Still, viewed as an electability audition, Palin’s series is not going particularly well. Nearly every moment of the second episode’s Commercial Halibut Fishing Trip was — to any other politician, a career-ending photo-bomb. Here’s Sarah Palin clubbing a fish to death. Here’s Sarah Palin encouraging Bristol to club a fish to death. Here’s Sarah Palin playfully elbowing a “Professional Fish-Petter” in the ribs, clearly sensing that this is some sort of double entendre but not quite clear on what it might mean. Here’s Sarah Palin holding the still-beating heart of a deceased halibut.
All Palin’s attempted banter is unabashedly awkward. She tells her kayak guide, “Eric, you look like Jesus. We’re in good hands,” only to provoke the withering deadpan response, “I’ve heard that before.” She waxes profound about life, noting that it’s nice to be outdoors, away from “those things that are kind of on the periphery of our lives that seem to consume it.” This could mean anything! Plato, in his dialogue Theaetetus, likens the process of hitting upon an idea to a hunter seeking a fluttering knowledge bird who sometimes happens to seize upon a fluttering ignorance bird instead. This is similar to what I imagine the process of coming up with a Palin speech or tweet is. Sarah Palin knows a lot of four-syllable words! More than the dictionary knows, sometimes.
So far, she’s gotten a 5 million-strong audience, a rally full of people on the Mall, a book that everyone’s buzzing about, and more Twitter followers than you can shake a stick at — at least more than I have. She actually seems to be hunting for campaign real estate in Iowa. Palin 2012? It’s happening!
But this is where I stop making snide remarks and start legitimately worrying. I have to ask: America, is this a bluff?
On-line poll: “Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to run for president?”