The Other Sarah: What’s wrong with Sarah Palin?

Familiarity with Palin Breeds Contempt, Fear and Alarm

Sarah Palin’s much-anticipated debut on Fox News this week has not gone well. From O’Reilly’s condescension to Beck’s mocking of her paranoia, this has been a rough roll out for the ambitious, yet ignorant, and paranoid Palin.

While Palin is a savvy person who can be quick and clever, her worldview is the size of a postage stamp and her mind has long since shuttered out any reality other than the small town she grew up in.

She’s willfully ignorant, yes. But not dumb. Plenty of ignorant people skate by on TV. Heavens, she can wear an ear prompter, get scripts in advance. Masking ignorance is the great charade of TV and has given us many failed leaders; Bush’s notorious ear prompters for “spontaneous answers” come to mind.

So, what’s wrong with Sarah? She held plenty of decent (not great) interviews in Wasilla and Alaska. She attacked the words on the teleprompter at the RNC with the fervor of a rabid dog, not to mention her experience filling in for her sports anchor colleague on the local Wasilla TV station. But this Sarah has lost her moxie.

Is this ‘The Other Sarah” the McCain campaign references the “Frightening, Dangerous, Mentally Limited” side of Palin? We got our first glimpse of the Other Sarah during the Couric interview, when Palin froze and sneered at the same time. Panic in the snow or something.

Last July, as we sat stunned watching Palin’s breathy, near hysterical quitting speech in July of 2009, it was easy to wonder if a threatening phone call from party leaders hadn’t preceded Palin’s still unexplained mid-term resignation, as it was accompanied by behavior suggesting a nervous breakdown was imminent.

You have to admit, that speech made you nervous. You looked back on Nov 4, 2008 with a flutter in your stomach for just a brief moment. You had that tinge of outrage that they ran this person, but then you dismissed it. It had nothing to do with you anymore. You’re safe. She’s in Alaska. Or so you thought then.

Then came the summer of lies from Facebook and the constant discussion of her running in 2012 and suddenly you weren’t feeling so comfy. Suddenly you started paying attention to her and she seemed a little off. So, when Schmidt broke campaign omerta to reveal a chilling American Political Horror Story on 60 minutes this week, you were riveted. He rolled out the perfect storm of a desperate party, an unplanned VP pick, and no time to vet.

And so it came to be that by the time the McCain camp slowly realized the adorable pitbull, the hockey mom with spunk, was not the only Sarah, it was too late.

And “The Other Sarah” terrified them.

With a chilling detachment, Schmidt tells Anderson Cooper that he received a call from Palin’s debate prep team, saying the “Debate will be debacle of historic and epic proportions…she was not focused, not engaged, not participating in prep. She sat in a catatonic stupor, head down.”

“It was the Other Sarah who concerned them. Eyes glazed, not responding to questions, head down…” Staffers from all levels describe Palin as “mentally unstable…Unwilling to work… Mentally limited… Ultimately, unfit for office.”

Is this the Sarah we’re seeing on Fox News? The Other Sarah who can’t even answer a question about who her favorite founding father is? The Sarah who sat googling frantically in Glenn Beck’s greenroom after she saw his set?

What’s wrong with Sarah?

The book, “Game Change”, written by John Heilemann of New York magazine and Mark Halperin of Time magazine, backs up the notion of “The Other Sarah”:

“The morning of her ill-fated CBS interview with Katie Couric, Palin – “her eyes glassy and dead” – was unresponsive to attempts to prep her as she was being made up. As they were about to set off to meet Couric, Palin announced ‘I hate this makeup’ – smearing it off her face, messing up her hair, complaining she looked fat.”

They further report that Palin went into a tailspin. She stopped eating or sleeping, and drank only a half a can of diet soda a day.

It was so bad, that “terrified staffers” contemplated asking McCain to have Palin step down. Most certainly, they determined that if McCain won, they would urge the senator to drop Palin, as it was “unfathomable” and “frightening” to them that Palin would be VP.

Were it not for the familiarity of Schmidt’s accusations, so eerily echoing those of Palin’s past allies in Alaska, one could easily dismiss this as hard ball politics by a party well versed in selling its soul. And were these accusations only brought up in the gossipy “Game Change”, we would be duty bound to ignore them when attempting to figure out just how unfit for office Sarah Palin really is.

