of people. George W. Bush completed his two terms as governor before running for office. That didn't cut a lot of mustard with ya'll, did it?

I'm still stymied as to how an ignorant and uneducated woman is going to be a force in politics.

It astounds me how the LA Times continues to let this worthless, right wing worshipping column continue. If you were to believe Neumann and the clearly Obama hating racist Andrew Malcolm, nothing the president (yes, a black man is president!) is worthy of respect, only condescension, and everything Sarah Palin does - even something on the level of Paris Hilton - is worthy of praise and reverence.

(AM responds: And yet despite all those falsehoods, here you still are, Harry, reading and scrolling all the way down to bother leaving a comment and contribute to the ongoing dialogue with so many thousands of others each day. A testimony to your intelligence. Thanks much, partner.)

Lea-

Clinton, Obama, and Biden did not "quit" their previous jobs as senators, they promoted to higher offices while still serving the people. Sarah just quit to become a millionnaire. To compare the Clinton, Obama, and Biden with Palin is ludicrous (anotherwords ridiculous) - like apples and tomatoes. Really.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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