Is Palin Lucky, Good, or ...

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When she writes on her palm and uses words like "refudiate," Sarah Palin is lucky. That is, all her success, all the adulation, her approval rating with Republican voters -- all of these pieces of evidence suggest that she needs more seasoning and is resonating because she happens to be in the right place at the right time.

But it's funny how all the outrages she unintentionally generates are similar to how conservative authors often use the outrage generated by the New York Times and other media outlets to propel themselves onto bestseller lists.

It's a similar dynamic that's interesting to see play out. The more Sarah Palin does things that make the media tease her, the luckier she seems to be.

Here's where Palin is getting quite savvy as a politician: when she makes a mistake, or appears to do something dumb, she is quick to exploit her own misfortune ... not in a way that excuses her original mistake, but that alludes to the improbable fact that there is some in-joke, some secret code that the rest of us aren't getting. As much as the verb "humanize" is overused, Palin knows how to humanize herself. That's a rare talent for a politician to cultivate, and one that she's getting better at every day. What's more, she humanizes herself by somehow ascribing her misfortune to the establishment that's trying to tear her down. Her audience loves it.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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