Sarah Palin and Oprah: Our View
BettyConfidential editors watched Sarah Palin promote her new book, “Going Rogue,” on Oprah, yesterday. Here’s how we saw it.
-The Betty Editors
One Betty says:
It was a love fest between Oprah and Sarah. It started with Oprah talking about Oprah and ended with Sarah talking about Oprah. Oprah explained why she hadn’t invited Sarah on her show during the campaign. Sarah explained how much she had been inspired by Oprah when she was an Oprah-watching stay-at-home mom.
In between, Oprah turned into the interviewer Sarah always needed but never got during the campaign. An interviewer who tossed Sarah the obvious softball questions and let her be Sarah from Alaska at her most down-to-earth and appealing. And didn’t Sarah’s turquoise jacket and newly highlighted hair look just great?
OK, I admit it, I like Sarah Palin. I think she is a real political star. Even the Big Dog himself, Bill Clinton has openly admired her unique ability to draw big crowds and win fervent supporters. Remember her acceptance speech at the Republic convention? Just plain terrific. One of the two or three most memorable speeches of last year’s campaign. (And the others were not given by the top of her ticket.)
I also think that what makes Sarah special is that even though a woman like her is not a rarity in American life, she is a rarity in American politics. Pro-life and devout, with a family full of problems, she talks the talk and walks the walk that millions of American women understand and with which they can empathize. And let’s not discount her good looks and undisguised sex appeal. One of her many female media bashers, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, calls her “Caribou Barbie.” Hey, Maureen, most women wouldn’t find that so insulting.
A couple of things, though, bothered me a bit during all the sweetness and light of the Oprah interview. I agree the McCain team did not handle her effectively —obviously something Sarah writes about at great length in her book, Going Rogue — but Sarah never really explained why she was so compliant with their mismanagement. And as for that session with “Miss Perky,” Katie Couric, a shrewd ambitious Sarah must have realized that a shrewd ambitious Katie’s goal was to improve her own lousy ratings with a slash-and-burn interview. Why did she let it happen?
There are Sarah haters and Sarah lovers, of course, but the real question today is did she win over some of the middle-of-the-road independents with her appearance on Oprah. I would say she did. Oprah steered clear of any tough current political questions. So I don’t think Sarah even had the opportunity to prove to the doubters she would be a capable national leader. But, you betcha, she sure could be a heck of talk-show host.
-Myrna Blyth is BettyConfidential’s Editor in Chief.
Another Betty says: