The media appears to have finally recognized that no matter what they throw at Teflon Palin it just bounces off. The public is totally uninterested in ridiculous scandal/hatchet jobs like the recent Vanity Fair hit piece "Palin is a bad tipper." That surely must have been the absolute nadir of mud raking, in fact the article was so bad that even journalists from the far left ran away from it in embarrassment pointing out obvious errors of fact.
As the notorious Newsweek cover article said-itself journalism in name only-in reality a desperate attempt by a sinking ship to get some readers- "what do you with a problem like Sarah". The answer for the liberal media, and the Democrat's is "I don't know, and we give up".
The absolute turning point, when the light bulb finally was turned on, has been the humiliation of the pontificators when they got the predicted result Palin's endorsement of Alaska's Joe Miller so terribly wrong (including Krauthammer on the right.) Reeling from that body blow, where they were ready to write Palin off (yet again) they received another kick in the guts with Palin endorsed O'Donnell's miraculous win in Delaware.
True there are some, like Joe Klein, who will never give up it appears and who can't resist snide comments about Palin, but it appears that more discerning journalist like Time's Mark Halperin have taken their approach to Palin to a new level. Halperin's latest article in Time Magazine is full of Palin's strengths and is a strong caution to all-left and right and center not to underestimate this powerful force. This they would do at their peril,which comment is, by coincidence surely,a new theme across the leftist blogosphere.
For Palin supporters this new attitude to her is good on one level-the ridiculous ad hominem attacks, the ridicule of Palin and her family, her appearance and her faith, the childish "Palin is just a quitter grifter" comments will hopefully come to an end. It is good for the political discourse if criticism of her by the left is focused on her plans, polices and yes, even her values world view is a fit subject for discourse.
However on another level it might not be so good. Palin has been strengthened by the combat. She is a different person, more steel in the backbone, perhaps less naive than the one who encountered Couric fresh from Alaska. Further the very attacks on her has led to the creation of a large body of supporters who rush to her defence,enraged by the unfair treatment. If Palin is going to be treated from now on as just another politician like e.g Romney or Pawlenty some of the thrill of combat will have evaporated.
Perhaps Halperin's article is a clever piece of realpolitik! The powers that be in the beltway have finally understood they can't slay the Palin beast with swords so they will try and kill it with kindness-or at least try to blunt its power !
However, they have finally learned one lesson but the overarching lesson still stands unlearned. Whether with swords or kindness sarah Palin is a unique phenomenon which the beltway crowd has never encountered before.
The best thing for them might be simply to get out of the way and let nature take its course-jotting down their surprises at how things turn out differently than what they predict for her as she marches on to whatever her destination and destiny is.