It turns out that Sarah Palin didn't come out of Alaskan tundra to be picked by John McCain as his vice presidential candidate.
Richard Cohen reports in today's Washington Post that leading conservative intellectuals and activists were actively courted by Palin while cruising in Alaska more than two years ago.
In 2007, several conservative journalists got off their cruise ships and met Sarah Palin. They saw the present, and she was a babe.
The cruises were sponsored by the National Review and the Weekly Standard, journals of significant influence in conservative circles. The ships disgorged some top conservative editors and writers, who on two occasions were invited at the governor's mansion. Almost to a man, they were thunderstruck.
What followed, once everyone returned to the lower 48, was a gusher of mush -- praise, love notes, sweet nothings and, altogether, the sort of mooning one does not usually hear from the likes of William Kristol, Fred Barnes, Rich Lowry, Dick Morris and my Post colleague Michael Gerson. In short order, important writers set themselves the task, in print and on television, of promoting Palin and, in the process, making perfect asses of themselves. They succeeded at both.
The account of that summer of love comes from yet a third magazine, the New Yorker. In it, Jane Mayer detailed the efforts of the highly ambitious Palin to become well known in the Washington political-journalistic milieu she pretends, in proper demagogic fashion, to detest. After an apparently bravura saying of grace, she wowed her guests with some excellent halibut cheeks and the Category 4 force of her personality. Some of them sank into a kind of delirium known to high schoolers and praised her as "my heartthrob" (Kristol), "a mix between Annie Oakley and Joan of Arc" (Gerson) and, so far not evident, "smart" (Barnes).
The entire article is linked here.