You’ll Believe a Populist Can Fly
Via Rachel Weiner, Joe McGinniss discovers that Sarah Palin is, instead of riding her decked-out book tour bus, “cosseted in the luxury of a Gulfstream II 12-passenger jet.” And according to McGinniss, she might not have even used her real name when checking in on the jet.
Is this a huge scandal? I don’t think so, but I think McGinniss is right about the packaging and the optics.
What’s wrong in this instance is the apparent fakery created and sustained for the sake of building pseudo-populist appeal—and selling books. Sarah Palin and HarperCollins have consciously tried to give the impression that she is doing her book tour by bus when the evidence suggests she is not. At every stop, she’s been filmed getting off Big Blue looking rested and radiant. She dazzles onlookers and interviewers with her seemingly bottomless reserves of energy. And no one suspects she may secretly be hopping on and off her main means of transport, UJT750, and resting up in hotels.
Obviously, there’s nothing here that presidential candidates don’t do, but the story that Palin was actually traveling in the bus has been sold to many, many media outlets.