It seemed unremarkable, at first, that Sarah Palin would abandon her much-covered subsidized family vacation-slash-presidential exploratory tour halfway through. After all, that’s how she approached her commitment to the governorship.
Now, Palin tells us the real reason—she’s been called back to her home state for jury duty. And in true Palin form, the former half-term governor used the speculation about her abbreviated trip to slam the media (of which she was once a member).
Expressing suspiciously wide-eyed amazement that news outlets reported that she had canceled or cut short her trip, Palin tweeted: "Oh, wait—that’s because it hasn’t been cancelled. (Good ol' media... you never cease to amaze!) The summer is long, and I’m looking forward to hitting the open road again." [See photos of Palin and her family.]
What amazes her—that the media follow her around when she emblazons a bus with the Alaska landscape and the title "One Nation Tour," thinking maybe this means it’s not just a private family vacation? Who advertises their private vacations on the sides of their traveling vehicles, except people who are either running for office or want other people to believe they are? Could it have something to do with the fact that Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, was soliciting donations for the family trip, as the Washington Post reported? [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on Palin.]
Palin is becoming the Paris Hilton of the Republican Party—famous for being famous, pulling stunts to get attention, and then complaining about the attention she’s getting. And like Hilton, Palin is indeed entertaining. There are other candidates in the field—people who are willing to answer questions in debates and at least promise to come up with plans for entitlement reform. It will be interesting to see how the party’s one-woman publicity machine will fare should she decide to compete with her fellow Republicans on that level.