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So where did the pitbull with lipstick go, Sarah?

The country had barely had time to savour the prospect of the former Alaska governor Sarah Palin showing up on the Fox News Channel as a "regular contributor" before it was already upon us.

There she was chit-chatting with conservative host Bill O'Reilly saying things like "crap", "b.s" and "uncomfortableness".

But truth to tell, many viewers who saw her debut on The O'Reilly Factor may have felt a bit let down. She was smooth and more or less self-confident, not at all like the Palin we saw interviewed by Katie Couric last year or parodied by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live.

When it was over, she said she couldn't have imagined anything better than talking to O'Reilly, who she teasingly called "the big man on campus".

But not everyone will have seen it the same way. There was just a chance that Palin on Fox would become genuinely gripping, if she would only get off being a candidate and politician for a second and utter some honest, genuine thoughts. Her role, after all, is to represent the "real people" of America.

And she contrasted herself with President Barack Obama who does not "get" ordinary American folk. It's why his poll numbers are on the skids, she said.


On screen were the two most popular icons of the conservative movement in America today. But O'Reilly knew better than to snuggle up to her.

Instead he spent most of the 10-minute segment asking her about the new book about the 2008 campaign -- Game Change, by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann -- that lingered so extensively on her shortcomings as a candidate.

The book includes unflattering recollections by Steve Schmidt, the former campaign chief of John McCain, for instance about her troubles preparing for the debate against Joe Biden, the Democrat running mate.

But she was mostly just dismissive of the "bunch of B.S. from Schmidt" and others involved in the campaign.

The authors are just trying to, "gin up controversy and spin up gossip. The rest of America doesn't care about that kind of crap".

Of course "the rest of America" cares about what happened in the campaign. That's why she has been invited to be a contributor on Fox.

There are still people who believe Sarah Palin would make a decent presidential candidate in 2012.

But until she ditches all thought of being a candidate she cannot reveal anything of herself or her thinking process that is not "on message" in the run-up to the next campaign.

And thus she will continue to be dull and predictable on TV.