But back in Alaska, cries from multiple Republicans calling Palin a “sociopathic narcissist” with unmanageable ethics problems double down on the description of Palin by Schmidt and the authors of “Game Change”.

It seems that once people meet The Other Sarah, they’re immediately disenchanted, disturbed, horrified even. This story took on a palpably sharper edge when we realize that Schmidt is warning us, at a probable cost to his own career.

When it comes to Palin, familiarity breeds contempt, fear and alarm. This may be one reason why responsible, patriotic campaigns that sincerely love their country vet their selections before giving them the nod.

49 Replies to “The Other Sarah: What’s wrong with Sarah Palin?”

  1. Wow, I know there’s an orchestrated smear campaign against Sarah Palin. But this is the sickest thing I’ve ever seen written about her.

    Sarah Jones, you’re a whack job.

  2. I’m really fascinated by the interaction between Glenn and Sarah. The nicest thing you could say about Glenn’s role in this is that he’s sort of the patronizing big brother.

    Yet, only a few weeks ago, he was being touted as the number TWO on a Palin/Beck ticket.

    We screw up so many things when we try to intuit things. Even so … methinks his most recent interactions with no. 1 on the ticket sure sound ego driven. Kind of like, “Sure, she’s okay, but I am the “dude” who’s really on top of things.”

    Any other insight on the dynamic of what, recently, was supposed to be brothers/sisters in arms?

  3. Could be because Sarah Palin IS the sickest thing.

    Most of us haven’t been blindly swallowing every pronouncement she’s made without question, or gazing adoringly at her as her appearance has morphed over time, or dismissed the strange goings-on and middle-of-the-night meet-and-greets of her children, whether they’re left at home or accompanying her…

    Most of us have been reading up on her various occupations and elected positions, and what prompted her to move on from them, and have weighed the positive and the negative reports about her behavior — and not dismissed either of them.

    And we’ve observed the bizarre difference between her extemporaneous speaking — even in these two most recent interviews — and her teleprompter speeches and Facebook screeds (if we assume they are actually written by her, which we don’t).

    At best, she’s got some psychological personality issues.

    I’m trying to be kind here…

  4. This kind of thing probably wouldn’t bother you all so much if you didn’t think there was a possibility that it could be true.

  5. WE know all too well about the many ethics problems and the intra-family thuggery going on via some court rooms. AGAIN.

  6. your reading sounds about right. Egos R Us. There’s always the Morman versus Dominionist issue, as well. Beck is going to be for Romney, I would imagine, due to this and Palin must barely be able to hold her nose around the Magical Underwear clown.

  7. And if it is true, which is seems most likely to be, what does that say about their continued support for this woman?

    No matter. I’m sure they’re 23 percenters, so they’re going to vote for the biggest dictator around and swim in a sea of populist delusion. Faux cowboys and flag pins, oh yeah!

  8. It is precisely that possiblity that Palin COULD remain the face of the Republican Party, or the Tea Baggers, that makes this all so very interesting.

    Aside from the guaranteed reelection of Obama that her candidacy would guarantee, there’s the sheer enjoyment factor. There are some things that prove hands down how much stranger real life is than fiction. You make her up for a story, and people would scoff.

    Yet, there she is with a big fat national cable TV gig in living color in a skyscrapper so high I’ll bet she can almost see Canada. Some days it’s just fun being alive.

  9. Whilst all of what you say is no doubt true, what I will be nervously watching out for is whether the powers that be at Fox/the Republican Party, can mould her into the first Media Star President of the 21st Century.
    They were successful with Reagan, who at least had a modicum of intellectual capacity to serve him as President, whereas ‘W’ was obviously just another Spokesmodel President who was the softer face for Cheney/Rove to hide behind.
    Palin, on the other hand, would merely be a mouthpiece with no redeeming intellectual features of her own, and thus it will be a cause of continuing morbid fascination to see whether her puppetmasters, such as Bill Kristol, can succeed in getting her up in 2012. Or, will those with integrity in the Republican Party, actually grow a pair if they see her being foisted upon them, and rightfully torpedo her, before it’s too late?

