As Alaskans endure their long winter’s night, one in particular is howling at the moon. Just when you thought (or hoped) you’d heard the last of Sarah Palin for a while, she pops back up with more complaints about her alleged shabby treatment by the press. The relationship between the press and Caroline Kennedy, whose closet not only lacks skeletons but much of anything, seems to have prompted the diatribe.

no whiningIn a recent interview reported by the Washington Post, Palin described some of the press coverage she and her family received as “very scary.” Without question, some of the coverage was tasteless and vicious, such as suggestions that Palin’s baby was actually her daughter’s. She also cited reports that her daughter Bristol and her putative fiance, Levi Johnston, were high school dropouts. With respect to the latter, she’s on shaky ground. Johnston recently was dismissed from an apprenticeship program because he lacked a diploma or equivalent. Apparently there was some dropping out somewhere.

Then there were the famous interviews in which Palin stammered, dodged, and darn it, and made it breathtakingly clear that she was utterly clueless about the vice presidency and just about everything else. Now she blames the campaign for sending her back to Katie Couric for an attempt at redemption. I suppose she has a point. The campaign surely recognized by that time that she was hopelessly unequipped to think on her feet. Still, keeping Palin under wraps wasn’t a winning strategy. Palin was the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” candidate.

Palin seems to forget that others in the campaign were also targeted by attack bloggers on both sides of the aisle. Obama was characterized as a Moslem sleeper terrorist who was born in Africa. McCain had his own headaches, including a NYT story that a former lover had to be kept at a distance by staffers, a story that still has legs since the alleged lover has now filed a lawsuit against the Times. And let’s not forget the stories about his temper, gambling, and wife Cindy’s drug history.  However, neither Obama or McCain have publicly pouted about their treatment. Both have the good sense to ignore what they cannot change or disprove, and that is one of the qualities that makes them better leaders than Palin.

While Palin has a point, it’s lost in the whining in which she always seems to package it. This approach  may play well with the Hard Right, but let’s be clear, the rest of America has moved on and is far more interested in how we’re going to solve tough problems than in Palin’s family problems. If Palin wants to prove herself a leader she needs to focus on being an effective governor. If patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, then blaming the press is the last refuge of the incompetent.

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