Now that Palin has stopped pretending to be a politician, she’s back to being, uh, whatever she was before.
Sarah Palin was like a sparkling celebrity holiday gift in the Oprah interview. She was just shining with the thrill of being on that stratospheric studio sofa that would rocket her book sales even further off the charts. The only veiled moment of impatience that dimmed her gorgeous stare was when Oprah opened up with whether Palin thought she had snubbed her during the ’08 campaign by not asking her on the show. You could see Palin thinking, as we in the audience were, “Huh? Why the eff are we wasting time talking about you?”
Was it a rare small frisson of competitiveness that made the Queen of All Talk Show Hosts suddenly want to prolong the limelight on herself, rather than hand things over immediately to the mink-haired, fresh-as-a-daisy bombshell who could be the natural star to grab Oprah’s crown and her time slot?
Now that Palin has stopped pretending to be a politician — there’s been zero effort in any interview so far to leave the EQ stuff behind and divert to a policy message — the abdicated Alaskan governor is back to being as appealing as she was when she first made her debut at the GOP convention at John McCain’s side. (Admit it: We loved her at first when she thumbed-over-the-shoulder the now famous crowd-pleaser “The governor’s private plane? I put it on eBay!).
With Oprah, she was once again fun when she shafted Levi Johnston, that feckless dope of a near-miss son-in-law. She was wonderfully sly when, the next day, Barbara Walters on Good Morning America gravely quoted McCain adviser Steve Schmidt’s assessment that as VP she would have been an unmitigated disaster. With a roguish smile, Palin responded, “That sounds like Steve Schmidt!” And the appearance of her genuinely fond-seeming teenage daughter Willow with her younger sister — cute as can be Piper, who told Barbara it was “sad” when her mother was criticized — gave us, for the first time, a whiff of authentic Palin family feeling.