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Trick Question for Palin

Great scene in today's Sarah Palin story by Michael Leahy in the Post:

Alaska senator: Governor, would you like to share your ideas for the upcoming legislative session?

Gov. Sarah Palin: "I feel like you guys are always trying to put me on the spot."

Yeah, it's like asking the square root of 4,398,227. That's like asking for the middle names of each of the Four Tops. No fair!

The piece reveals the tensions within the Alaska GOP as Palin prepares for a potential 2012 presidential run. A supporter says she has that "it" that makes someone a star -- whatever "it" is. Palin is battling on behalf of Rick Perry against Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the GOP smackdown in Texas. She's going to be a player for years. Just don't ask her any questions.


Bill Simmons is a very talented sports columnist for ESPN, and you can see his annual "Trade Value" column here. Question: Is there a rotisserie league for pro basketball? More importantly for those of us in the news biz: Isn't it likely that, in the future, information will be increasingly specialized and customized, and anything that smacks of "mass media" will wither away? We spend a lot of time where I work thinking about the future of news. Really, we're talking about the future of information communities, and how you build and nurture them. Any particular community might be rather small, with its own lexicon, in-jokes and archival knowledge. For a mass media organization to thrive, it has to own lots and lots of those communitiese.

Never mind -- like Simmons, I'm talking to myself.


[more to come]

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 18, 2009; 6:08 AM ET
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Good morning Al.

Is this a joke? Palin wants to run for President in 2012 (if the last campaign is anything to go by, she'll start running in 2010)?! By what rational measure could she hope to be elected? Oh, wait... never mind.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

You are describing, I think, a type of informational feudalism. There will be various Information Lords who will protect their vassals through the power of their Exclusive News and Insights. And when foreign invaders infiltrate the community all will retreat behind the central walls of the castle.

Oh good golly. The future may be composed of boodles.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Here's the question. Do we cheer for Palin in the expectation that Obama will easily defeat such a clueless demagogue?

Or should we fear her because electing such a person is not without precedent.

But I refuse to think of such things any more today or I shall surely go mad.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

>>The future may be composed of Boodles<<

Physics-boy once lurked on the Boodle for a short while, and came to the conclusion that it (we) is the first fully realized Web 2.0 community; self-regulating, engaged in real discourse (except when Yoki posts something silly), civil, a community in fact.

Interesting to think what a world of Boodles might contribute.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else have the feeling Palin's approaching her own Schwarzchild radius?

Or would that be "have the hope?"


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

And I'm afraid LAlurker won't like this news...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I think more folks like Yoki would be a great contribution.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Yahoo! Sports has Fantasy Basketball:

There's a fantasy league for about everything:

Even shoes:

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke - that California situation is a mess. It is what happens when ideologues gain too much power.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Yes Scottynuke - it would be nice if all her words and influence just collapsed in on her.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | February 18, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I'm grateful for the part Gov. Palin had in the election of President Obama. For her personally, not so much. Maybe we won't take that Alaska cruise while she's still in office.

RD, you are a genius. Yes, what we would like is a lack of economic fear. Creative destruction is scary, as is the situation we now face. How we balance fear and the longing for stability will say everything about who we are. Meyerson had an interesting take on it this morning:

Posted by: slyness | February 18, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

We have dinner every Tuesday with two other couples and last night one of the guys announced that his last day will be April 17. His company merged with another one last year and they are consolidating the HR departments, one of which he used to run.

He explained that there was some advantage from the merger terms for him to be let go sooner rather than later. His wife is a part-time librarian and has two daughters in college. One graduates this semester, so her last tuition check has already cleared, but the other is just a sophomore at UMBC.

In the world of Fantasy Business there are a lot of players being released on waivers that deserve to be picked up.

Posted by: yellojkt | February 18, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all. In re: Sarah Palin, the article struck me as having a tinge of voyeurism to it. She's turned into the Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan of politics; it seems wrong to watch every single slip and fall, even if, like most bubbleheads, she places the banana peel there herself. Though she seems to relish the opportunities to blunder in the national arena, shouldn't we politely avert our eyes, let the elected and the electorate of Alaska escort her off the stage? It seems likely that she's going to end up being the political crazy lady staring out the attic window.

Posted by: LostInThought | February 18, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

This LATimes blog does a little crystal-ball gazing. The GOP ticket in 2012 as Palin-Perry. Biden out because of his age, Obama hooking up with Tim Kaine (John Nance Gardner--who went home from D.C. to Uvalde, Texas, anyone?). Notice the focus, as mentioned in the blog entry, on the P-P duo's right-to-life stance:

Wiki, Vice Presidents: John Nance Garner, who served as Vice President from 1933 to 1941 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, remarked that the Vice Presidency wasn't "worth a pitcher of warm piss," although reporters allegedly changed the last word to "spit" for print.

During Roosevelt's second term, the previously warm relationship between Garner and Roosevelt quickly soured, as Garner disagreed sharply with Roosevelt on a wide range of important issues.

Consult, too, Dowd's recent column about the Obama-Biden relationship. She's really into vices, as evident in her NYT op-ed today.

Posted by: laloomis | February 18, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse


yello, there is no such thing as a part-time librarian. People are, or are not, librarians. It is an absolute state.

Posted by: Yoki | February 18, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

And in the "uh-oh" wing of Spring Training coverage...


