It's been a long week at the office, so I'll keep it short:
To anyone wondering if former Gov. Sarah Palin will enter the presidential race, I think you have your answer. The multitude of much-hyped "major speeches" that Palin has given have been little more than the same homespun anti-Obama rhetoric that she's been peddling since the '08 election. She gives her audience everything they want... except to announce her candidacy for president. The ultimate reason why Palin hasn't thrown her hat in the rang --and probably won't-- is because of Michele Bachmann. That's not to say two women can't vie for the same party's candidacy, it's just that their platforms are too similar. (The fact that Bachmann is starting to physically mimic Palin is purely coincidental.)
Sadly, this is not where the parallels end. Both women are sound-byte magnets, have love-it-or-leave-it personas, and both are wilting (wilted?) under the scrutiny of the media. Without beating a dead horse, I have always believed that a leftist media conspiracy is pure hooey; while it is highly difficult for a reporter to demonstrate complete objectivity, the perlustration flies both ways. The only difference is, conservatives complain about being treated unfairly in a louder, more strident fashion than liberals. In the right's eyes, the slightest aside is lethal, as evidenced by this recent "misquote." The recent dustup involving a seemingly unflattering photo on the cover of Newsweek begat a partisan optical illusion: some see Bachmann as the latest scapegoat by a secretive yet opaque clique bent on undermining her every move; others see a woman that just doesn't photograph well.
In a race as contested as the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, every candidate's worst enemy is themselves. On one hand, any false move can be an opponent's goldmine. On the other hand, you have to find a way to stand out in a crowded race. Rep. Bachmann's recent appearance on Jay Leno straddled that line, though the actual impact won't be felt until Iowa and/or New Hampshire. The X-factor is perspective; her supporters and defenders will say Bachmann did fine; the rest of the population saw a presidential contender bomb on network television. Either way, nothing happened on "The Tonight Show" that will alter anyone's opinion of the petite Minnesotan. She's already "convicted" in the public's eyes.
Next Week: the year in music, 1966.