It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Tina Fey forgoes her Sarah Palin impression when she hosts Saturday Night Live this weekend. Not only has the news been dominated by the takedown of Osama bin Laden, but Palin’s allure as a presidential candidate and a figure of media fascination has slipped. At least Newsweek political pundit Howard Kurtz thinks so, as he asks the question, “Is Sarah Palin Over?” in his latest column. He points to her diminished role on Fox News; her TLC reality show, which wasn’t renewed; and lethargic coverage of her every comment, gesture, and wardrobe decision by the Internet. According to Newsweek’s study, Internet posts featuring Palin fell 38 percent in the last 30 days.
Of course, there might be a reason for that recent apathy, and his name is Donald Trump.
There’s only so much oxygen in the proverbial room, and Trump has been a mighty wind since he rode the birther issue to elbow his way into the conversation of Republican presidential nominee. A recent Fox News poll had Palin (9 percent) and Trump (8 percent) neck-and-neck for third in the race for the Republican nomination, but Palin’s support had been halved since July 2009 and was down 25 percent in just the last three weeks alone. Is Palin’s recent sag just the Trump Effect? Or have people finally had their fill of Alaska’s most famous hockey mom?
Even if they have, she’s not going anywhere. She’s paid extremely well to appear on cable’s top-ranked news network, and she’s still a go-to soundbite on everything from the Middle East to Katie Couric’s future. Plus, she’s being portrayed by Julianne Moore’s in HBO’s Game Change, and there’s that tell-all from Levi Johnston in the works.
Do you think Trump and Palin can co-exist in the media and Republican politics, or are they doomed to compete for the same headlines? Will either be on the stage when the leading Republicans take the stage to debate in September? And how do you like your Palin: on the campaign trail, on the Fox Network, or on The Daily Show?