Maureen Dowd : Palin Is All Cage No Bird
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The woman who was prematurely counted in is out. And the woman who was prematurely counted out is in. Goodbye, Sarah. Hello, Hillary. In their vivid twin performances Sunday — Hillary on “Meet the Press” in Washington and Sarah at her farewell picnic in Fairbanks — two of the most celebrated and polarizing women in American political history offered a fascinating contrast. Hillary, who so often in the past came across as aggrieved, paranoid and press-loathing, was confident and comfortable in her role as top diplomat, discussing the world with mastery and shrugging off suggestions that she has been disappeared by her former rival, the president. Sarah, who was once a blazingly confident media darling, came across as aggrieved, paranoid and press-loathing in her new role as bizarre babe-at-large, a Nixon with hair extensions ranting about “American apologetics,” which sounds like a cross between apologists and Dianetics…..
In her cuckoo speech in Fairbanks, Sarah warned Alaskans to “be wary of accepting government largess. It doesn’t come free.” Funny coming from a woman who charged the Alaskan taxpayers every time she worked from Wasilla. She also went after that old conservative villain Hollywood, saying, “They use these delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlets” for “their anti-Second Amendment causes.” Sarah seems happily oblivious that she benefited from Hollywood casting techniques. Just as movie directors have beautiful young actresses playing nuclear physicists and Harvard professors, knowing the fusion of sex appeal and a heavyweight profession will excite, the novelty of a beautiful former beauty queen and TV reporter cast in a powerful role that has featured dour, gray old men like Dick Cheney was thrilling. At first. As McCain pal and Republican strategist Mike Murphy so sagely observed recently: “If Sarah Palin looked like Golda Meir, would we even be talking about her today?” Sarah should follow her own advice to Hillary and work harder to be capable. Until then, she’s all cage, no bird.