She was John McCain's running mate in 2008 and a key player on the campaign trail for the Tea Party movement during the 2010 midterm elections. Now the former Alaska governor is the star of a new reality show on cable TV: Sarah Palin's Alaska, which premiered last night on TLC. The eight-part series gives viewers an inside if somewhat scripted look at the country's most high-profile Alaskan, and Sunday's episode included footage of the Palins fishing, hiking, and riding ATVs, as well as scenes of the family engaged in activities at home. (There is even a scene in which Palin tries to stop a boy from heading upstairs to teenage daughter Willow's room.) TLC describes the show as a "family adventure story." And while it clearly does more to remake Palin's image than provide a soapbox for her policy positions, some commentators question whether the show is really one huge campaign ad for a 2012 presidential bid. "She has to decide: Is she going to make her life as a celebrity and take that path, or is she going to get serious about politics and government?" ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts told Good Morning America. "I think at this point she hasn't decided. ... And this program is a way to keep her options open." Moreoever, if the series is meant to help her chances in 2012, some, like former White House adviser Karl Rove, have said that they don't understand how the show will succeed in getting her to the White House. [See a slide show of 10 reasons Palin would make a bad president.]
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