  10. […] The Other Sarah: What’s wrong with Sarah Palin? – view page – cached Sarah Palin’s much-anticipated debut on Fox News this week has not gone well. From O’Reilly’s condescension to Beck’s mocking of her paranoia, this has been a rough roll out for the ambitious, yet ignorant, and paranoid Palin. […]

  11. written by one of those folks who used to work with her in Alaska:

    What follows are comments discussing a post on The discussion is between Art Chance – who, “worked as a merit system employee of the Executive Branch, appointed Director by Governor Murkowski” – and another commenter.

    The link will take you to a fairly lengthy post by Chance about his personal experiences with Sarah. You may want to read the read the other comments to get a better understanding of the post. It’s quite interesting.

  12. Thank you for a reality check on Sarah Palin. Even with most of the criticism out there on Sarah, her psychological state is rarely questioned. I would have compassion for her if she weren’t so dangerous and power hungry. It’s not good to protect her or cover for her because she gains a false sense of superiority. And I don’t like how she exploits her family under the guise of being a super mom who can do it all. If she had a heart and actually tried to seriously learn about how our country has progressed instead of thinking she knows it all, she could use her celebrity status to be a real female force for the future. Instead she borders on being a media sensation and a female politician of no substance who is capable of national destruction.

  13. “It seems that once people meet The Other Sarah, they’re immediately disenchanted, disturbed, horrified even.”

    This “other Sarah” is the ONLY one I’ve ever seen…from the get go.

  14. Recent Palin comments to ponder:

    ““buck up or stay in the truck, critics. If you don’t want to help out, if you don’t want to help the cause of getting these common-sense solutions to all these challenges facing us, then you know, go find something else to do.” – ”

    “You know, well all of them because they came collectively together with so much diverse-” –

    “But, if I believe that in some capacity I can help this great nation, I’m going to be willing to sacrifice and to change some things in my lifestyle in order to, in order to serve. That doesn’t have to mean, though, top dog. That doesn’t have to mean really – entail having any kind of title.” – (But you MUST call me “Governor”)

    “Now if individual candidates, campaigns and then elected officials aren’t going to do what they promised to do — standing on those planks in the platform — you gotta fire ’em; you gotta get rid of them.” – Sarah Palin talking with Glenn Beck about politicians.

    Crazy lady.

  15. that on a bumper sticker, we could start a real movement to get voting privileges taken away from those who voted for B twice and still think he was a heck of a brownie…just until their mental health exams come back from the Death Star Panels, of course:-)

    I kid.

  16. others I cry.

    I’m not sure how dangerous she is. It depends on our economy, if we can bridge some of the gap with the fringe righties who love feeling that they are the picked on minorities (still mad that we’re not all Christians and white, apparently) and many other factors. As long as they remain furious over being left behind (culturally), she will be their figure head. It doesn’t matter that she may be seriously mentally limited.

    She’s a Poujadit Puppet and if I didn’t know better, I’d suspect she was doing some sort of Dadaist performance art, so meaningless is she as a person. It is only what they projected onto her that elevates her in their culture war. Another false narrative for the suckers.

  17. that she was kept on the ticket even after they all suspected her of having serious mental health issues.

    This needs to be discussed, if only to reveal the failures in our media and system which allowed this to happen.

  18. it was all there if they had bothered to look.

    The Dems had done the research for them during the 2006 gov race and it was ONLINE.

    Why didn’t they read it? Or, if they did, why did they put someone who was accused of violating ethics laws and behaving as if she were “coronated” on the ticket? Wouldn’t that have prompted you to GO to Alaska and dig a bit deeper first?

  19. she wonders about the “disconnect between the white house and Obama”.

    LOL. Someone get this woman an ear prompter.

  20. It’s always nice to hear from sane people who don’t leave misspelled angry screeds on every Palin piece:-)

  21. Great article, Sarah. Your namesake is a very sick woman… my heart goes out to her children who are acting out as a result of her abuse.

  22. to boost ratings as she is quite the novelty. They know already that righties will tune in, but they also know that out of morbid curiosity a number of lefties and moderates will also watch, as normally they would not. As far as Kristol, etal prepping her for 2012? Doubtful. All faux wants is to get as much mileage from her as possible; if the ratings go up, they will probably renew her contract; if not, they will dump her. Palin is simply their new Ann Coulter.

