Is Palin really serious about politics?

Palin’s actions keep defying rational explanation. Her sudden retreat from her job as Alaska governor made her seem a quitter — especially when she couldn’t coherently justify the resignation during her surprise July 4 weekend announcement. Even if Palin’s pullout had been a reasonable decision, it seemed as if she had not consulted anyone with PR or political sense on how best to handle the controversial move.

Since then, her performance as a politician with a chance of snagging the GOP presidential nomination has been — to be polite — unsteady. On July 17, Palin, who had become a prolific Twitterer, sent out this message to her tweeps: “10 dys til less politically correct twitters fly frm my fingertps outside State site.” In other words, Palin — who had recently been quoting Aristotle and Thomas Paine in her tweets — would soon dump her AkGovSarahPalin Twitter account, which was being followed by 150,000 people, and start sharing her observations via a new Twitter feed. But she didn’t keep that promise — and has yet to set up a new Twitter account for all those folks who yearn for her 140-character messages. Why keep her base waiting? Any good adviser would have recommended that she keep the tweets flowing…

Then there’s her book. A few days ago, a GOPer close to Mitt Romney, another potential contender for the 2012 Republican nomination, was laughing as we talked about Palin’s book, due out next month. He was tittering especially about its title, “Going Rogue.” That phrase was used by John McCain’s aides toward the end of the 2008 election to describe Palin’s off-message behavior on the campaign trail. “What voter wants a rogue president?” this Mitt-friendly Republican said to me, pointing out that Romney has finished a book of his own on weighty policy matters that will come out next year. Its title: “No Apology: The Case of American Greatness.”

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