This HuffPo piece strikes me as just about right. Look, I don’t think Sarah Palin is terribly bright, but even I assume that if she can deliver a speech without notes, she can remember four or five bullet-point “priorities” without recourse to a list scrawled on her hand. If, for some reason, she couldn’t, I expect she could at least afford an index card—so as to look slightly less high schoolish—or glance at it a little less ostentatiously. She’s playing exactly the same game she’s been playing since her big debut at the Republican National Convention: Making herself an irresistible target of “elite” scorn so that everyone who identifies with her feels equally attacked. This is not exactly a subtle strategy, but for some reason, high-level Dems who are supposed to be deeply media savvy keep getting suckered.
Addendum: David Frum makes the point that Democrats are almost certainly delighted to raise Palin’s profile, for the same reason they treated Rush Limbaugh as the de facto leader of the Republican party a year ago: They’d much rather the face of “the opposition” be someone who’s unpopular with the general public. That’s probably right, but a it’s got to be finessed—stunts like Gibbs’ grocery list are good for a chuckle, but they end up making the administration look petty as well. The trick is to raise your preferred opponent’s status with the GOP base, and only with the GOP base.