The prerequisite for running for President is no longer experience in government, public service, or a background in the law. It's publishing "your story," and getting your face all over the media via the "book/pre-primary tour." And in a long line of "throw your autobiography in the ring" tomes, comes Sarah Palin's: Going Rogue: An American Life. It's amazing how, in a few short months, she managed to knock off a 400-page book, take care of her growing family, and keep up her advanced civics and geography lessons, learning all the world capitals and the names of national leaders, while jetting off to Hong Kong to address that group of businessmen for a 6-figure payday. Though it went unreported in the press that when she arrived for her appointed talk, the stage had a pole on it, the businessmen had 100k in singles, and were already liquored up on Hennessy. No wonder the media was shut out.
But the publishers must be confident in her popularity, as they're printing 1.5 million copies. Though one wonders why. Of all the people who like her enough to read her book, 75% don't read, and the other 25% can't. Still, she will go on a book tour, where she will lay out her vision for America: less government, more guns, venison in every pot, and a pregnant teen in every garage-converted-into-a-spare-bedroom. She will talk about her small town upbringing. The life lessons she learned from being a pageant contestant. Her platonic relationship with Jesus. How she was treated unfairly by the media during the campaign when they persisted in asking her questions, constantly interrupting the recitation of her talking points as she'd memorized them. How she resigned from the governor's job for the good of the people of Alaska, not realizing the unintended irony in that statement.
But it doesn't matter what she writes, says or does. For all her ambitions to be America's first PILF, it will never happen. Most sane people realize she is, as Carl Bernstein so succinctly put it, an "ignorant demagogue." Someone who hasn't let her incompetence and stupidity dampen her lust for power. But despite her twilight fantasy of the Wasilla Hillbillies gliding down Pennsylvania Avenue on inauguration day on a dogsled, with Todd brandishing the whip and Sarah holding on behind, clutching the Down Syndrome kid in one hand and pageant-waving with the other, it will never happen. She's just Sarah Sideshow. The homecoming queen in the GOP parade of lunatics, evolution deniers, Tea Baggers, birthers, deathers, along with their congressional enablers -- the Boehners, Canters, Grassleys, Tailgunner Joe Wilson, and Congressman Hairlip from Arizona, who collectively must turn the annual GOP congressional Christmas card photo into a Hieronymus Bosch painting.
But none of them will be the candidate. They're just there for their scare value, until the GOP turns over its hole card: Joe Scarborough. He's telegenic, a Congressional vet, political talk show host, fiscal conservative, yet not a social Neanderthal, and he's already done the book. And he's tall. And from Florida, a key state filled with scare-able old people. He will be the GOP's great white hope for 2012, railing against the deficit and ballooning size of government. Unless the next few years show a marked upturn in the economy, more jobs, a coherent policy in Afghanistan, and meaningful health care reform, Scarborough will try to become Ronald Reagan to Obama's Jimmy Carter, with a Veep choice that will mollify the base, a Pawlenty, or possibly a Jindal, so the GOP can show they're down with the ethnics. And it could work, unless America gets back to work. We vote our pocketbooks. When America has a steady paycheck, the sideshow shit becomes less powerful. A recovering economy will be Obama's best defense. And offense. If the job numbers go up, and the economy rebounds, Obama could pull out a Martian birth certificate, orchestrate a government takeover of the NFL, and declare homosexuality the new state religion, and he'd still have record poll numbers.
But Sarah will not be in the mix. Still, I hope she enjoys the book tour. Though I won't be buying a copy. The book I'm waiting for is Carrie Prejean: Profiles in Courage.
Follow Ian Gurvitz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/igurvitz
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