The Candidate of Resentment.

This Sunday's New York Times Magazine contains a lengthy article on Sarah Palin's nascent presidential campaign. The author, Robert Draper, managed to score an interview with Palin despite the fact that he is neither an employee of Fox News nor a conservative talk radio host, a remarkable achievement. Here's part of what she told him:

"Yes, the organization would have to change," Palin said during an hourlong phone conversation. "I'd have to bring in more people — more people who are trustworthy," she clarified. Palin said that her experience as John McCain's running mate was for the most part "amazing, wonderful, do it again in a heartbeat." But she added, "What Todd and I learned was that the view inside the bus was much better than underneath it, and we knew we got thrown under it by certain aides who weren’t principled" and that "the experience taught us, yes, to be on guard and be very discerning about who we can and can’t trust in the political arena."

She went on: "I know that a hurdle I would have to cross, that some other potential candidates wouldn’t have to cross right out of the chute, is proving my record. That’s the most frustrating thing for me — the warped and perverted description of my record and what I’ve accomplished over the last two decades. It’s been much more perplexing to me than where the lamestream media has wanted to go about my personal life. And other candidates haven't faced these criticisms the way I have."

I never cease to be amazed at what a festering bundle of resentments Palin is. Just a few years ago she was the mayor of a tiny town in Alaska, and today she's one of the most famous people in America. Despite her modest talents, there are millions of people who believe, and tell her constantly, that she ought to be the most powerful person on planet Earth. She's made millions of dollars in the last two years, for the easiest of things -- giving some speeches, having ghost-writers pen a couple of books, doing appearances on Fox, letting cameras trail her around while she goes fishing. And yet she can barely open her mouth without going on and on about how terribly victimized she is, and how everyone has done her wrong.

There's a certain appeal to that, I suppose, if you too are full of resentment. But it doesn't get you to the White House. The article gives some interesting detail about the large but somewhat disorganized collection of advisers and strategists Palin has gathered around her. You'd think one or two of them would muster the courage to tell her to ease off on the whining.

-- Paul Waldman

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