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).

Got an opinion? Washington Post holds pundit contest

In a town (over) loaded with opinions, The Washington Post is looking for a fresh voice.

The newspaper for politics central has taken the unusual step of launching a contest for “America’s Next Great Pundit” on it’s columnist page (bottom right corner in today’s paper). POLITICS ELECTION

The field will be narrowed to 10 who will then go through a rigorous competition of writing on deadline, fielding questions, shining on video.

McChrystal report hits Obama with tough choices in Afghanistan

The general picked by Barack Obama to finish up the war in Afghanistan has presented the U.S. president with some hard choices.

The toughest one: Send more troops to implement a radically different strategy within the next year or risk losing the conflict.

USA“The campaign in Afghanistan has been historically under-resourced and remains so today,” General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, said in a 66-page report to the defense secretary.