The Corner

Roguish Charm

I wrote about the Palin book and the ensuing controversy today. I was one of those saying after the ‘08 campaign that she needed to bear down on developing a substantive policy portfolio and concentrate on governing Alaska. Well, we know how that advice turned out! My take is a little different now. I think she obviously has significant obstacles in presidential politics, and she’s cut herself off from what would have been the most natural means of tamping down public concerns about her competence and lack of experience — elective office. But whether she finds a way around that or not (I wouldn’t dismiss her — especially in Iowa), she’s going to be a significant leader within conservatism for years. Her grass-roots supporters are an essential part of the GOP coalition, and party leaders should be glad there’s someone who can speak to them so powerfully. More on all this here.

As for the book, I’ve read a lot of it and almost all of the post-VP selection second half. It’s definitely not a policy book and it’s not going to change minds about her. But it’s a fun, breezy read and political junkies will love the insidery campaign sniping. That aspect of the book isn’t always terribly seemly, but it’s invariably entertaining. I had a few laugh-out-loud moments. At least she’s taking a swipe at people under her own name, which anonymous McCain aides still can’t bring themselves to do.