February 7, 2010

Sarah's Scribbles (Continued)


If you’re trying to understand what you’re seeing in the photos above, from Sarah’s softball interview on-stage at the Tea Party convention, the answer — which also characterizes most of Sarah Palin’s public behavior — is: “anxiety and indecision.”

If you recall The BAG’s analysis of Palin’s City Council doodles and how she got herself through the Biden debate, our conclusion was that:

Sara approaches most extemporaneous speaking by either a.) avoiding it altogether, b.) having everything written out in advance, or c.) relying on rote memory, and scripting as much as possible on-the-spot.

Beyond the fact Palin felt the need to write out the 3 key points to a simple question she was likely expecting in the first place, what is even more interesting is that, even at this reduced and final level of notation, she’s still crossing out and revising what you’d expect, once it got to her palm, was the final, final draft.

As you can see, “Energy” is the first bullet and “Lift American Spirits” is the last, but the middle bullet point evidently kicked up a beyond last minute spike of uncertainty in Palin’s uncertain mind, earning a major revision (“Budget Cut” being revised to “Cut Tax”) after being transferred to the hand.

Beyond the “cheat sheet” strategy of a nervous adolescent, the second picture offers a written reflection of what likely goes on in Palin’s head when she tries to speak extemporaneously. If you listen to her carefully, you can hear that she never knows exactly where she’s going, the clipped phrases coming out of her mouth continuously broken by awkward silences — moments of indecision in which she’s mentally crossing out and doing a new edit.

(screen shots: Huffington Post. Video clip at Mediaite — bottom of the post)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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