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Sarah Palin and Reality TV Campaigning

Sarah Palin and Reality TV Campaigning

Sarah Palin was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008. Since then, she has launched a multimedia campaign to stay in the public eye. Is this a move for the presidency?
OpinionFront Staff
Republican vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, used to be the completely unknown Governor of Alaska. Now she is one of the most well-known political figures of our time. From reality television shows to an American tour on a custom-made bus, Palin has caught the attention of the entire nation. Will she be the Republican nominee for President of the United States in 2012? Only time will tell.

Political Career

Sarah Palin started her political career by serving two terms as Mayor of Wasilla. Elected in 1996 and again in 1999, she was a Republican favorite. In an unprecedented move, the Republican Party ran campaign ads in her favor during this mayoral campaign.

In 2006, Palin won the race for Governor of Alaska. Her biggest achievement was authorizing TransCanada Pipelines a license to build a natural gas transport pipeline from Alaska to Canada. Most famously, she supported the Bridge to Nowhere, a bridge to replace the ferry to Gravina Island nicknamed because Gravina Island had only 50 people living there at the time. She denounced her support of this project in the 2008 Presidential election, and those claims were highly questioned.

In 2008, Palin became the second woman and first Alaskan to run on a major United States political party ticket. She joined John McCain as his vice presidential nominee. Thus began her love affair with American media.

Reality Television and Other Media

Sarah Palin was often the butt of jokes during her vice presidential campaign. From Saturday Night Live to The Daily Show, it seemed easy to make fun of Palin's politics and her Alaskan accent. The media loved her, though, and soon after the 2008 election, she began her reality television show, Sarah Palin's Alaska. The show aired for one season on TLC, and then did not return for a second season. In the show, audiences saw her interactions with her family and enjoying much of Alaska's outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, and gold mining. Five million viewers turned to the station for the premiere episode, which was an extraordinary number. The show did not receive many favorable reviews, however. Many reviewers noted that Sarah Palin did not really know as much about the great Alaskan outdoors as she said she did. Most reviewers saw the show as a way for Palin to re-launch her political career.

Most recently, Palin led an expedition through the nation's East Coast historical sites on her One Nation tour bus. The bus has been famous in and of itself with its larger-than-life rendition of the Constitution and her signature on one side of the bus. On the tour, Palin has been able to give news outlets many sound bites, some of them humorously deconstructed on shows such as The Daily Show.

Palin for President?

It has been noted that, if Palin had chosen to do another season of her reality television show, that this decision may have been seen as a signal that she would not choose to run for president in the 2012 election. Since she did not continue her reality show, and since she has embarked on her tour of the United States historical sites, some have seen this as a sign that she will run for president in the next election. She has been asked if she will run, and she has provided ambiguous answers - perhaps another sign that she may be running in the presidential race. We don't know yet for sure, but her desire to be in the spotlight has certainly stirred up some gossip.