Palin and the Curse of a Thin Skin

In the June Atlantic, Joshua Green has a terrific piece called “The Tragedy of Sarah Palin” that gets at the maddening aspect of Palin’s gifts and strengths as a politician better than any single article has with the exception of Yuval Levin’s COMMENTARY piece two years ago. What really excited John McCain about Palin, and what made her a potentially major political figure, is the exceptional talent she displayed as an insurgent politician in Alaska and in her first two years as governor. Coming out of nowhere, she showed a kind of fearlessness against entrenched interests and a gift for rallying support in pursuit of rather starkly non-ideological governance goals. Of course, what made her an immediate sensation and then a lightning rod was the astonishing poise and rhetorical power she showed in that maiden appearance as McCain’s running mate in that gym in Ohio in August 2008—maybe the most impressive debut on the national stage in American history.

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Palin and the Curse of a Thin Skin

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