Posted by: Scottynuke | February 18, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I couldn't bring myself to read the Palin thing. And as intensely as I dislike her, her running in 2012 is a good thing, because of all the dissension and sturm und drang she'll bring to the GOP: confusion to the enemy. She is the sine qua non of know-nothingism, the quintessential Titanic of politicians, and she trails her own iceberg wherever she goes. A political party totally bereft of ideas and whose main ideological thesis, Convertism, has been shown to be bankrupt, could hardly have a spokesperson any better, any more emblamatic, than Sarah Palin. "The blind leading the blind" ought to be their campaign motto for 2012.

Anyway, I figure she and Romney will raise and spend large fortunes just battering each other to death. Which I believe is a perfectly good and worthwhile use of the GOP treasury.

What really *does* distress me is that I still see many signs of Democratic trembling and timidity, people who think she could actually win. A lot of Dems are afraid of their own shadows, unfortunately -- and of course that's what Conservs despise about Dems. And they have a point. We saw a lot of fear and trembling during the campaign, especially right after McCain picked Palin. It took about two weeks for that experiment in futility to explode.

So yes, I welcome Palin. Bring her on.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | February 18, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Good morning boodle!

Here is what economic uncertainty hath wrought. Mr. F is applying for a civilian gummint job, which of course requires that he retire from the military first, if he gets it. Luckily we are at last in a spot where if he does get the job we'll be elated, but not getting it won't make us unhappy either. Where the economy comes in is that he is even entertaining leaving active military service for something that pays better. Not once in the entire time we've known each other have either of us taken, or not taken, a job based primarily on salary (or in his case, chance for advancement in the Army). I'd be a liar to say salary or advancement didn't matter, but they were waaaaay behind things like having fun, making a difference, learning new things and seeing new places-and in his case jumping out of airplanes. Sigh, I told him not to open those retirement account statements.

I almost missed another economic indicator-wanting to take your MBA and security clearance to a gummint job instead of the defense industry.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | February 18, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Scotty's Schwarzchild comment reminds me of that gentler time when a certain remark was described as "told to do something physiologically impossible" which I often wish upon Palin, except she seems to have done it all on her own.
No, Palin is assuredly not the "it" girl. Lisa Edelstein used to be, but is now something else.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 18, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' everybody...

When I saw "Trick Question for Palin", the first thing that came to mind was "aren't they *all*?"

"What is your favorite color?"

"Blue... no... Yellooooooooooooo...."

(sorry for the monty python reference so early in the day, but it seemed appropriate)

Peace out.

Posted by: martooni | February 18, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Mudge... you made me have a coffee accident.

When you brought up the Palin vs. Romney battle, all I could think of was their finely coifed hair leaping from their heads and fighting to the death.

Posted by: martooni | February 18, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Martooni! Too funny.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 18, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

You're not talking to youself, Joel. Before you posted that I was trying to email Edward Wasserman about that very thing.

Posted by: Jumper1 | February 18, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Just watching calm slightly up market open turn straight down and tank.

Posted by: russianthistle | February 18, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I really *really* need to get busy doing something productive that requires very focused concentration because I just now imagined Blago's hair jumping into the Palin/Romney hair-do deathmatch.

Posted by: martooni | February 18, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

LOL, martooni! It's never TOO early in the morning for Monty Python... well, after 9 AM with the sound off.

Which sketch is that from?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 18, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

New Kit

Posted by: dmd2 | February 18, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Joke alert:

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | February 18, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Geez, a PITA in getting here over the past couple of days.

I suspect that the Achenblog or's digital cert expired, and bolloxed things up.

Anyway, I'm amused with the notion that Palin has gravity (much less gravitas) to the point that things would implode or collapse into some sort of Political Neutron Star or Black Hole.

Personally, I think of her now more as a soap bubble or a mylar Party balloon, attractive and shiny on the outside (not to mention reflective of whatever's nearby), and filled with a specialized gas of some sort (from the conservative GOP tanks, I suppose) to enough pressure differential between the inside and outside to providing an appearance of solidity or density, but may be a relatively empty vessel, prone to being blown around in prevailing winds (such as being swirled up in a run for National Office).

[Be careful not to take a hit off of that gas, it may make you talk funny. I have no idea what it'll do to the oxygen flow to your brain, either.)

She may not have always been a balloon (note: I did *not* say 'buffloon'), but if she sold her political soul in exchage for a launch onto the national stage, that may account for any appearance of emptiness. Nature abhors a vacuum, right?

I don't expect a massive gravitic implosion, most likely just a simple 'pop' at some point down the road. I think she's made of reasonably resilient material, and as long as the Party's still going and people still like what they see in her (that reflection again?), she'll be breezing around.

[I'm leaving the use of the word "lead" open for anyone who's interested in following up.]


Posted by: -bc- | February 18, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

If Palin were the least bit prepared for any of this she would know that the answer is 2097.195.

Posted by: deaniac | February 18, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Alaskan woman
Stay away from me
Alaskan woman
Barbie let us be
Dont come here hanging 'round our door
We dont want to see your face no more
We got more important things to do
Than spend our time getting grifted by you
Now woman
Stay away
Alaskan woman
Listen what we say

We don't need a Wanna Be
We don't need hypocrisy
Colored lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone elses eyes
Now woman
Get away
Alaskan woman
Listen what I say

Bye bye, bye bye
Bye bye, bye bye

Posted by: hype1 | February 20, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

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