Sarah of the wild frontier

‘It seems so quaint, doesn’t it, this idea that a viable presidential candidate would concentrate on policy, would make the rounds on Meet the Press and 60 Minutes, would, if defeated in a general election, return to office and serve out their term.Yet here is Palin, who quit her job as governor of Alaska in 2009, with her husband, Todd, on Dancing with the Stars, supporting her arrhythmic teenage daughter, Bristol, who inexplicably gets through rounds week after week. She tweets and is on Facebook, weighing in on everything from the mosque at Ground Zero “refudiate it!” to the Fed’s policy while plugging her myraid projects, including this Tuesday’s publication of her new book, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag.

She has built a television studio in her house in Wasilla so that she can loop into Fox News broadcasts — she earns $1 million a year as a commentator — at will. She is the first former office-holder and vice-presidential candidate to star in her own reality show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, for which she is earning $2 million and which debuted last week on TLC to record-breaking numbers. Five million people watched, making it the highest-rated premiere in the channel’s history.

These are branding opportunities that, even a few years ago, would’ve been considered too down-market and damaging for a potential presidential candidate. They are working.’ (