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Sarah Palin's Alaska: You know you want to watch it

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“Why she thought that was a good idea, considering that she complained regularly about the media’s intrusion into her family life when she was John McCain’s running mate in 2008 (while, at the same time, frequently putting her children on display), is a mystery,” writes Nancy Franklin in the New Yorker. “Moreover, you might ask, how seriously will people take her as a political candidate – a Presidential candidate – once she has participated in a reality show?”

The first part is easy: Palin has complete control of the situation. The kids are on-screen when she (and, presumably, Todd) wants them to be. Her image – love it or hate it – will remain intact, maybe even be improved upon.

The second part of Franklin’s observation is exactly what GOP strategic guru Karl Rove has been asking.

“Appearing on your own reality show … I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of ‘that helps me see you in the Oval Office,’ ” Rove told the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, also suggesting that Palin lacked the "gravitas" to be elected president in 2012.

But if the midterm elections proved anything, it was that “gravitas” – typically associated with Washington insiders – is not necessarily at the top of voters’ lists. It may be a suspect attribute, in fact.

If Palin is serious about seeking elective office, as she hints she may do – or even just keeping her lucrative writing, lecturing, and broadcast career going – then image is all.

That could be a problem.

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