Here is a simple, two-word message for Gov. Sarah Palin and the national media's obsession with her:
Palin's brief and highly contentious run for vice president has been over for nearly three months. She has gone home to Alaska to assume her duties as governor there, yet the press seems enchanted with every tidbit about her and her extended family.
Like the other 49 governors in these tough economic times, Palin has a difficult job. Let's see if she can perform her duties, and let's forget about her husband, the so-called first dude, and their children.
Palin assuredly has enjoyed most of the post-election attention despite her complaints about intrusion into personal matters. Who can really blame her?
However, the governor can end nearly all of this. If she wants the national media to leave her alone, she should conduct no more interviews with reporters outside Alaska. And tell her stateside reporters to expect little response to national issues for an extended period.
Shut it down. No more long interviews with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today and other media still tracking her moves in Juneau.
My argument with Palin's run last fall was that she was unqualified and unprepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Moreover, the top of the ticket was a 72-year-old man with some health issues.
Defense of Sen. John McCain's surprise choice was uniformly that she "excited our base." That meant conservatives, lukewarm at best about McCain. There was no mention of her being qualified to lead the nation with such a limited background.
Palin was right to complain about some of the errant material circulated about her and her family, largely by bloggers. The mainstream media should have learned a lesson about verifying what passes as news from the growing blogosphere.
Some conservatives are already booming Palin for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. One silly poll reported she was the front-runner, although Barack Obama hasn't even been inaugurated yet. It was assuredly based on name ID only.
It is difficult to believe that Republicans like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, possibly Jeb Bush, and even other GOPers are going to let her take center stage without a fight.
Palin's introduction to national politics was thanks to one individual, John McCain. Without his eleventh-hour nod to her as his running mate, we wouldn't be making any fuss over her.