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Unprecedented Unpresidentiality

November 10, 2010

The TV series “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is about to be broadcasted and it promises to give insights not only into beautiful and amazing Alaska, but also to some extent into Sarah Palin’s family life. Political pundits are arguing how high on the “unpresidential” scale the decision to participate in such a show is to be ranked. But I’m with reader “John Galt” (Who is it anyway?) on the Campaign Spot blog who asks: “Don’t think Romney, Gingrich & Co would have killed to get the same free exposure? Think again.”

Any of the presidential hopefuls would have loved to have the opportunity to present themselves to a large public in such an appealing fashion. “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is like a series of long political ads, only that the “candidate” doesn’t have to pay for them but instead gets paid, while participating in fun events like fishing, dog-sledding and rock climbing. If it’s “unpresidential” to show off your awesome home state and come across as a likable character with a charming family then somebody call all political strategist, stat!

You know what’s really unpresidential? It’s to repeatedly whine  about how all your current problems are the fault of your predecessor, how voters reject your agenda because they’re too scared to think clearly; it’s saying in a TV interview that you want to know “whose ass to kick” while oil is filling up the Gulf; it’s telling the audience at a SanFran fundraiser that those knuckle-draggers in fly-over country are bible-clinging xenophobes;  it’s trying to put the blame for political failures on anyone but yourself.

But of course, once you are the president, everything you do is presidential by definition, isn’t it? In that case I suppose we have a new standard, one that Sarah Palin couldn’t reach — it’s just too low.

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