So, this happened:
Every time I think I am not going to dignify Sarah Palin's ridiculous existence with any more attention she draws me back in. Let's try to count them.
1. Sarah Palin raked in a $100,000 fee for this speech, which sounds suspiciously like she did absolutely no advance preparation. Either she didn't bother writing a speech at all (or, let's be honest, having one written for her) or did so on the 10 minute limo ride over to TeabagCon2010. There's a small handful of people on this planet who can give a major speech before a large audience (not to mention TV cameras) without practicing. Sarah Palin isn't one of them. This sounds like she did everything except moon the crowd, give them the finger, and say "Thanks for the 100 grand, assholes!"
2. Why would she have notes unless the questions were screened and pre-approved in advance? She wouldn't, of course, which means that the questions at a Teabagger convention were too difficult for the person who wants to be the next President. The questions were variations of "Governor Palin, your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?" And she knew what was coming. And she needed notes to answer it.
3. She wrote "Energy.
Budget Tax cuts. Lift American spirit." on her hand so she wouldn't forget her own "vision" for the future of the conservative movement she claims to lead. I can understand if someone wanted notes about the names of foreign heads of state or the GNP of Chile. But she needed notes to recite her own talking points in response to questions she knew were coming.
4. Marker-on-hand? Really? What is she, an 18 year old fratboy cheating her way through an Econ 101 midterm? I find it hard to believe that, you know, note cards or something were not viable alternatives. After 18 solid months of Obama teleprompter jokes I guess she painted herself into a corner, though.
5. Her notes at the ready, Palin treated the audience (of 1100! What a movement!) to hot, steaming nuggets of brilliance like this:
I think, kind of tougher to, um, put our arms around, but allowing America's spirit to rise again by not being afraid to kind of go back to some of our roots as a God fearing nation where we're not afraid to say, especially in times of potential trouble in the future here, where we're not afraid to say, you know, we don't have all the answers as fallible men and women so it would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country, so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again.
That is exactly 100 words and it is one sentence, a sentence given in response to a question about the priorities of a hypothetical "conservative majority in Congress." In short, Congress needs to be praying for divine intervention more regularly. That'll help.
There was one instance in my five years of teaching on which I did absolutely no preparation at all for a lecture. Really, I might sound like an idiot semi-regularly but it's never for lack of preparation. Except for that one time. It was an unqualified disaster. Ad-libbing in front of 150 people for an hour is not a good idea. I walked out of class that day feeling like I should return my salary for the past hour ($6) to the State Legislature, as I could not consent to receive payment for rendering services of that quality. Despite our meager salaries, teachers and professors put a lot of time into preparing a lecture. The rule of thumb for doing the bare minimum is Prep Time = 2 x Class Time. What I'm getting at is not that we should get a cookie for doing our jobs, but that if someone paid me $100,000 to speak for 39 minutes and do some softball Q & A, I'd probably spend some time preparing. That and her extra chromosome are what separate me from Sarah Palin.