John Schwenkler and Daniel Larison disagree with the argument that Sarah Palin’s folksiness is an act. My sense is that it isn’t an act either. If it is, then the act predates the 2008 presidential campaign. But I don’t quite agree that her interviews and debate performances have always sounded exactly like she has sounded recently. She’s no Cicero, but the older footage I’ve seen shows much less winking at Joe Sixpack and the Hockey Moms. Some of these differences come down to perspective, however. If you find Palin’s perkiness annoying and her shtick unpersuasive, you are going to be more likely to detect that which irritates you when watching her on TV. If you find her charming and likable, you are going to be inclined to reach a different verdict. And then are some things — “Err, the Bush Doctrine? Wha?” — that just aren’t subjective.
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