The oldest daughter of Sarah Palin showed some of her mother’s belligerency against perceived enemies as she opined in rehearsals before Monday night’s performance on Dancing With the Stars that she was “more intimidated by the media than I am with Jennifer and Kyle”. She also accused people she said hated her and said they “are just waiting for me to fail” as she discussed her angst with professional dance partner Mark Ballas as they prepared for their free-style performance.
I pointed out in an earlier piece that I thought the former Governor’s daughter had done an exceptional job up to two weeks ago but felt she was not quite at par with the remaining dancers and that any continued success had to be attributed to the public support she received from many of her Mother’s supporters, people who vicariously projected their hopes and aspirations for Sarah through her daughter. The judges have consistently validated my claim by giving Ms. Palin high marks but ones that constantly rank lower than scores for Kyle Massey and Jennifer Grey for their more fluid and rhythmically sound styles.
It is true that Sarah Palin is a voice in the political wilderness that rankles the more Progressive views I hold and feel she was and yet still is unqualified to hold public office in this land, especially the Presidency. I have also previously stated positive things about the lady who quit her term as Alaska’s governor before it had expired as being both an attractive women who presented herself well in front of crowd giving a speech.
But these qualities that found her success as a TV sports caster and local personality are themselves not meritorious of one who needs to functionally perform complex operations of the state. She apparently came to this conclusion herself when she resigned her post as governor shortly after her ticket lost in the 2008 Presidential election, with about 2 years remaining on a four year term. Part of her rationalization for leaving the public sector was laid on what she felt was the constant media attention and “harassment” from the “biased liberal media.” To me it damaged her tough pioneer portrayal of herself for someone who could easily have evoked Harry Truman’s quip, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Now is she is just another whiny politician has-been.
This is what came through with Bristol in the final segment of season eleven last night. It’s true as Bristol said last week following criticism of her retention for the finals after Brandy Norwood and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were eliminated that she “worked her butt off”, but so too did Brandy, Kyle and Jennifer. It showed in all of their performances. Yet Bristol never quite demonstrated a style that looked at ease. The tenseness is still there that was more apparent when the season began. The judges recognized that and many in the public who didn’t vote for her for reasons other than political ones recognized it too.
So for Ms. Palin to surmise that her failure and struggles are foisted on her by the perceptions of her mother from “a lame street media” and political opponents of her Mom out to get revenge of some kind, is coming from someone whose self-esteem about herself has yet to reach a level of maturity. No doubt there are those out there that wish Bristol ill because she is the daughter of Sarah Palin, but there are many more who legitimately feel that her success is admirable but unworthy to reach the final three on this show that is part talent and part popularity contest.
We all have visions of grandeur for ourselves but when such visions don’t match the reality and are deluded even further by the cheers of supporters who care less about your actual skills than they do about some need to nurture you, we are only setting ourselves up for a failure that will sour and fester for years down the road. It’s on display every time Bristol’s mother gets on her political platform. Condemning adversaries to the cheers of crowd while being surreptitiously self-promoting are the actions of people with huge egos.
Bristol should be tremendously pleased that she came as far as she did the night she side-stepped elimination when basket ball player Rick Fox didn’t. Many of us didn’t think she had it in her. She proved us wrong and gave us pause to look at Bristol the individual, not as a proxy for her Mom’s political ambitions. It’s a shame then that her comments following last night’s performance about unseen enemies drops her back a notch and takes away that can-do spirit she displayed so well as the season began and progressed.