Tuesday, June 21, 2011

At the beginning, Palin was given plenty of reasons for grievance. After her selection as John McCain's running mate, some in the press focused unkind attention on her family and faith. From a human perspective, her defensive reaction was understandable. In a memorable convention speech, Palin returned a volley of fist-shaking populism. On the campaign trail, huge Republican crowds -- far larger than McCain generally drew -- rewarded Palin's feistiness. It was the heartland (and tundra) against the coasts; real Americans versus elites. After the vote, a series of radio and cable appearances further simplified and purified Palin's persona. Positive reinforcement had done its work. The candidate became a caricature. The caricature, a celebrity. more

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