Purdum on Palin

Todd Purdum drops ten thousand words on Sarah Palin in the latest Vanity Fair, and they hit pretty hard.  The profile is anything but flattering, and casts an image of Palin as a cagey, egocentric, aggressive politician characterized by a deep mistrust of others and a very informal relationship with the truth.

Purdum's new reporting focuses on her record as Governor of Alaska-- a tenure dominated by personality conflicts and a bulldozer approach to getting what she wanted. Her record in Alaska was a pretty clear predictor of her behavior on the campaign, and Purdum concludes that John McCain could have learned everything he needed to make a better decision if he had done a more careful review of her gubernatorial record.

A few gem quotes from the article:

This sort of slipperiness—about both what the truth was and whether the truth even mattered—persisted on questions great and small...

In every job, she surrounded herself with an insular coterie of trusted friends, took disagreements personally, discarded people who were no longer useful, and swiftly dealt vengeance on enemies, real or perceived...

More than once in my travels in Alaska, people brought up, without prompting, the question of Palin’s extravagant self-regard. Several told me, independently of one another, that they had consulted the definition of “narcissistic personality disorder” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—“a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy”—and thought it fit her perfectly.

The whole epic article is worth a read.