Why would Palin want an obvious knockoff hawking her wares on the shores of the Delaware? She can tolerate Mamma Grizzlies who aren't poaching her act, like Sharron Angle and Rep. Michele Bachmann. They acknowledge she's the Big Mamma. But look at O'Donnell. She used to be a dead ringer for Elaine on Seinfeld until this election. Now, she’s a mini-me of the queen of the tundra.
That's the fact Jack. Just take a look at the picture up above put together by the AP. Hasn't Sarah ever seen "Single White Female?" Of course that only addresses what O'Donnell has in common with the Granny Grifter, it is the differences that Palin my find the most troubling.
Which brings up another plus. While O'Donnell has plenty to be embarrassed about, tall tales about graduating college years before she did, getting fired for running a for-profit public-relations business out of a nonprofit, she doesn't have children or pesky virtual in-laws to worry about. There will not be multiple People covers featuring her daughter and an on-again, off-again putative fiancé, Levi Johnston, no revelations that Palin turned a blind eye to Levi sleeping with Bristol while she holed up in the bedroom watching decorating shows.
Palin had to make a choice between public office and making money off her fame and so gave up the stature of the governor's office. But O'Donnell can have it both ways. She lives on fumes. Earning less than $6,000 last year, a Senate salary of $174,000 with retirement and dental will look like the king's ransom to her. If she wins, she gets both the platform and dignity of office and a cushy life.
O'Donnell also was to a TV studio born, completely unfazed when she makes bizarre remarks or speaks with a lack of substance. Palin was rattled when she couldn't remember a newspaper she'd read or a Supreme Court opinion she would change in an interview with Katie Couric. Even now, Palin can get the deer-in-the-headlights look when she doesn't know something. For instance, on Thursday night, on the Bill O'Reilly show, she couldn't remember who she'd endorsed in the New Hampshire race—even though her choice had won a nail-biter in the Granite State 24 hours earlier (no more calls; it is Kelly Ayotte, former attorney general). Palin stared blankly for what seemed an eternity.
Ouch that comparison of abilities in front of the camera has got to hurt! I imagine that by now Palin believes she rocks in front of the camera, having been insulated by Fox News for so long.
Of course the problem with Carlson's comparison is that we now know O'Donnell has canceled her previously scheduled Sunday television appearances. So perhaps she is not as confident in her ability to remain "unfazed" as Margaret has described.
I believe that O'Donnell's candor in past television appearances has handed her detractors, and the media, an overflowing armory of embarrassing gaffes that she may have no real defenses against and that may be used to do her campaign some serious harm. Palin also had numerous skeletons in her closet that were gleefully trotted out, and which essentially derailed the momentum that her selection initially provided the McCain campaign. Since then Sarah has managed to attract some very gifted, and frighteningly loyal advisers that seem to pull her back from the brink of destruction right when it looks like she is about to drive her "career" off of a cliff. I don't believe that O'Donnell has that safety net in place yet. Though Palin tried to advise O'Donnell to stay close to Fox News, which would be the first start.
The main difference I see between Palin and O'Donnell is that Palin keeps her emotions in check, and is very mistrustful of others, and it appears that O'Donnell wears her feelings on her sleeve and still has enough naivete that it will leave her vulnerable to criticisms.
Having said that I would caution journalists not to be too aggressive. Palin has turned playing the victim into an art form, and if O'Donnell, with her open face and bubbly personality, adopts that strategy and breaks down on camera in response to aggressive questioning, I have to imagine that it would rally support to her in a way that Palin could not have hoped for even in her wildest fantasies. Just ask Karl Rove about that.