Her appeal to people in the party (and in the country) who share her convictions and resentments is profound. The fascination is viral, and global. Bill McAllister, until recently Palin’s statehouse spokesman, says that he has fielded (and declined) interview requests from France, England, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, Germany, Bulgaria, “and probably other countries I’ve forgotten about.” (Palin, keeping her distance from most domestic media as well, also declined to talk to V.F.). Whatever her political future, the emergence of Sarah Palin raises questions that will not soon go away. What does it say about the nature of modern American politics that a public official who often seems proud of what she does not know is not only accepted but applauded? What does her prominence say about the importance of having (or lacking) a record of achievement in public life? Why did so many skilled veterans of the Republican Party—long regarded as the more adroit team in presidential politics—keep loyally working for her election even after they privately realized she was casual about the truth and totally unfit for the vice-presidency? Perhaps most painful, how could John McCain, one of the cagiest survivors in contemporary politics—with a fine appreciation of life’s injustices and absurdities, a love for the sweep of history, and an overdeveloped sense of his own integrity and honor—ever have picked a person whose utter shortage of qualification for her proposed job all but disqualified him for his?Read the whole thing, here.
Oh, and speaking of qualifications? See, "Is Palin Qualified? Obama’s Not Saying."
Added: From Purdum:
Another aspect of the Palin phenomenon bears examination, even if the mere act of raising it invites intimations of sexism: she is by far the best-looking woman ever to rise to such heights in national politics, the first indisputably fertile female to dare to dance with the big dogs. This pheromonal reality has been a blessing and a curse. It has captivated people who would never have given someone with Palin’s record a second glance if Palin had looked like Susan Boyle. And it has made others reluctant to give her a second chance because she looks like a beauty queen.
UPDATE:Actually, these aren't "mere intimations" of sexism, they're flagrant attacks against Palin as a mom. Here's Purdum's account of Palin's private side during the campaign:
All the while, Palin was coping not only with the crazed life of any national candidate on the road but also with the young children traveling with her. Some top aides worried about her mental state: was it possible that she was experiencing postpartum depression? (Palin’s youngest son was less than six months old.) ...Oh, wow! The leftists really did want to kill that baby!
* Joseph Russo, "John McCain's People Can Not Stop Trashing Sarah Palin."I assume that everybody has read the hit piece that will be published in the August edition of Vanity Fair. The Castroesque article is written by liberal writer Todd Purdam, the husband of former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers ...
* Jim Geragthy, "Palin's One of Those Tired, Ambitious, Resentful Enthusiastic Types."
Meanwhile: Celtic Diva claims she's "vindicated" by Purdum's hit piece; she links to another despicable Something Awful forum, and with a faux disavowal, posts this Photoshop:
UPDATE II: Dan Riehl has more, "As If McCain And Crew Didn't Do Enough Damage Already."