Purdum on the “Pheromonal Reality” of the “Palin Phenomenon”

Courtesy of, often, unnamed “McCain aides,” “McCain friends,” and “persons familiar with,” Todd Purdum explores at length “the Sarah Palin phenomenon” for Vanity Fair. (And just about a year after Purdum’s lengthy exploration, courtesy of unnamed “former Clinton aides” and an unnamed “Clinton-watcher,” of, “What’s the matter with [Bill] Clinton?”)

Some samples from Purdum’s Palin piece:

Some top aides worried about [Palin’s] mental state: was it possible that she was experiencing postpartum depression? (Palin’s youngest son was less than six months old).

And:

Another aspect of the Palin phenomenon bears examination, even if the mere act of raising it invites intimations of sexism: she is by far the best-looking woman ever to rise to such heights in national politics, the first indisputably fertile female to dare to dance with the big dogs. This pheromonal reality has been a blessing and a curse. It has captivated people who would never have given someone with Palin’s record a second glance if Palin had looked like Susan Boyle. And it has made others reluctant to give her a second chance because she looks like a beauty queen.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.