Palin using media to make signature statement ahead of 2012 Prez bid

Written by: Nairita Das
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Washington, Dec. 17 (ANI): Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has started cautiously cooperating with some of the same media outlets she and her supporters have accused of unfair and inaccurate coverage, as openly weighs a bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

"This is just about getting the press to characterize the governor accurately. And, if that can be accomplished through Governor Palin and some of the people around her talking to the press, we'll try that," Politico quoted Tim Crawford, a top Palin aide, as saying.

Palin's effectiveness as Republican John McCain's 2008 vice presidential pick was undercut by the bad press she generated, particularly from her stumbling television interviews.

After that experience - and particularly since her resignation as governor last year, which she says was prompted partly by unrelenting media scrutiny - Palin has mastered a high-impact, if unconventional, communication style that almost completely circumvents most traditional media.

Instead, she's relied on conservative media outlets from which she is unlikely to face tough questioning (most notably Fox News, for which she is a paid contributor). She also taps social media such as Facebook and Twitter, combined with her own star power, to deliver cutting attacks on her opponents and the media that sometimes drive the political debate for days. nd she's simultaneously showcased her personal charisma through two best-selling books, heavily promoted in campaign-style tours, as well as a quirkily endearing reality show about her adventures in Alaska.

In recent weeks, Palin and her staff have adopted elements of a more traditional media strategy, cooperating with a host of neutral media outlets, notably The New York Times, TIME and ABC News, all of which, at one time or another, have drawn fire from Palin backers for allegedly biased coverage.

That cooperation has resulted in mostly flattering features that broke little new critical ground.

Palin herself after discussions within her inner circle following some uncomfortable stories this fall approved the strategic shift, which also included a decision to allow a handful of top staffers to talk on the record to other media outlets.

Crawford said the determining factor in deciding to engage with the press, albeit on a selective case-by-case basis (Palin declined to comment for this story, for instance), may have been a late October POLITICO article in which Republican insiders bemoaned Palin's popularity among the base and described plans to undercut her potential presidential campaign.

"Everyone has just come to the conclusion that being silent while other people talk about you and try to define you hasn't netted the results that we'd necessarily like," Crawford said.

He said the steps toward detente in Palin's battle with the press have nothing to do with positioning her for a possible 2012 presidential campaign and described the shift as "an ongoing experiment to ... see what happens when we do cooperate." (ANI)

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