Sarah Palin has a new book out Tuesday, and so far it’s fulfilled one of its main purposes: keeping her in the news.
The substance of “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag” – sure to be a best-seller, as was her first work, “Going Rogue: An American Life” – is not surprising.
She goes after President Obama, the first lady, the Attorney General, and pretty much anybody in the Obama administration who’s ever talked about race in America.
She compares Mitt Romney to John F. Kennedy and finds the former president wanting. She likes hunting (“I eat therefore I hunt”), “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell, and movies with "submersive moral messages," such as “Juno,” “Knocked Up,” and “The Forty-Year-Old Virgin.”
Not so much Levi Johnston (the father of then-teen daughter Bristol’s baby), John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign advisers, or the press – referred to as “the media beast.” Then there’s “the shameful tendency on the left not simply to declare their opponents wrong, but to declare them evil.”
Much of what leaked out about the book was posted on Gawker.com – at least until Saturday, when a federal judge ordered the excerpts scrubbed from the site as a copyright infringement. (Gawker retaliated with a page called “Sarah Palin Is Mad at Us for Leaking Pages From Her Book.”)
According to publisher HarperCollins, Palin’s new literary effort “celebrates the enduring strengths and virtues that have made this country great,” while “ranging widely over American history, culture, and current affairs.”
To fill out the 224 pages of personal and political philosophy, there are “selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved her – from the nation’s founding documents to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature and poetry, biography and even some of her favorite songs and movies.”
Elsewhere in Palinworld, the jibes keep coming – from the right as well as the left.
On the Larry King Live show to be broadcast Monday evening, Barbara Bush weighed in with a touch of snark. Here’s what the former first lady had to say about the former Alaska governor: “I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful. I think she's very happy in Alaska – and I hope she'll stay there.”
In a piece headlined “Why Sarah Palin Shouldn’t Run” (for president), conservative columnist Mona Charen writes that “Americans will be looking for sober competence, managerial skill, and maturity, not sizzle and flash.”
“She compares herself to Reagan,” Charen writes of Palin. “But Reagan didn't mud wrestle with the press. Palin seems consumed and obsessed by it, as her rapid Twitter finger attests, and thus encourages the sniping. She should be presiding over meetings on oil and gas leases in the North Slope, or devising alternatives to Obamacare. Every public spat with Dave Letterman or Politico, or the ‘lamestream media,’ or God help us, Levi Johnston, diminishes her…. She would be terrific as a talk-show host – the new Oprah. But as a presidential candidate? Someone to convince critical independent voters that Republicans can govern successfully? Absolutely not.”
Watching last Sunday’s premier of the show “while clocking real-time reaction to it on Twitter,” Labash stands amazed at a forum “that has amplified Palin’s voice exponentially as she wages a one-woman guerrilla media campaign that seems to commandeer every other news cycle.”
“But that’s what going rogue is all about,” he writes. “Letting it fly. Following your gut. Which has made Sarah Palin wealthy, and intensely discussed … And good for Palin if she’s happy following her gut. Though there’s no compelling reason to suggest the rest of us should tag along behind.”