None of them are actually bad or ugly, but even the hint of an unkind word directed at our heroine (heroin?) is enough to get righty readers to click, so there’s your bait. First comes the fluff, from her and Maverick’s sitdown with People magazine. What are the odds that they’d choose a magazine available at every checkout counter in America as a diversion for grocery-shopping moms to introduce the ticket?

What does Governor Palin need to know about working with your dad?
MEGHAN: He likes to get up early in the morning and go. Seems like she likes to do that too. I guess with a baby…
JOHN MCCAIN: … she has to be. (Laughter)
SARAH PALIN: Morning person. Yup. We don’t sleep much. Too much to do. What I’ve had to do, though, is in the middle of the night, put down the BlackBerries and pick up the breast pump. Do a couple of things different and still get it all done…

Do you feel ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?
SARAH: Absolutely. Yup, yup. Especially with a good team around us…

What’s on the dinner table most often in the Palin house?
TODD: Our favorite is moose hot dogs, caribou hot dogs. We get caribou, get ’em ground up and put them into hot dogs. They’re Polish.

Note well the photos. Next comes an interview with Time conducted two weeks ago in Alaska featuring lots of talk about oil and biography, as always, and little talk about anything else — as, apparently, always. I get that her background’s a major asset and the campaign wants to emphasize the personal side of her first to introduce her to voters, but the left’s going to be hammering her soon for having no apparent position yet on Iran and nothing a whole lot more concrete on Iraq than that her son’s serving there and we really need to end our dependency on Middle Eastern oil. For obvious reasons she should start there first, especially now that both campaigns are more or less on the same page anyway. This is gratifying, though:

Did being younger and being a woman gives you a better perspective on politics and government than a more traditional politician?

What’s more of a challenge for me over the years being in elected office has been more the age issue rather than a gender issue. I’ve totally ignored the issues that have potentially been affecting me when it comes to gender because I was raised in a family where, you know, gender wasn’t going to be an issue. The girls did what the boys did. Apparently in Alaska that’s quite commonplace. You’re out there hunting and fishing. My parents were coaches, so I was involved in sports all my life. So I knew that as woman I could do whatever the men were doing. Also that’s just part of Alaskan life.

But the age issue I think was more significant in my career than the gender issue. Your resume not being as fat as your opponent’s in a race, perhaps [but] being able to capitalize on that… being able to to use that in campaigns — I don’t have 30 years of political experience under my belt … that’s a good thing, that’s a healthy thing. That means my perspective is fresher, more in touch with the people I will be serving. I would use that as an advantage. I’ve certainly never been part of a good old boy club. That I would use in a campaign. And that’s been good.

Finally, a quickie with the New Yorker that might surprise you. Like the Time interview, it was conducted two weeks ago; I can’t gauge from ABC’s story yesterday where she thought she was in the running at that point, so it’s hard to tell how much of what she said here was with an eye to how it’d play as VP — specifically, as a maverick VP — and how much of it was off the cuff. You make the call:

[T]he possibility that Obama might win Alaska did not worry Palin: “Turning maybe purple in the state means, to me, it’s more independent, it’s not the obsessive partisanship that gets in the way of doing what’s right for this state, and I think on a national level that’s what we’re gonna see.” And she added, “That’s why McCain is the candidate for the G.O.P.—because he’s been known as the maverick, as the conduit for some change.” In the state’s Republican caucus, McCain came in fourth, trailing Ron Paul. “I always looked at Senator McCain just as a Joe Blow public member, looking from the outside in,” she said. “He’s been buttin’ heads with Republicans for years, and that’s a healthy place to be.”

McCain wanted to shake up the ticket, did he not? Well, there you go. Exit question: What do you suppose the New Yorker’s trying to convey with its conspicuous phonetic spellings of her speech?

Update: Some commenters claim that phonetic spellings are standard practice at the New Yorker. Forced to choose between taking them at their word and cross-checking this with the NY’s pieces on Obama, a lazy blogger eyes his Saturday night schedule and declares: mea culpa.