The same ingredients that fuel Palin’s continued fame are driving the Trump campaign: Frequent fights with other high-profile media figures, often played out on Facebook and Twitter; Unpredictable, stream-of-consciousness speeches; and a theatrical flair that turns nearly every public appearance into an event, with the potential for something shocking, funny, or memorable to transpire as soon as the cameras start rolling.
At a time when interviews with Hillary Clinton are only slightly less rare than Blood Moons, Trump does speaks to reporters non-stop, and he sets off a new bomb every few days. No gaffe or controversial remark does too much damage, because within 48 hours it’s been replaced by another one.
The good news for Trump is that this style succeeds better than any other at getting the spotlight and keeping it. The bad news is that there’s not much evidence that it alone will lead him to the Republican presidential nomination. Palin didn’t run in 2012, and while her most ardent fans will insist that she would have won if she’d entered the race, the facts say otherwise.