Friday, November 26, 2010

She's not even stopping to take a breath

SARAH PALIN is America's leading growth industry. To those of you who have tired of hearing the name, she's only getting started. The New York Times, which is not usually given to superlatives to political pop stars, has already described her as a " empire." That seems a bit excessive. Media empires tend to boom anyway.

Still, Sarah is never content to rely only on a wink and a nod in her 24/7 quest for the presidency. She has her own TV series, sort of a travelogue on the wonders of Alaska, where she spends as little time as possible. She is on Rupert Murdock's payroll as a chirping insider on the Fox News of the day. She is a mainliner at right-wing rallies. And her daughter Bristol found her way onto "Dancing with the Stars" to finish a dubious third-place in the finals, outlasting purported better dancers for TV ratings-sake.

Oh, in her spare moments she writes books. For some reason, she is said to prefer California for her literary endeavors. She will begin a national tour, including a stop-off in a small town in politically-hot Iowa, for her latest tome, "America by Heart"" - a wispy title that is sure to become a best-seller among all of her heart-felt disciples. It didn't hurt that the advance notices from HarperCollins, her publisher, describes it as a "highly personal testament to her deep love of country, her strong roots in faith, and her profound appreciation of family." (She will doubtless leave her affection for Babe Ruth, Shirley Temple and the Durants' voluminous 10-part history of civilization for her next effort.)

Nevertheless, HarperCollins seems to have touched the traditional native emotions of Americans with its clever way of saying "God, mother and country." That squares nicely with her own boast that she is doing the work of God.

By now Palin, has surely moved ahead of some of the other presidential sketches such as impossible dreamer Newt Gingrich, deep south governor Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee. Poor Mike has already warned the other so-called contenders for the crown that Sarah might "run away" with the nomination, and very well could be. I can't imagine Newt Gingrich tugging at a kayak in the Alaskan wilds and Barbour scaling a deadly cliff for a travelogue. For that matter it would be unseemly for Huckabee, a man of God, to beat a convulsing and bloodied fish in front of a movie camera.

What seemed impossible after she helped shatter John McCain's dream of the presidency, now seems quite doable for a tireless, self-absorbed, heavily-promoted agent of promise for a staggering nation - at least among her wing of the Republican Party. Her GOP opponents are taking notice. And some are already wincing, "It's scary....Very scary."

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