Telly Davidson contemplates the political implications of Palin's reality show (which I have dutifully DVRed but am having a hard time forcing myself to watch):
The show is an hour long weekly informercial for just how friendly, accessible, and common-sense intelligent Sarah Palin is (or seems to be when she’s in her natural habitat.) Several liberal pundits rightly said that at least from an image/political POV, George W. Bush won his main debate with Al Gore back in 2000, because Bush over-performed from his low expectations (perhaps we “misunderestimated” him), while Gore, the climate-change genius who invented’ the internet, very noticeably under-performed from his.
Even someone as cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs as Sharron Angle was largely perceived to have “won” her debate with Harry Reid because while Reid and the larger media narrative portrayed her as a glassy-eyed nutbar, she seemed like a reasonable, competent businesswoman in her actual one-one-one versus Senator Reid. If that had been all we knew of her, she might well have won. (With Angle’s beyond-Willie-Horton commercials and embarrassing digging-grave-deeper attempts at damage control with blacks and Latinos, she did herself in without any help.)