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Beware Palin’s simplicity, duplicity and (yes) appeal

Should we be worried by Sarah? You betcha.

By Jon Bernstein

A month ago, we put Sarah Palin on the cover of the New Statesman with the line: “Palin Power: Why we should be scared of Sarah”. Andrew Stephen and Sarah Churchwell writing in that issue are well worth a second read.

In the same vein, I recommend Joe Klein in the current issue of Time. Its dissection of Palin’s simplicity, duplicity and — significantly — appeal is the best post-Tea Party analysis I’ve read.

Klein argues that the former governor of Alaska “hits the same mystic chords as [Bill] Clinton”; that she does “folksy far better than George W Bush”; and that in “an era when image almost always passes for substance” she is the (un)real deal.

No matter that the Tea Party speech this month was “inspired drivel, a series of distortions and oversimplifications, totally bereft of nourishing policy proposals”. As Klein observes:

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One might even argue that “you betcha” is American for “Yes, we can”. At least, in a certain sort of America: the land of the simple truths, where nothing Barack Obama does makes sense.