The Going Rogue Book Tour Draws Crowds and Controversy
It'd be easy to write off the left's attention to those disappointed fans in Noblesville as more opportunistic smearing. But that would be a mistake. Governor Palin's early exit from the book signing was a self-inflicted public relations fiasco (even the Los Angeles Times is reporting the story). It demonstrates that for all of her increasing maturity since bursting onto the national scene in 2008, Palin's campaign juggernaut still needs a lot of polish.
And a (political) campaign juggernaut it is.
One of the most important observations about the Going Rogue book tour is that the schedule is booked heavily in conservative, GOP-leaning states. As Chris Cillizza points out, Palin will visit 31 counties in 25 states through December 11. Of those 31 counties, only 11 were carried by the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joseph Biden last November. Interestingly, Palin will not visit big liberal states like California or Massachusetts. This kind of scheduling is reminiscent of the campaign schedules of presidential candidates, when it makes no sense to travel and place ad buys in states that lean heavily toward the opposition party.
It's thus extremely important for Palin's handlers to nail even the finest details of the Going Rogue tour. For as much discounting, ridicule, and demonization directed at the former vice-presidential nominee, there's actually no one in American politics who energizes partisans the way Sarah Palin does -- and there's no one in American politics who has endured a more coordinated, industrial-level operation of personal and political destruction than has Governor Palin. Not even President Barack Obama can claim to have been as heavily targeted for annihilation.
The national backlash against Newsweek's recent cover smear against Ms. Palin is illustrative. The extreme double standard in the mainstream media works to the advantage of the Democratic Party and its big-government agenda. And Newsweek's smear was actually tame compared to the Atlantics's Andrew Sullivan and his double-barreled preview of the forthcoming earthquake of hatred that will tumble down on Sarah Palin for as long as she remains in public life.
Of course, this leftist campaign of personal and political destruction is perhaps the best reminder of Governor Palin's extremely auspicious prospects. Andrew Malcolm, noting how intensely the White House watches Palin's every move, reported that "President Obama's Organizing for America is now using the threat of Republican Sarah Palin as an opportunity to acquire more [campaign contributions]." It turns out that OFA operatives have put out the call for donations from millions of Democratic supporters to fight Palin, who is now sucking up media time like a industrial-strength power vac.
Although the Democratic National Committee dismisses Palin as an ignorant non-factor, it's invested way more time and effort this week attacking Palin than selling Obama, who was on another overseas publicity trip of his own.
Thus, hold on to your hats. Sarah Palin's Going Rogue book tour is a pretty good indicator of the face of American politics about 13 months from now, when campaigning for Iowa and New Hampshire will begin in earnest.