Brilliant political calculation or desperate Hail Mary?

I wonder what the rest of you folks think about Sarah Palin's appearance last night on SNL? If you haven't seen it -- I realize that some of you, unlike me, have actual lives -- I would imagine it's easy enough to locate on the interwebs.

I imagine the idea behind her appearance was the same idea behind just about any politician's appearance: make herself appear more human via some gentle self-mockery (Al Gore was pretty okay at this, as was Rudy Giuliani). But then what she did, essentially, was just stand/sit and smile while people made fun of her: Tina Fey did her usual impression, Amy Poehler performed a rap about spying on Russia and shooting moose, Alec Baldwin went on a bit of a screed about how she's terrible while standing right next to her (prompting her to make one of her two "jokes," that Stephen was her favorite Baldwin -- the other joke involved her standing before a room of reporters and announcing that, as per usual, she wouldn't be taking their questions).

It all seemed a little weird. I mean, the jokes could have been meaner, and some of the teasing was gentle, but still, one got the impression of Palin being forced to grin and bear it because someone had told her it would be worth it in the long run.

Is it possible she didn't realize she was being made fun of? Do you think she wanted to punch Alec Baldwin in the face? When she was bopping her head in a vaguely hip-hoppish way along with Poehler's rap, was she thinking everyone would find her endearing?

The whole thing left me ... well, confused.


TMC said...

On one hand, the whole concept is sort of insulting-- this woman, who can't be troubled to conduct interviews or hold press conferences, has plenty of time to deliver jokes on a late night comedy show, and to make jokes about her galling unavailability to the press.

On another, it's kinda like someone's uncool mom trying to show you she's still hep-- at least the grooving to the beat and the roof-raising bit.

On another (third) hand, while I don't hold her intelligence in high regard, I do think she's smart enough to know she's being mocked, but maybe she doesn't understand the motivations of the mockery (ie- Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin hate her), or the depth of the mockery, or the real underlying, unsettling sadness of the fact that one of our VP candidates is a national joke.

Finally (or, on the fourth hand), here's the point: it can't hurt her. Those who've villified her and made her out to be a wolf-massacring savage who wipers her ass with the constitution are forced to see her as being at least a little slightly human. The people who love her for being regular folk love her a little more for it (she's real people! she can laugh at herself! What fun!)

So, I'm guessing it marginally helped her. And I guess I'm happier with her doing some comedy bits than I am with her rallies that amount to a frightened white woman riling up a mob to go lynch the scary black man.

Neil Ellis Orts said...

there's also the possibility, since she's the same age as I am, that she has great memories of SNL from back when it was the original cast and she saw an opp to appear on the show and that the opp would be short lived.

I mean, if I had only a month left in the public eye and I was asked to be on SNL, you betcha I'd drop every other interview for my 15 minutes on a (admittedly on life-support) legendary show. It would be the closest I could ever get to Gilda . . .