Opinion: Don't Blame Sarah Palin for Wanting, or Getting, the Spotlight
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 12:55 PM
Sarah Palin is coming to Iowa! And New Hampshire! She may announce she's running for president this weekend! She may not! She could wait until November! She may not run at all! The speculation and anticipation is dizzying.
Politico's daily email, Morning Score, noted today:
The IowaRepublican.com was first to report Tuesday night that Sarah Palin is heading to the first-in-the-nation state on Labor Day. The visit, which comes on the heels of her scheduled Sept. 3 appearance in Iowa, is guaranteed to stoke speculation about her presidential ambitions—and to once again steal a bit of the 2012 spotlight.
Is Sarah Palin "stealing" anything, though? She hasn't announced she's running, yet the media follow her around as if she's the Republican candidate for president. Her every word is scrutinized for clues as to her intentions. Is it unfair for her to capture and hold this type of attention despite not being a candidate?
Absolutely not, and it's not her job to dissuade the press from reporting on her every move.
The fact that she is able to deftly manipulate the media to hang on to her every word is to her benefit. Sarah Palin's employment, right this minute, is as a talking head, author, speaker. These are all positions that benefit greatly from media exposure. It's brilliant that she commands the attention she does and uses it to her ends.
No one is forgetting that the media benefits from its Palin-obsessiveness too. Sarah Palin has a passionate fan-base, as well as a cadre of zealous haters, all paying attention to Palin's every move. It's a business decision from both sides: Palin profits from the media's never-ending attention and the media profits from featuring Palin.
The only people who don't benefit are the Republican candidates actually running for president, and the voters who want to learn more about them, who wish they could get the media to give them a fraction of the time and energy they devote to non-candidate Sarah Palin.
Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.