Will Bristol Palin's DWTS Run Hurt Sarah Palin Politically?Mara Siegler
Sarah Palin has always had what could be called a seriousness problem. Her hockey mom shtick has not played well in certain parts of the country and her answers to some basic questions she was unable to answer during the presidential campaign made a bad enough impression to last. She also often falls short when it comes to policy, instead relying on personality.
She has been able to overcome a lot. Despite many foul ups, Sarah has remained on the public stage and has become a powerful force whether the Republicans like it or not. She was also able to somehow spin her teenage daughter’s pregnancy in a way that made her seem even more wholesome and values-oriented to her followers. But with Bristol’s recent foray into reality TV, dancing in a semi-scandalous red dress to “Mama Told Me Not to Come,” could Sarah’s image finally take a solid hit?
Most strategists agree that Bristol’s run won’t hurt Sarah. Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard has even said “She would probably help herself more if she were doing the dancing more than her daughter. The truth is she is a star. She is a figure that excites at least conservatives or a lot of conservatives and that’s her strength.”
Sarah may not be Cha-Cha-Chaing but she does have her own reality show coming up on TLC called Sarah Palin’s Alaska.
Republican strategist Rich Galen does not think this is a bad idea. “I don’t know if she has any credibility as a presidential contender to start with so the answer to that there is no downside risk,” he told the Daily Beast.
R.J. Cutler, a producer of many political documentaries made a good point stating that “personal narrative is a very important part of a political profile.” From candidates’ memoirs to sitting on Oprah’s couch, reality television is just a new outlet for that personal narrative. “It’s hard in a mass culture democracy to argue that these are new developments. They are just going to take the form of the moment and God knows that reality TV is certainly one of the forms of the moment.”