Today's Sarah Palin news is a juicy, gossipy article in Vanity Fair, which gives us stuff like this:
Warm and effusive in public, indifferent or angry in private: this is the pattern of Palin’s behavior toward the people who make her life possible. A onetime gubernatorial aide to Palin says, “The people who have worked for her—they’re broken, used, stepped on, down in the dust.” On the 2008 campaign trail, one close aide recalls, it was practically impossible to persuade Palin to take a moment to thank the kitchen workers at fund-raising dinners. During the campaign, Palin lashed out at the slightest provocation, sometimes screaming at staff members and throwing objects. Witnessing such behavior, one aide asked Todd Palin if it was typical of his wife. He answered, “You just got to let her go through it. … Half the stuff that comes out of her mouth she doesn’t even mean.” When a campaign aide gingerly asked Todd whether Sarah should consider taking psychiatric medication to control her moods, Todd responded that she “just needed to run and work out more.” Her anger kept boiling over, however, and eventually the fits of rage came every day. Then, just as suddenly, her temper would be gone. Palin would apologize and promise to be nicer. Within hours, she would be screaming again. At the end of one long day, when Palin was mid-tirade, a campaign aide remembers thinking, “You were an angel all night. Now you’re a devil. Where did this come from?”
For those of us who find Palin endlessly fascinating, it's a fun read. But does this stuff really matter? After all, there are loads of other politicians who have been known for their tempers -- Bill Clinton's, for example, is legendary. That can certainly create problems with your staff, hurt morale, and end up closing off sources of information -- if you've ever had a boss who had a temper, you quickly learned that the best thing to do is just not tell him or her anything upsetting.
But that doesn't necessarily mean that the fact (or allegation, anyway) that Palin turns into a snarling beast when the doors are closed is, in and of itself, a compelling reason why she shouldn't be president. But did we really need any more reasons?
-- Paul Waldman
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