Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: Palin Phenomenon

USA-POLITICS/PALINShe’s everywhere.

We can think of no other losing vice presidential candidate who has captured so much media coverage a year AFTER losing the bid for the White House.

The Palin phenomenon perseveres (this week anyway).

The Washington Post has TWO columnists writing about her today — Eugene Robinson’s “Our Evita,” and Richard Cohen “Time for some Palintology.”

The front page of the Post showcases a quote from Sarah Palin’s book “Going Rogue” which is out in bookstores today: “I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals — right next to the mashed potatoes.”

The New York Times op-ed page carries a column from Michael Carey of the Anchorage Daily News in which he flips the viewpoint to why Alaskans are fascinated by Palin — “how a woman who takes pride in calling herself a homemaker from Wasilla brought celebrity culture to the Last Frontier.”

She’s been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters. CNN’s Larry King had a whole discussion about Palin last night. And David Letterman has been having fun on his late-night show by coming up with things that are more fun than reading Palin’s memoir  (number 61 – getting run over by a lawnmower).

Palin says not focused on 2012

The 2012 presidential campaign is not on her radar screen, says 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.  But she didn’t exactly shut the door on the the possibility of making a run for the White House during her first interview to promote her book, “Going Rogue: An American Life.”

sarah1Palin told TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey that right now it’s all about the 2010 elections.

“I’m concentrating on 2010 and making sure that we have issues to tackle,” Palin said in the interview taped last week and broadcast Monday. “I don’t know what I’m going to be doing in 2012. (Running for president is) not on my radar screen right now.”

The First Draft: Palin for President?

Is she running for president? Seeking a coffee summit with Hillary Clinton? Or just selling her book?

The only clear answer about Sarah Palin’s intentions is that the questions are drawing lots and lots of U.S. media attention. 
PALIN/  
This week, the former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor is on the cover of Newsweek magazine. She’s also going on-air for separate interviews with TV’s Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters of ABC News.
    
It’s all about promoting her new memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” which goes on sale Tuesday. But the notion that she also might be testing the waters for a 2012 presidential run is what’s drawing the serious attention.
    
Supporters liken her to a populist 21st century Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater. But not all the coverage is as she’d like it. OBAMA/
    
Newsweek, which pictures her on its cover as an attractive young woman in running shorts, scoffs at the idea of a Palin 2012 presidential campaign.
    
“Her brand of take-no-prisoners partisanship is not good for the Republicans in the long run and not good for the country,” Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham told MSNBC.
    
“When you have a kind of ‘death panel’ ideology, where you make pronouncements that are factually untenable and tend to inflame the conversation … that’s not good for governance.”
 
She got a warmer reception from another woman of the campaign trail, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whom Palin thinks she might like to meet over coffee.
 
“I absolutely would look forward to having coffee. I’ve never met her. And I think it would be, you know, very interesting to sit down and talk with her,” Clinton, now U.S. secretary of state, said over the weekend. USA-GERMANY/
    
But the last word is likely to be Palin’s. Her book promotion is expected to draw huge crowds across the country. And while a Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 60 percent of Americans don’t think she’s qualified to be president, a similar percentage of Republicans say she is.
  

Photo Credits: Reuters/Nathaniel Wilder (Palin); Reuters/Jason Reed (White House); Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Clinton)

Clinton open to coffee with Palin

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is open to having coffee with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whose new book about the 2008 presidential campaign is stirring controversy.

“I absolutely would look forward to having coffee,” Clinton said from Singapore  Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Clinton told ABC’s “This Week” that she would look forward to having a chance to actually get to meet Palin.

McCain camp pushes back against Palin

You’ve seen the Sarah Palin book excerpts in which she complains about being “bottled up” by Republican John McCain’s campaign last year.

Long-time McCain adviser Mark Salter explains here the thinking behind the McCain campaign’s media strategy that Palin seems to be complaining about in an excerpt of her book published by the Drudgereport today.

PALIN/“After we had been criticized in the press for a lack of disciplined messaging earlier in the campaign when we provided frequent and unscheduled access to the candidate, we felt it necessary to adopt the same deliberativeness and discipline employed by our opponents and rely less on impromptu press conferences with our traveling press, and more on interviews arranged in advance so our candidates would have the same opportunity our opponents enjoyed to discuss and prepare for the interview.

Republican sees Democrats passing healthcare overhaul

Sarah Palin says on her Facebook page that the healthcare overhaul passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week should be “Dead on Arrival” in the U.S. Senate. 

The House-passed bill, which includes a new government health insurance plan, may not be what the mooseSenate passes. But the far-reaching healthcare reform backed by President Barack Obama is far from dead. At least one influential Republican senator believes Congress will enact sweeping legislation.

“I think a bill is going to pass,” said New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg. In an interview with C-Span’s “Newsmakers” that will air on Sunday, Gregg said Obama has invested too much political capital in his top domestic priority to allow it to fail. Gregg once considered joining the Obama administration, but now has become a major critic of Obama’s proposed healthcare reform and its impact on the country’s mounting debt.

It’s not quite dishing, but Palin chats to Oprah about Levi, Couric

Apparently all is forgiven.

Sarah Palin tells Oprah Winfrey she wants to welcome Levi Johnston back into the fold.

Her daughter’s ex-fiance and father of her grandchild has been all over TV shows and in print media making unflattering comments about Palin, but the former Alaska governor says he’s part of the family.

sara3Palin, who ran for vice president on the Republican ticket with Senator John McCain last year, also had nice things to say about Oprah, who had supported the other party’s candidate — Barack Obama.

Great gift ideas for the political animal

The Vietnam War caused the biggest political division in the United States since the Civil War. It also radicalized a generation and drove a president from office. Yet Democrats are using a photograph of two of the Vietnam War’s leading characters to try to rally the party and raise money.

The fund-raising outfit that helps elect Democrats to the U.S. Senate has opened the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Online Store “just in time for the holidays.”
jonson2
Yes, there are the typical campaign buttons you’d expect. But besides being the first in your neighborhood with a fashionable DSCC mug, this year’s holidays also can be celebrated with a framed photo of President Lyndon Johnson, conferring with his secretary of defense. That would be Robert Strange McNamara, an architect of the American troop escalation in Vietnam.

“Every purchase helps get Democrats elected,” the DSCC says.

Nineteen Democratic-held seats are up for grabs in elections next year,  out of 38 races, and Democrats will have to fight hard not to lose seats in the 2010 mid-term elections.

Get ready, America: Here comes Sarah Palin

USA-ELECTION/Get ready, America. Like her or not, Sarah Palin is coming to a city near you.

Last year’s Republican vice presidential nominee is starting a book tour next week to promote her memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life.”

Is it a thinly-veiled bid to test the waters for a possible 2012 Republican presidential bid, or simply an effort to make money and cement her celebrity status?

Only time will tell.

For now, the opening stops of her tour in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Florida, could be valuable if she later decides to run.

Healthcare vote: Obama says courageous, Palin says mess

The House passage of healthcare legislation means different things to different folks.

For President Barack Obama it was a “courageous vote” by members of Congress. OBAMA

Obama went to Capitol Hill Saturday to personally press for passage. Today he was full of praise.