A new Public Policy Polling survey found that 55 percent of Americans think Sarah Palin is not fit to be president. Thirty-seven percent think she would be able to do the job. That's remarkable. Note that the question was not one of preference, but simply a question of whether she was fit to be president.
What accounts for the negative results?
Well, obviously, David Letterman.
RELATED: Slate's negative column on Palin may seem mean, but it's correct:
But Palin's act of explaining her resignation to us in a torrent of unconnected sentence fragments left everyone wondering, What was the point of Sarah Palin? If she cannot even communicate a simple idea ("I'm quitting because …"), why should we care that she's quitting?
That's why the strangest part of the Sarah Palin saga will always be her loathing of the media. She never failed to remind us that she didn't like being "filtered." She only wanted to talk directly to us, her listeners. Yet the reason Sarah Palin continues to have any kind of political force at all in this country is because of the media "filter." The media helped refine and define her Dada statements and arguments into something that briefly sounded like a coherent worldview. Yesterday morning, Gov. Palin excoriated Andrea Mitchell for "not listening to me" in an NBC interview. You have to go back and watch the clip before you can apprehend that Mitchell was indeed listening. It was Palin who was speaking in half-expressed thoughts and internal contradictions.
Think of an American visiting France who believes that if he just speaks louder, he will be speaking French. Palin has done everything in her power to explain herself to us, and still we fail to appreciate what she is all about. I'd be frustrated, too, if I thought I was offering up straight talk and nobody was getting the message. Especially if I held a degree in communications.
Once you understand that Palin's only actual message is the importance of loving and understanding Palin, it becomes easier to understand why she quit. The more Palin tries to explain herself, the more we all fail to get her. Every time she goes off script, she makes less sense. No wonder she didn't want to do debate prep or be coached by the McCain communications team. Instead of thanking those who packaged, explained, and spun her, Palin resents them. And because she believes she has been crystal clear all along, she's come to resent us, too. The enduring political lesson of Sarah Palin may simply be that for most of her political career she's been lost in translation, without fully appreciating that only in translation was she ever, briefly found.