Is Sarah Palin a Presidential Candidate or a Narcissist?

More

The video she's produced about her time in Iowa is normal if she's a politician, bizarre if she's a private citizen, and selfish if she's a celebrity

sarah palin iowa fair full.jpg

Sarah Palin has released a new video that features moments from her recent visit to the Iowa State Fair. It is exceptionally well done: the production value is high, the former Alaska governor is cast in her best light, and it concludes with a grizzly bear rearing up on its hind legs and roaring as these words appear: "Thank You Iowa! See you September 3." That's when she is scheduled to give a Labor Day speech to tea partiers in Indianola, Iowa. So does this mean she is running?



Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review thinks so: "Is there any other conclusion after watching the Iowa video?" she writes. "I think she just shared which way she is leaning." An eagle-eyed Wall Street Journal reporter offers an alternative scenario: "Most suspect Ms. Palin will either endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry or run herself," says Danny Yadron. "In one scene, the former governor poses for a picture with girls in burnt orange 'Americans for Rick Perry' t-shirts. Make of that what you will." 

I won't hazard a guess -- yours is as good.

I will say this. That video is a perfectly normal thing to produce and release if you're running for president of the United States. But if you're just a private citizen touring around Iowa, playing up the notion that you're just a regular person, it's perhaps the most extreme act of narcissism I've ever seen. And I've watched more episodes of The Celebrity Apprentice than I care to admit.

So if you run, Gov. Palin, kudos on the video -- it managed to make use of high production values without descending into the absurdity of Tim Pawlenty's take on a Jerry Bruckheimer trailer. And I laughed at the bear. That was your way of winking at us, right? I appreciated the humor.

But if you aren't running, why are you using the people of Iowa and the civic interest in the presidential primary process to aggrandize yourself? Doing so may benefit you personally. But it's selfish, and seems calculated to keep your most loyal followers thinking that you'll enter the race.

Image credit: Reuters

Jump to comments
Presented by

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In