The Palin press orgy: Who cares?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Want a perfect example of how the Beltway press distracts itself with trivia at the expense of substance and news that most Americans actually care about? Look no further than the self-induced trance over the perennially unpopular Sarah Pallin and her book release. ABC's The Note breathlessly announces it's the most important political story right now, and The Note's colleagues certainly seem to agree.

From The Note [emphasis added]:

But this is Sarah Palin's world -- and that's really all we can see from our porches right now.

There may be no better example of the power and perils associated with the former governor of Alaska than what we'll see over the next week.

There is precisely one superstar in the Republican Party -- and she happens, by choice, not to hold elected office, or feel as if she owes much of anything to anyone in the party establishment. (And you thought tea parties might be dangerous?)

On this Friday the 13th, the Palin craze is starting a few days earlier than anticipated -- with Oprah and an early copy of the book coming before the Barbara Walters interviews next week.

And from ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who claims Palin's book release is the biggest to hit the Beltway in nearly 15 years:

Can she recapture the Palin magic that made her a political phenomenon? Make herself a force beyond her staunch cultural conservative base?

I suspect that Palin, like Powell, will ultimately decide that a race is not for her. But the opportunity is there. No one else in politics aside from Obama can attract more cameras, mics and blog posts

What seems to be missing from the avalanche of coverage is any indication that people outside the professional Beltway class and her right-wing base actually care. I'm sure Palin's book, thanks in part to a cut-rate, give-away price, will end up on the best-seller's list. But authors do that all the time.

In terms of larger context, I'm not aware of any polling data that indicates Palin has a prayer of being elected president. In fact, the latest CNN survey finds that a strong majority of Americans think she is singularly unqualified to run the country. (i.e. She's relegated to Dan Quayle territory.) And of course, she's coming off her stint as VP candidate on the GOP ticket that lost an electoral landslide last November.

So I guess my question is, besides the larger and authentic one (who, besides journalists and GOP partisans, cares about Sarah Palin?) is, has the press ever treated an election loser the way it now treats Sarah Palin? Has the Beltway press ever turned an election loser like Palin into a political rising star, even though there's no evidence to suggest her stature has changed since last November's embarrassing thumping? (i.e. What "magic" is Stephanopoulos talking about?)

Just more liberal media bias, I suppose.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.