Thingish Things

The Five Minutes Are Up

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 26•11

There is a fine line between driving media and chasing headlines.  Sarah Palin, in scheduling her film premier in Iowa tomorrow, has slipped into the latter category.  Her five minutes of fame are about up.  Irrelevancy is looming; you can feel it in her actions.

I am not a Palin basher.  Never have been.  I’m neither that trendy nor that hypocritical.  I voted for McCain-Palin in ‘08, so who I am to pile on?

But Palin’s recent bus tour and now film premier is smacking of desperation – of trying just a little too hard to retain the spotlight.

It wasn’t long ago that Palin’s hiccups and hairstyles were covered in the greatest detail in the news media.  Everything she did was indicative of some future move. Gamely wearing a “McCain-Palin” hat with “McCain” blacked out or tweeting a provocative remark or wearing leopard-pattern heels on a trip to New York all meant something. She played the speculation game to the hilt.  She teased the press mercilessly and created headlines effortlessly.  And she did it as recently as a month ago (think biker rally).

But now, suddenly, Palin is confronted with relative obscurity.  And it is all because of one person: Michele Bachmann. It may sound patronizing to lump the two would-be female presidential candidates into a single category, but it is impossible not to.  Bachmann and Palin are the first high-profile Republican women talked about as presidential contenders, and both are darlings of the Tea Party movement.  There is only room for one, and Bachmann’s recent debate and media appearances are making it pretty clear which one is going to win this round of Survivor.   (Ed Rollins, as usual, was spot on.)

So with Bachmann formally announcing her candidacy in Waterloo, Iowa tomorrow, Sarah Palin and her advisors panicked and scheduled a Iowa media appearance of their own.  It was the worst thing they could do.  It will provide the pallet for someone in the news media to paint Bachmann’s political ascent beside Palin’s descent into eventual sideshow status.  That is a storyline from which Palin will not recover.

Palin’s moment may not be gone today, or even tomorrow.  But it almost will certainly be gone the day after that. Her actions – and no one else’s – are telegraphing it.


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