Tuned In

Remembering Sarah Palin

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It’s not that Sarah Palin didn’t want to make herself more available for mainstream media interviews. It was just that, when you’re in the middle of running for vice president, who has time for that kind of thing?

Now that that bit of business is over, however, Palin has become a regular camera hound. Last night, Fox News aired an extensive interview with Greta Van Susteren, in which Palin discussed her possible Presidential plans for 2012: 

 

This is what I always do. I’m like, “God, if there is an open door for me somewhere”–this is what I always pray–”don’t let me miss the open door. Show me the open door and even if it’s just cracked a little bit, maybe I’ll plow right on through that, maybe prematurely plow through it, but don’t let me miss an open door.” And if there is an open door in ’12, or four years later, and if it’s something that’s going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I’ll plow through that door.

Meanwhile, she’s plowing into our TV news screens with a vengeance. Palin was on the Today Show with Matt Lauer this morning. Later she talks with both Wolf Blitzer and Larry King of CNN. 

The reason for the interviews is pretty obvious, as the Van Susteren interview quote indicates: enhancing her image for a possible Presidential run next time out, or at least burnishing her status as a party leader. But why now? After all, the campaign is still very recent and some of the lingering questions pretty hot. (Lauer, for instance, asked Palin about some of the charges of runaway wardrobe spending, some of which she denied as false, others of which she not-quite-denied by instead attacking her critics as anonymous chickens.) Why not lay low? 

While Palin may have years, or at least long months, to plan her next move, she’ll only have the white-hot pop-cultural attention—already starting to cool—for a while longer. That leaves this as her best chance to make voters’ last memory of her, before her eventual re-introduction, as a positive one: a scrapper, a go-getter, a charismatic folksy pol (hence all the interviews in her kitchen with the family) who was in no way to blame for the McCain-Palin ticket’s loss. 

That, whatever she thinks of the mainstream media, takes mainstream media attention to correct. And she needs to plow through that door while it’s still open a crack.