For her own good, Sarah Palin needs to go away.
To be clear: As a liberal and as a commentator, I love it every time Palin pops up again. She's great copy and great fun (not necessarily intentionally in either case). But if she really does want a political future beyond hero-of-the-GOP base, she needs to take a timeout.
Palin was recently interviewed for a couple of right-wing documentaries and excerpts of the interview have been duly uploaded to YouTube (I've embedded the video at bottom). She has a couple of highlights, including saying in one breath that she knew that things had gone badly during her Katie Couric interview (but those darned spokesperson/power brokers forced her to do more) and then in the next breath criticizing Couric for editing the interview to make her look bad. Umm, guv, either you really did flop or you were falsely made to look like you flopped, but you can't have it both ways. (Kind of like how you can either be on the road or at home, but you can't be both on the road and at home. Oh wait.)
Similarly, she said that the darned media elite was mean to her because of class issues (apparently journalism is the last bastion of the American upper class) but then goes on to argue that had she (in some through-the-looking-glass, bizarre universe) been running on an Obama-Palin ticket, the media would have treated her better. Apparently running on a Democratic ticket automatically puts you into the upper class. (I mean, who better exemplifies Old World WASP-iness than Bill Clinton? Barack Obama, obviously, because what is more upper-crust American than the African-American guy?)
(Oh hey—according to MSNBC, Palin is now complaining that her comments in the video are being taken out of context. Of course.)
So yes, Sarah Palin is great fun. But what she needs to do is go away for a while. She needs to get out of the spotlight and be governor. During her off hours, she should quietly summon policy experts to Juneau to help her bone up on matters of national importance. Then in a year or two, she should re-emerge and wow the political intelligentsia that her natural political sizzle is now matched by a developed worldview and firm grasp of the issues.
Instead, she lingers in the spotlight, unwilling or unable to exit from the stage. Sure, by decrying classism and the media, she continues to entrench herself in the conservative base's political firmament, but she also reinforces her unfortunate mainstream image.