I recently looked into Sarah Palin’s sexually provocative accusations, gestures, dress, and her often vulgar language, leading me to opine that she has some sexual pathology that has gone largely unmentioned by the mainstream media. Her behavior is beyond strange and completely inappropriate and unacceptable in a candidate for national (or even local) office, in my opinion.
This got me thinking about her range of bizarre behavior, including the strange “word salads” (which may be symptomatic of some degree of mental illness or imbalance), pathological lying, obsessive vindictiveness attested to by so many of those who know her well, erratic behavior, frequently unkempt appearance – to say nothing about faking a pregnancy! Today, I will begin looking at the commentary from a wide range of people who know her, who have been quoted saying that she is mentally unstable. (There was so much material that I had to break it down into two posts.)
Let’s begin by revisiting the last week of the McCain-Palin campaign, as problems between Palin and senior campaign staff boiled over publicly when it was reported that senior campaign staff called Palin a “whack job” and a “diva.” This was a huge fracture in the usually tight-run and tight-lipped campaign, revealing that what was wrong with Palin went beyond her paucity of knowledge of the world and her inability to articulate a coherent thought. However, these critiques were only a prelude to the disclosures in January 2010 that were revealed in the book Game Change and the accompanying interviews of both the authors and Steve Schmidt.
Despite these remarkable revelations that her own campaign thought the Republican vice presidential nominee was “mentally unstable” and “mentally and attitudinally limited,” the story never really grew legs – quite the opposite of what happened when it was revealed that George McGovern’s original running mate, Thomas Eagleton, had been treated for depression. Had the truth about Palin been revealed during the campaign, her mental problems would undoubtedly have sunk the McCain ship, so the campaign did not dare unmask the “Other Sarah” that they had come to know.
Of course, I have my own opinion about Sarah Palin’s mental competence, but I do not claim to be a psychologist or psychiatrist. It would be interesting have a psychological workup of Sarah (I’m thinking of Joe McGinniss’ access to reports on the psychological testing of Jeffrey MacDonald – wouldn’t that type of analysis tell a fascinating tale about Sarah?). But of course we don’t have that testing and likely never will.
What we do have are statements from many people who know Palin – who worked with her closely, saw her in a range of circumstances, and who say that she is mentally unbalanced. That these comments are so widespread, from so many sources, yet the MSM has almost completely ignored this issue, seems to be another glaring indictment of the media’s inability to do its job with respect to Sarah Palin.
A remarkable number of people who know Sarah personally, and many who observe her from afar, have observed that she shows classic characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. Was this page on sociopathy written with Sarah in mind? She shows signs that may indicate mental illness, including the campaign staff’s observation of a sharp difference between the “two Sarah’s” – one perky and charming and upbeat, the other in a catatonic stupor or smearing her makeup and messing up her hair just before a key nationally televised interview. Frank Bailey observed something similar, commenting that her staff never knew which Sarah would show up. There seem to be periods of mania followed by depressive episodes, and some of her behavior suggests possible side effects of medication used to treat psychological disorders.
It certainly seems that there are enough questions about her mental health to warrant full disclosure of her medical records, as a necessity if she runs for election to a position of power.
The interviews with Gibson and Couric had partially illuminated Sarah’s weak command of the facts and the truth and also her inability to speak coherently, and of course the “whack job” and “diva” comments were damaging. Still, it was the blogs that were doing almost all of the work trying to reveal Palin’s true persona. Her public feud with Levi Johnston did her no favors, as Levi showed a dark side of her personality that was very much at odds with the carefully constructed image of the smiling “hockey mom.” Even in the midst of her many denials of what Levi said, she could not suppress her vindictive streak, which proved his point.
Then, in late June 2009, Vanity Fair published an in-depth article on Palin, “It Came From Wasilla,” by Todd Purdum. His article gave further insights into the many dysfunctional relationships that Palin developed within the campaign as well as those in Alaska, and went on to say:
“But there were ominous signs—indications of an erratic nature… 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.”
Purdum also quoted her old friend and former legislative aide, John Bitney (long since thrown under the bus): “I don’t know whether to blame her or pity her for all this emotional upheaval that we’re always going through with her.”
In this CBS interview (from HuffPo), Purdum confirmed that the words he used to describe Palin were very close to those used by the campaign staffers.
Within days, Palin shocked the country with her breathless, gasping and incoherent resignation speech, where her rage was barely contained. In keeping with her narcissism, she did not seem to notice Trig, whose discomfort was obvious. Adding to the bizarre scene was the apt accompaniment by honking waterfowl. Her rambling explanation made no sense to anyone, and subsequent interviews with Andrea Mitchell and others did little to clarify the reasons but continued to show her simmering anger.
Shortly afterward, Dan Fagan of The Alaska Standard wrote:
“Palin’s delusion and bizarre self-promotion has only gotten worst since her speech last Friday. Each day since then she has tried to offer new evidence or tried new ways to convince us her quitting was in the best interest of Alaskans. She argues over and over that fighting is quitting and quitting is fighting. The more she tries to make the argument, the crazier she appears.”
Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo wrote this after the resignation: “But remember we're dealing with a deeply erratic and probably mentally unstable person who does lots of completely whacked things at the drop of a hat.”
With the publication of Going Rogue later that year, Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, among others, pointed out that the book was "100% fiction." Schmidt went further in an interview, saying that "...were she to be the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result."
This was all prelude to the publication of Game Change in January 2010, which again brought attention to Palin’s mental stability.
To be continued.
Special thanks to the PoliticalGates research team for all the help on this post!
UPDATE By Kathleen:
Dr Patois sent this youtube video to me and I think that it is a great addition to BBT's post. Please be sure to watch as it contains some more interesting observations.