Palin On Oprah: Likable, Confident ... Presidential?

Immediate reaction to watching Sarah Palin appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show, discussing her new book, Going Rogue:

Despite the relentless pounding she took — some deserved, some not — since John McCain pulled her from anonymity to a potential heartbeat away from the presidency, Palin has lost none of the confidence that apparently made her an attractive choice to the McCain campaign last year. You feel for her when she expresses her dismay at the world learning about her unmarried daughter's pregnancy, about the "tabloidization" of her children. But at the same time you wonder about her naivete — nothing in politics, for better or worse, is off limits; how could anyone in politics not know that? (I also thought she handled the endless questions about Levi Johnston, the teenage father of her grandchild, with dignity and calm.)

She was also correct, in my view, in explaining why the ticket lost. It was not because of her. It was because the "economy tanked under a Republican administration." She and McCain were perceived as the status quo, and nothing she could have done differently would have affected that.

Her likability and "aw shucks" manner, which not everybody is drawn to, came through during the interview. But her explanation for her disastrous Katie Couric interview, in which she failed to list a magazine or newspaper she reads, seemed unconvincing. Pressed as to why she quit as governor of Alaska, she never really seemed to give an answer that made sense.

And that leads to questions about 2012, which she refused to entertain. But those kind of questions remain, and they are legitimate.

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