I’m not sure what Sarah Palin’s favorite work of postmodern theory might be (all of them, probably) but she seems to take her lead from Jean Baudrillard’s Seduction. Other political figures use the media as part of what JB calls “production.” That is, they generate signs and images meant to create an effect within politics. For the Baudrillardian “seducer,” by contrast, the power to create fascination is its own reward.
Watching Palin respond to questions about her book Going Rogue (or not respond to them, often enough) is, from this perspective, no laughing matter. She grows ever more comfortable talking about herself. If no more capable of simulating knowledge of public issues, she is getting her story straight, more or less. And this matters. For now she does not have to be accurate, just coherent. She is consolidating her presence, her “brand.” Teams of professional ideologists can feed Palin her lines later.
The article, which is roughly a book review for a collection of Palin-related essays called Going Rouge (which I just bought) is worth a read.