Sarah Palin has had more press in the last week than in her entire career put together. This is because she offers more ammunition that the average politician. And she hasn’t had a very long career.

She’s a moose-hunting, unknown, pro-life, conservative right-wing, Alaskan Governor, creationist who doesn’t believe in global warming. Throw in a pregnancy scandal, her husband “First Dude” (complete with a DUI), plus an investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner and there’s enough to see the media, bloggers and most of the world talking about McCain’s choice. Here’s an overview of what the world thinks.

Profile — Sarah Palin the woman and Governor:

Sarah Palin: she came from nowhere. At the age of 10, Sarah Palin got her very own bunny rabbit. Which means to say that she crouched down in the grass outside her family home, aimed her shotgun and blew its furry little head off. That’s how things work in Alaska. You kill stuff. You freeze it. You turn it into stew. Even as a pre-pubescent, the future Governor of Alaska — and now, perhaps, the future Vice-President of the United States – was able to fully exercise her Second-Amendment right to keep and bear arms. There’s no doubt about it: even by the standards of the Deep South or the Wild West, America’s 49th state is an intense place. It’s absurdly big, for a start. Bigger than Britain, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark combined. Yet it has the population of Bristol. The capital, Juneau, isn’t even accessible by land – which tells you everything you need to know about how much Alaskans enjoy other people’s company. They’d rather be alone in the mountains, fully armed.Times Online

Sarah Heath Palin, an outsider who charms. Her father shot the grizzly bear whose hide is now draped over the sofa in her office. She, too, hunts and fishes. She runs marathons. She delivered her fifth child during her first term as governor. They call her husband, the reigning champion in the annual Iron Dog snowmachine race, First Dude. — The New York Times

Commentary:

New Palin details may help, not hurt. Fishing permit violations. A blue-collar husband who racked up a DUI citation as a 22-year-old. An unmarried teenage daughter who is pregnant and a nasty child custody battle involving a family member. All of this, to one degree or another, has surfaced in recent days as a result of efforts to discredit or undermine Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. But these revelations may have the opposite effect: In one sense, they could reinforce how remarkably unremarkable she is. — Politico

Why Palin? McCain v. Rove. Why did John McCain select Sarah Palin as his running mate? The real reason is that he made an impulsive decision to prove his independence in reaction to pressure from Karl Rove, who was lobbying for Mitt Romney, as I explain in a forum on Firedoglake on my new book, The Strange Death of Republican America: Chronicles of a Collapsing Party. IsraeleNews

Palin: Surge? What surge? Among the tiny number of occasions on which Sarah Palin has expressed even an opinion on foreign policy, one of the most recent bears putting out there one more time. It’s from a critical moment in the war in Iraq, December 2006, which John McCain has made the centerpiece of his campaign. In fact, his support for a double-down strategy in Iraq in the winter of 2006 and early 2007 is one central argument he has made for his candidacy. He has now chosen as the person who would replace him instantly if, at any time between the ages of 72 and 76, he might be incapacitated or die, a person whose view of the situation was as follows… — The Atlantic

Experience doesn’t matter for the No. 2 on the ticket — or does it? Even after eight years of service in the Illinois State Senate, Republicans are still saying that they “don’t really know who Barack Obama is.” Well, after four years of being a Mayor of 9,000-souls-strong Wasilla, Alaska, a stint that resulted in a calamitous $20 million debt; after one year as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; after 18 months of governorship of a state with fewer people than the State of Delaware; and after two whole days on the campaign trail, please indulge me when I say that we “don’t really know who Sarah Palin is.” — The Moderate Voice

Palin by comparison. Sitting on a dais week after week and listening to public comments and presentations from staff is the least glamorous of all elected offices, but very central to the functioning of the republic. Hundreds of thousands of Americans serve in these all-but-voluntary jobs and do so out of a sense of public spiritedness. Of course there are knuckleheads among the local electeds, and I have encountered many of them.  But by a very large measure these mayors, council members and commissioners are genuine public servants –and they get very smart, very fast about the communities they serve and the real successes and failures that define American life, whether in Wasilla, Alaska or Dearborn, Michigan or Sharon, PA. — Townhall

Sarah Palin: When choosing a woman might not be choosing for women. Sarah Palin was selected by John McCain today to be the second woman in our country’s history to run for the Vice Presidency of the United States. She’s going to attempt the break the glass ceiling that Geraldine Ferraro first cracked back in 1984, which is a cool thing on some level. But it does raise the question raised by the primaries already once this year — is it more important to vote for a woman, or to vote for a candidate that represents the issues of importance to women? — Jezebel

As Sarah Palin’s family life becomes public, will she stay on the GOP ticket? The questions surrounding the family life of the putative Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, are deepening and not going to go away, despite efforts by Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain to move on to other issues. — AlterNet

News:

Palin hires attorney for Troopergate investigation. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP vice presidential candidate, is being represented by an attorney in the investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner. The Legislature is investigating whether Palin fired public safety commissioner Walt Monegan after he refused to fire a state trooper who had divorced Palin’s sister. — Associated Press

Video:

What the media thought before Sarah Palin’s nomination. Politics.VideoSift

Sarah Palin on being the Vice President. — Politics.VideoSift

Admittedly Frivolous:

Sarah Palin and John McCain — the movie potential. As you might imagine, being a Republican in Los Angeles isn’t much fun these days. Criticising Barack Obama in this town is like serving barbecued puppy at a dinner party. It’s like declaring that really, when you think about it, Martin Scorsese is probably overrated, and that, swear to God, Schindler’s List should never have won Best Picture. Which makes Mr McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his VP-in-waiting very interesting indeed. As any good casting director knows, the co-star can make the picture. — Times Online

Vice in go-go boots? The guilty pleasure I miss most when I’m out slogging on the campaign trail is the chance to sprawl on the chaise and watch a vacuously spunky and generically sassy chick flick. So imagine my delight, my absolute astonishment, when the hokey chick flick came out on the trail, a Cinderella story so preposterous it’s hard to believe it’s not premiering on Lifetime. Instead of going home and watching Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock, I get to stay here and watch Miss Congeniality with Sarah Palin. — The New York Times

Still want more? Don’t worry, Crikey’s US election obsessives are every bit as keen as you are and we’re posting regular updates to Crikey’s US election web page– so head over there for your regularly updated dose of US election news, commentary and gossip.

Peter Fray

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