So yes, I’ve been quiet about a certain politician this week…

…because there’s not much new that’s turned up on the specific library question I’ve been interested in, though there’s been a lot of other stuff going around instead. [EDIT: for instance.] The combination of general GOP flailing plus bigger events in general is not exactly what they wanted over in McCainland, I guess.

Still, just wanted to briefly post to suggest folks give a read to a new New Yorker story, Philip Gourevitch’s “The State of Sarah Palin.” In an incredibly fortuitous turn of events, he went up to Alaska in mid-August to do a slew of interviews and trips for a story about the place after Senator Ted Stevens’ indictment but before that odd little day we all know about now almost three weeks back. And, in fact, he even interviewed Palin:

Palin, who studied journalism in college and worked for a time as a sportscaster, has an informal manner of speech, simultaneously chatty and urgent, and she reinforces her words with winks and nods and wrinklings of her nose that seem meant to telegraph intimacy and ease. Speaking recently at her former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, she said, “It was so cool growing up in this church and getting saved here, getting baptized by Pastor Riley in Little Beaver Lake Camp, freezing-cold summer days that we had at camp—my whole family getting baptized when we were little.” She sounded the same when we met, high-spirited, irrepressible, and not in the least self-conscious. On the contrary, she is supremely self-confident, in the way of someone who believes that there is nothing she can’t talk her way into, or out of, or around or through. There was never a hesitation before speaking, or between phrases, no time for thought or reflection. The words kept coming—engaging, lulling, distracting—a commanding flow, but without weight. Yet, for all the cozy colloquialism, she cannot be called relaxed. She’s on—full on.

A smart assessment. It matches the take from Andrew Halcro on his blog, underscoring — and he would know, after all — her communicative abilities as well as her increasingly apparent belief in herself as opposed to a more objective reality, shall we say.

But the story is not just about her, though by default it becomes one more now than ever — thus the title, after all. Friends have visited Alaska in recent years and one day I’ll make it up there, but hopefully without illusions about the place. If anything I’ll be most interested in the Russian history of the state. Anyway, give the piece a read.

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