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Sarah Palin's Alaska: You know you want to watch it

The new reality TV show "Sarah Palin's Alaska" premiers Sunday night. Palin's image has been slipping lately, according to recent polls. Will her new show change that?

By Staff writer / November 14, 2010

Sarah Palin and her husband Todd fish as part of the TLC channel's "Sarah Palin's Alaska." There is nothing overtly political about it, but her outdoorsy image against the stunning scenery often plays nicely with her familiar political message.

Gilles Mingasson/Discovery Communications/AP

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Go ahead. Admit it. You can’t wait to tune into “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” premiering on TLC Sunday night.

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Sarah, Todd, and all the Palin kids hanging out at home or showing us Alaska’s natural wonders as backdrop to their vigorous outdoor life. Maybe even a peek into her home broadcast studio where she talks on-air to the guys back at Fox News. Hey, Bristol might show us a few of her "Dancing with the Stars" samba moves!

IN PICTURES: Sarah Palin's fashion

What’s not to like?

Like all “reality” shows, it’s largely scripted. But we don’t care. Former governor Palin – who’s been stirring up American politics ever since she rocketed from political obscurity to become the Republican vice presidential candidate and then the tea party’s Mama Grizzly – often seems unscripted anyway. So what passes for “reality” may actually be reality. (Or the other way around. I’m not sure.)

Palin’s reality TV ploy has kept political pundits guessing about her motive.

“Why she thought that was a good idea, considering that she complained regularly about the media’s intrusion into her family life when she was John McCain’s running mate in 2008 (while, at the same time, frequently putting her children on display), is a mystery,” writes Nancy Franklin in the New Yorker. “Moreover, you might ask, how seriously will people take her as a political candidate – a Presidential candidate – once she has participated in a reality show?”

The first part is easy: Palin has complete control of the situation. The kids are on-screen when she (and, presumably, Todd) wants them to be. Her image – love it or hate it – will remain intact, maybe even be improved upon.

The second part of Franklin’s observation is exactly what GOP strategic guru Karl Rove has been asking.

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