Wallace is likely to be the breakout star of this season. For one, a lot of attention is always paid to the View host who has the opposing view, which, as is customary on this show, is the Republican one. But there’s a warmth and easiness in the way that Wallace tells her stories and states her opinions that makes her instantly appealing. She has the same self-awareness that makes O’Donnell so relatable, which will no doubt continue to be refreshing when she talks about her political party’s more ridiculous clowns—people that the likes of Hasselbeck and McCarthy almost always had blanket, hard-to-watch defenses of. An “Ask Me Anything” segment that had her divulging the stories behind some of the most controversial moments of her time with the Bush White House was easily the most entertaining of the premiere.
She told the story about Cheney shooting someone in a hunting accident, of course, and then got this prompt from new co-host Rosie Perez to indulge her apparent disdain for Palin, I guess as some sort of “View” rite of passage. Rosie “Fire Can’t Melt Steel” O’Donnell piped up too, asking a timely question about Bush’s flyover of New Orleans during Katrina because there are no more recent examples of a president seeming callous and disengaged while chaos erupts around him. But look: In fairness to the show, if you’re going to hire a centrist Republican with a famous tea-party enemy, it’s precisely for this reason. Not pressing Wallace to badmouth conservatives would be like having Steve Schmidt on your show and asking him what he hates about Democrats. That’s not what he’s there for. Gotta give the man a few swings at fastballs down the middle to let him warm up, especially if this is, a la Wallace, his first at-bat.
Anyway, to answer Perez’s question, Wallace’s approach to Palin was allegedly less about popping her from the front than shanking her from the back.