On shootings, politics, Palin plays by her rules

Sarah Palin again showed an unprecedented and daring political command of social networking to maintain a high profile in speculation about the Republican Party and the 2012 presidential race.

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2011, 23:21 PM IST

Washington: With her video accusing
critics of "blood libel," Sarah Palin again showed an
unprecedented and daring political command of social
networking to maintain a high profile in speculation about the
Republican Party and the 2012 presidential race.

The former Alaska governor regularly gets nationwide
attention with her selective use of Facebook and Twitter,
choosing provocative words when others testing the
presidential waters prefer a lighter touch.

Some political pros say her tactics, which distance
her from mainstream reporters and neutral audiences, are savvy
and effective. Others say she will have to change if she hopes
to win the crucial Iowa caucus or New Hampshire primary, let
alone the 2012 general election. Many agree she is testing the
campaign possibilities of fast-changing social media.

Iowa and New Hampshire traditionally mark the first
major tests of the presidential campaign season.

Palin was bound to be drawn into the national debate
that followed Saturday`s shooting rampage in Arizona, which
killed six people and gravely wounded Democratic Rep.
Gabrielle Giffords. Last March, Giffords noted in a TV
interview that Palin`s political committee had targeted her
district (among others) with crosshairs, and "there are
consequences to that action."

There is no evidence that the accused gunman, Jared
Loughner, knew of Palin`s actions. But Giffords` remarks
seemed eerily prophetic, and her husband and friends
complained bitterly of the criticisms Republicans had heaped
on her in the campaign ahead of last year`s elections.

PTI