Bernstein notes what Frank Bailey calls Palin's translucent skin:
[Palin is wrong] about being unusually maligned. Barack Obama is regularly accused of hating the United States and deliberately trying to ruin it, among other things. Palin is accused of stupidity? No more than George W. Bush or Dan Quayle were. John McCain and John Kerry were both war heroes who were accused of cowardice or worse in battle. Bush was accused -- only by a fringe, but still that's a lot of people, some of whom are treated as if they were respectable -- of deliberately allowing the September 11 attacks, or worse. Bill Clinton was a murderer and a drug dealer. Al Gore was a liar. Ronald Reagan was a dunce and a warmonger. Hillary Clinton was...I don't even know how to get into it.
If you think of her as a reality show star, she'd be perfect for the Real Housewives series, where the most trivial of sleights become apocalyptic fights. If you think of her as Beauty Pageant queen, who saw her governorship as a "title", as she kept referring to it, then of course criticism stings. And the truth about anything is irrelevant. It's just one constant round of image-making.