Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin is a larger than life character that emerged seemingly from nowhere to become a national force of nature. I am fascinated by her rapid and turbo-charged ascent, so I paid special attention to her movements in 2010. Here’s what I saw:
JANUARY: FOX proudly announces Palin has signed a multi-year contract “to offer her political commentary and analysis across all Fox News platforms, including Fox Business Channel, FoxNews.com and Fox News Radio.” Soon after, Fox announced Palin would host a special called “Real American Stories,” which finally aired in April to dismal reviews and ratings. Prior to airing, Fox announced LL Cool J and Toby Keith would be Palin’s interview subjects. Both went public to say it was totally untrue and they had no plans to be on the show. It was an effort for Palin to gain street cred (LL) and a middle-American following (Keith) that went awry. We haven’t heard of any further Palin specials on Fox.
FEBRUARY: The term “Hillbilly Palm Pilot” enters the American lexicon after Palin uses the palm of her hand as a sort of “hand-o-prompter.” In images from a speech she delivered to an early Tea Party Convention, her crib notes are clearly visible on the palm of her left hand. This was also the month Palin defended Rush Limbaugh’s use of the word “retard.”
MARCH: Palin, an aggressive campaigner against Obama’s healthcare plan, reveals that when she was a child her family used to go to Canada to take advantage of their universal healthcare plan. "Believe it or not -- this was in the '60s,” she said. “We used to hustle on over the border for healthcare that we would receive in Whitehorse. I remember my brother, he burned his ankle in some little kid accident thing, and my parents had to put him on a train and rush him over to Whitehorse and I think, isn't that kind of ironic now. Zooming over the border, getting healthcare from Canada?" In reporting the story on March 9, the L.A. Times put it this way: “Sarah Palin could see Canada's healthcare from her window.”
APRIL: After Evangelical minister Franklin Graham says the God of Islam is not the same as his God, and that the Islam is “a very evil and wicked religion,” the Pentagon disinvites him from their National Day of Prayer event. Palin defends Graham: "Are we really so hyper-politically correct that we can't abide a Christian minister who expresses his views on matters of faith?” she asks. “What a shame.”
MAY: After Arizona enacted legislation that would authorize/encourage law enforcement officers to use racial and ethnic profiling, Palin travelled to the state to stand in solidarity with its governor. At the rally, Palin claimed that Arizona’s new law simply “mirrored federal law.” And then she added, “We’re all Arizonans now.”
JUNE: Palin, who had amassed a couple dozen ethics complaints while Governor of Alaska, got into a little legal scuffle in June. Seems her legal defense fund collected some of its money while she was still Governor, which is not kosher. A judge ruled that she had to give $386,856 back to donors. No worries though. By this time, Palin had made millions from her best selling books.
JULY: Palin invents the word “refudiate,” but…you knew that already. Did you know that same month she praised Ronald Regan for attending Eureka College in California? But, see…Reagan went to Eureka College in Illinois. Oh, and lest we forget July was the one year anniversary of Palin’s resignation as Governor of Alaska, in the middle of her term, without much explanation.
AUGUST: Back in February, Palin got mad when Rahm Emanuel used the word “retard.” She said how appalled we would all be if someone in his position used the word “nigger.” But when radio talk show host Laura Schlesinger said “nigger, nigger, nigger” on her radio show, Palin expressed her outrage at Schlesinger being “forced off the radio” for using the word. Her message to Dr. Laura: “Don’t retreat – reload!”
SEPTEMBER: The audience at ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” booed when Palin was introduced. She was there to see her daughter – “Bristol the Pistol” -- dance. That same month Palin teamed with Glenn Beck to hold a commemorative event for 9/11 in Anchorage, Alaska. Why Anchorage? Nobody knows. But the real news is that tickets for the solemn occasion ran from $65 to $115, depending on whether you wanted to sit in a “dry” section or a “wet” section where alcohol will be served. Seriously.
OCTOBER: By Fall, Palin was busy endorsing candidates, right and left…er, uh..well…right. Our favorite? Sharon Angle in NV. You remember Sharon don’t you? She’s the one who told a group of Hispanic school kids they looked Asian. She’s the one who said a girl who is raped by her father and gets pregnant needs to “make lemonade out of lemons.” Sarah somehow saw real potential there.
NOVEMBER: Former First Lady Barbara Bush revealed she thinks Sarah is pretty, but she hopes she stays in Alaska. Sarah’s new TV show debuted… “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” Big ratings the first week would plunge deep in the following weeks. When Sarah shoots a moose, all hell breaks loose among animal rights activists. But the best is yet to come: Sarah invites Kate Gosselin and her eight kids to go camping with the Palins. Oy.
DECEMBER: Donald Trump is so freaked out about Palin he starts making noises about running for President in 2012. Rumors swirl that Todd Palin, an unemployed guy with time on his hands, may be on “Dancing With The Stars.” Comedienne Margaret Cho claims Sarah forced Bristol to do “Dancing With The Stars.” Palin claims WikiLeaks supporters hacked her computer. LA Governor Bobby Jindal claims Palin is “absolutely electable” in 2012. Sarah announces a “humanitarian” trip to Haiti with…wait for it…Franklin Graham.
That’s an awful lot of drama, if not a lot of substance, to pack in to one calendar year. Gosh, what will the new year bring? More dancing? More shooting? More support of the use of the word “nigger?” More bonding with BFF Kate Gosselin? More trips to the doc in Canada? I, for one, am on the edge of my seat.