Sarah Palin is one of the most famous politicians in the world, but not for being a historically great public servant'she quit halfway through her governorship. Nor for being intellectually brilliant'in fact it's the complete opposite. Nor is she renowned for spearheading a charity or investing in a wonderful new technology or public program. Before 2008, barely anyone outside of Alaska had even heard of her unless you were a political wonk, but now from Sweden to Australia she's recognizable. Her rise in popularity is entirely due to John McCain's VP pick, and from that point on her personality, gaffes, and the marketing of herself propelled her into a household name.
There's an outstanding amount of statements and interviews wherein facts are almost made-up or laughably misunderstood in order to make a conservative or tea-party-like argument. The "I can see Russia from my house" comment actually wasn't said by Sarah Palin, but Tina Fey in a Saturday Night Live skit poking fun at the fact that she thought credentials for foreign policy experience simply comes from "bordering" a different country. In her words, "Alaska has a very close maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side the land boundary that we have with Canada". Even the "Drill, Baby, Drill" statement wasn't originally hers, but repeated and popularized from Michael Steel when he originally said it at the RNC in 2008. She lashed out at the "lame-stream media" after her "gotcha" questions by Katie Couric when unable to answer the question, "what do you read?" It's almost too easy to make fun of Sarah Palin though, and in that way it's what has made her so famous.
Her base and supporters also deserve an interesting noting for an analysis of why this un-credentialed politician is basically famous for being famous. For example, a group called "New Left Media" interviewed Sarah Palin supporters asking very basic questions; "She stands for what America is." was a response by one woman when asked why she liked Sarah Palin. When questioned further on her statement of what America is the woman responded, "Freedom. Our liberty. The right to speak." When's the last time a politician ran on the anti-freedom and suppression of the right to speak platform? When the same woman was asked what kind of issues she'd like to see Palin bring to office her response was, "Oh gee, help me out here guys", calling to her friends for help. Other's were asked the same question and gave extremely broad answers like, "a difference" or "cut spending", sometimes simply "I don't know." And if not responding with any answer whatsoever they replied with nervous laughter. Some just spun-off and repeated claims that President Obama is a "socialist, Marxist, Leninist", which I suppose meant Sarah Palin isn't.
It's important to note that these folks weren't randomly picked republicans off the street, but supporters waiting in line to buy Sarah Palin's book and have her sign it for them, which hints a lot at how she makes her money and markets herself. In fact, her "Going Rouge" book sold more than one million copies, and her deal with HarperCollins came shortly after her resignation as governor meaning the talks must have come dead close to when she was actually in office or while in office outright. I'm not a cynic, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt that her potential wealth in media, speaking fees, book deals and television had nothing at all to do with the resignation. But, let's talk about her wealth post-governor anyhow.
To put it simply, Sarah Palin is hot for cash. According to ABC news and other sources, the former half-term governor has made $12 million since being chosen as VP on McCain's "Country First" platform. She speaks to widely misinformed audiences while reading from scripts written by ghostwriters. Cal State was forced by a judge to release their speaking contract with Sarah Palin and the public now knows that she'll demand $75,000 a pop, first class air fare, a chauffeur, and hotel accommodations. She's not stupid, and neither is her family seeing their potential to make money. Her daughter Bristol was recently paid $14,000 to speak to single moms at a benefit in Kentucky and performed on Dancing with the Stars. Palin also earns $1 million a year as a Fox News contributor, and she's been all over the media lately from hosting the "Today Show" to her own reality series on the Learning Channel.
Comedienne Tina Fey, doing one of her well-known characters, Sarah Palin. |
It's not a mystery why we still hear of her from time to time, she makes outrageous statements so that she'll stay fresh in our minds and help promote her personality and therefor whatever she's selling. She recently said that the US should hunt down Julian Assange like al-Qaeda. During the Republican primaries she went on a sort of stalking tour of the candidates teasing her supporters with a potential run. While on her bus tour she asked for donations in order to help her figure out whether or not to run'yeah, it's getting a little sickening. And she's not the only one using a media platform and gullible listeners to sell their crap. Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Donald Trump used the media and the presidential race to sell their books or for free advertisement.
It's obvious to anyone not buying into her scam what's going on here. She saw an opportunity to make some real money, quit her job and is rolling in the dough. So, where is Sarah Palin now? She's going to be wherever the money is for as long as the public can tolerate her.