A reader writes:

I've been following your coverage of Palin since she was first nominated, and at times I thought you were actually losing your mind---the fake pregnancy question, the amnio details---and then appreciating the evolution of discussion shaped by readers, you, and others weighing in. But now it seems, at times, that any twist or turn Palin takes must be woven into the narrative you've built, her character never becoming more complex, her actions always motivated by reasons already established. This isn't to say you've built a fictional narrative out of thin air---she's earned her own reputation, and the subsequent analysis.

So Palin may very well be brandishing Trig as a political pawn---the same way she did at the Convention----by posing with him for the Runner's World spread. But it's also possible she actually does run with Trig in the stroller, I know a lot of mothers who do this, and the photographer suggested the shot, and she thought why not. Isn't it fair to at least consider this possibility rather than assuming a political motivation? Maybe not, but sometimes the analysis and digs come too easy---There she goes again!---and it makes me pause. Are you---actually all of us who do this---always being fair?

Since we oddly have no actual pictures of her, you know, running in Runners World, and each photo seems staged to a comic degree, and her exploitation of the child has been relentless from the get-go, and I provide the links for readers to make up their own minds, I don't think I'm being unfair. I may be wrong, of course, and I'm happy to air another view, hence this dissent. And my reader is right that we can get stuck in a rut and not give someone a fresh look.


But my view is that people do not change that much and their history is often a guide to who they are, and I observed Palin very closely - after initially liking her - and that's my judgment. I'm very fallible and I may be wrong so I urge Dish readers to seek other views and interpretations. But here's the point I'd make now: If Palin had herself shifted the narrative since the election, if she had gone back to Alaska to do her job diligently, and made an effort to master domestic and foreign policy issues, and run for a second term on her record, rather than preening about in Runners World and picking fights with David Letterman and setting up Sarahpac and on and on, then I think many of us would have been prepared to look again. She was hopelessly unready in 2008 - but she's young and could evolve and grow. Everything we see - from the tabloid family feuds to the staged controversies - suggest a regression, not an evolution. She is who she is, hence the solidity of her support and opposition. And for the record, here is my post on her abortion speech earlier this year. I have aired her defense of her record and others' defense of her record. That's what I mean by fair. Which doesn't mean I may not be wrong.

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