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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah?

Her new documentary brings up the question: will Palin find someone who can guide her out of rogue territory, deftly shaping her into a towering figure who can accomplish for America what she did for Alaska?

by
Mary Claire Kendall

Bio

June 22, 2011 - 11:36 am
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Have you heard the rumor?

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will announce her decision this week regarding whether or not she will seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Problem is, she tweeted, nobody told her.

No matter. With Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Texas Governor Rick Perry surging in the polls — as Palin remains comfortably ensconced in a strong second place — it feels right.

But it must be an excruciating decision — less than three short years after she splashed onto the national stage when she accepted Senator John McCain’s nomination to be his running mate on the 2008 GOP presidential ticket.

Of course, it was a great first impression, after which she was soon engulfed in a swell of bad press, starting with “Trooper-gate,” suggesting she was too green to fill the shoes of vice president, which was confirmed as the campaign progressed.

You see, being a VP nominee is akin to sitting in that carnival contraption where, if someone hits the bull’s eye, you’re dunked in water.

Sarah Palin didn’t take kindly to being dunked in water. She tangled with the staff of McCain-Palin ’08 because she was being treated poorly, which surely she was — not understanding that’s par for the VP course.

On the positive side of the ledger: Palin was/is a star on the stump, electrifying an audience like nobody’s business.

Now, along comes Steve Bannon’s remarkable feature-length documentary film, The Undefeated, which hits the reset button on Sarah Palin — and also hits AMC Theaters on July 15.

Washington Post’s Phil Rucker — like me, invited to a private screening — told Lawrence O’Donnell on The Last Word that it’s “professionally done” and shows how truly accomplished Palin was as governor of Alaska, at one point registering 80% approval; albeit, he noted, the film has “not a single dissenting voice.”

It’s a stunning, Reaganesque portrait. What she accomplished in 18 months as governor of Alaska, most notably on the energy front, is testament to her political and policy understanding and skill — and her forbearance.

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