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The war on Sarah Palin's Christmas book (+video)

News that Sarah Palin is writing a book about Christmas has led to an explosion of comment in social-media spaces. Here are the most likely ramifications of this Palin development.

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No. And can we stop with the “you betcha”? It’s funny when Tina Fey does it. You’re no Tina Fey.

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Washington Editor

Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.

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Palin is one of the most polarizing figures in the history of modern US politics. Her positives are high, and she has millions of excited supporters. But her negatives are really low, and she has tens of millions of excited opponents who love to read bad things about her, like how she screwed up the story of Paul Revere’s ride.

She didn’t run in 2012 because she would have lost. She won’t run in 2016 because she would still lose. She’s got stiff competition from Rep. Michele Bachmann, among others, for the role of GOP folksy firebrand.

She is what she’s been since the end of the 2008 campaign: a celebritician, or polebrity, if you will. She combines conservative political positions with personal fame to advance both ideological positions and the Palin brand.

Mr. Kurtz writes that Palin “does need a bigger platform than Twitter or Facebook if she’s going to get back into the cultural relevancy game.” Great! Call when you find a bigger platform than Facebook: We’ll open an account. If only she’d signed on with Newsweek. Oh, right.

Palin lost her speaking gig on Fox News because she’s not impressive as a commentator. She got an extra-long spot at CPAC because she’s great at giving set speeches. End of story.

It's all about the Wilsons. The highest denomination of US currency ever printed was a $100,000 bill featuring the portrait of Woodrow Wilson. Though only issued for a few months in 1935, the Wilsons illustrate our point that besides whatever ideology motivates Palin, this is mostly about making money.

It does not mean she’s desperate. The very funny Alexandra Petri writes in her Washington Post humor column, “Christmas books are like Christmas albums: They are not things you make and announce in March when your career is going anywhere good.” Not true! Bob Dylan issued a Christmas album in 2009 (although we don’t know when he announced it). He’s not exactly Kenny G.

As the Associated Press story on the Palin book notes, the terms of her contract were negotiated by Washington lawyer Robert Barnett. What it does not say is that Mr. Barnett is the most insider, establishment, blue-chip book attorney in the nation’s capital. He’s negotiated lucrative deals for everybody from Bob Woodward to a then-little-known lawmaker named Barack Obama.

That means Palin will be making a hefty sum – probably via a lucrative holiday speaking tour as well as pure book sales. That’s the Barnett way.


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