  23. You absolutely nailed it…the FACT that she is still around is the SICK thing.

    Sarah Palin/Fabio 2012

  24. Thank you Ms Jones. The best think Sarah Palin did for ethics reform in AK was to resign. Sarah Palin is the Britney Spears of politics.

  25. Funny how Sarah Palin remains to be the talk of the town, city, alley, and well you get it…… Ms Jones seriously is this all you can come with to blast Sarah Palin.

    When you have a real story……you know one with some truth and not a bunch of fabricated lame **** that only a bunch of left wing morons would believe, let alone comment on, then maybe, and ONLY MAYBE I’ll read another one of your articles.

    Next time focus on FACTS, write from the soul, not out of fear….it’s demeans you and flaws your character.

  26. As one who campaigned and supported her, served on one of her transition teams and was offered an appointment in 2007, I am not surprised by any of this.
    Alaska was deserted for her sheer ambition and delusions of grandeur.
    The world is a better place for her having been exposed.
    I got off easy, only several thousand dollars and a year of my life wasted.

  27. If she’s awake and talking–she’s lying.

    Can’t imagine a better place–except perhaps an extended stay in prison for all her illegal and financial schemes–for this intellectually-challenged, morally and spiritually corrupt charlatan–and lest we forget–Liar, Liar pants on fire!

    Faux Newz may very well be the undoing of Sarah the-con-artist Palin who probably expects that all she has to do is be on camera, wink and smile. Original, insightful, intelligent thought have never entered her mind.

    Palin is the poster child for Dumbing Down America.

  28. the way she treats her children. If she were in liberal elite Hollywood, the family values folks of the Hollywood unions would force her to treat her children humanely: set up a trust fund for babies used for PR, set working hours for babies and children, not allow children to work after certain hours…

    But in the “real america”, once baby is out of the womb, the care stops.

  29. working to get rid of all of those ethics laws that Palin used against her opponents to score political points when she wanted to be in power….because she didn’t like it when others used them against her.


  30. I’m sorry for your negative experience. In fairness to her early supporters, it’s easy to see why people were taken in by her in the beginning.

    It’s just too bad no one reported on what the folks in Wasilla were saying. They called it all way back then.

  31. and her faithful actually love her for being stupid. It’s insane.

    Right wing values: don’t learn, don’t grow, don’t try. Quit all of your jobs so we can elevate you to President.

  32. We should all puase for a moment and send our thanks to Ronald Reagan – his closing of the mental hospitals in the early ’80 freed Sarah to follow her dreams in ’08 – and enables us to be “entertained” by the slooooooow motion train wreck that is the life and times of Sarah and the ‘Baggers …

  33. I just love how y’all will say anything you can think up from the top of your head or distort a piece of information about someone just because you disagree with them. Sarah Palin in an average middle-aged woman who comes from a good small town and has good Christian values. I believe she would be a great Vice President or even President because she has the guts to fight all this socialism Barack Obama has created. And about the Katie Couric interviews: how do you think you would do if some lady started throwing random questions at you that would make anyone look stupid however they answered it. I don’t judge people by their accent, background, or heritage. I just look to see if they are a good person and have good moral values and ideas. And I believe Sarah Palin is misread as a crazy woman just because people are intimidated by her. I’m not saying I would support Governor Palin in 2012 but she deserves the respect you would show any other candidate. Democrat or Republican. And don’t forget this you liberals out there: Respect the views of the majority but more importantly, respect the ideas of the minority because they are in the same boat as you and sooner or later they will have the power over you. -J

  34. 500k and growing every day. You can call us tea-baggers but it just shows how scared you truely are! Beck- Palin 2012.

  35. “Only to revael the failures in our media and system which allowed this to happen” LMFAO!!! Look at the man in the white house and how he got there, I rest my case.

  36. I couldn’t agree more. It will really chap Ms. Jones ass to refer to Sarah as Madam President in a few years lol.

  37. I can see November 2010 and 2012 from my porch and it doesn’t look good for the left. Beware lefties, Sarah isn’t going away and she will soon be your commander in chief. BOO!! lol

    I would bet good money that Sarah is more accomplished than the bulk of the posters on this site, and looking at Sarah Jone’s bio, that includes her as well.

  38. I have said all along to those who would have ears to listen and eyes to see that this Sarah Palin creature was one crazy BITCH.

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