How the Army solved a problem like Sarah
Fort Bragg reversed its no-media policy for Sarah Palin's book signing event on Monday, confirming that the best-selling Alaska author is a ‘politician,’ but not an ‘elected official’
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Palin criticized the commander-in-chief in an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly Friday night, citing national security specifically: “There’s some questionable actions that he’s taken so recently that I believe weakens our country and our security.”Skip to next paragraph
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Further complicating matters for the Army, Palin has been coy about her presidential plans, yet it’s clear to many insiders that she’s at least considering a 2012 presidential run. She outpaces all other self-described Republicans in polls.
But Palin is also widely despised and ridiculed, especially by liberal bloggers. About 50 percent of all Americans view her unfavorably, according to Pollster.com, and a far higher percentage than that -- seven out of ten, according to a CNN poll this week -- say she’s not qualified to be president.
Yet her stature has risen to the point where the President's own fund-raising arm is using her as a foil to raise cash. Organizing For America began sending out letters this week hoping to raise $500,000 from Americans concerned about a “dangerous” Palin derailing healthcare reform.
For now, Palin seems to be enjoying the same kind of power Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have: The ability to shape debate without any real skin in the game. And that’s the point Army officials had to finally concede at Fort Bragg.
How did they do it?
In the end, the Army defined Palin not as a book author, but instead made a distinction between her being a “politician” and Obama being “an elected official.”
"Our fear was that this would turn out to be a political platform, and us being a military installation we don't care who the politician is, we care who the elected official is," said beleaguered Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum.
Late Friday, the Army relented completely, realizing that even the US Army is no match for the best-selling Ms. Palin and her battalion of hangers-on. For now, they decided, she doesn’t represent a threat to the President’s command.
“We have put out the word to the soldiers, they can talk about the book, talk about anything you want to,” Mr. McCollum said Friday night.
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