NBC's O'Donnell: Palin 'Rips the Heart Out of Her Opponents' in New Book

NBC correspondent Norah O'Donnell hyped Sarah Palin's criticism of her liberal opponents on Tuesday's Today show, stating that the former governor "rips the heart out of some of her opponents" in her new book. O'Donnell stated that Palin, "in very personal terms, also questions the President's [Obama's] patriotism, concluding he has 'a stark lack of faith in the American people.'"

The correspondent covered "America By Heart," the Republican's second book, for the second straight day. Anchor Matt Lauer introduced her report, which began 40 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, by immediately noting Palin's attacks on Mr. Obama: "Sarah Palin's much-anticipated new book hits stores today. NBC News received an advanced copy last night, and the former Alaska governor is not holding back when it comes to President Obama." O'Donnell picked up where he left off: "Well, you know, her new book is called 'America By Heart.' It's full of what she calls 'reflections on faith, family and flag.' But with all the attacks on President Obama and others, some say it could be a handbook for her for a 2012 campaign."

After noting Palin's recent visibility due to her daughter Bristol's run on Dancing with the Stars and her TLC series, the NBC correspondent turned her attention on the Tea Party favorite's attacks on liberals: "Palin, it seems, is everywhere, plugging her book and settling some old scores." She continued with her lurid play on the title of the former Alaska governor's book, and read excerpts from it where Palin criticized Obama and Hillary Clinton:

O'DONNELL: Palin's book, 'America by Heart,' highlights some of her heroes, like Ronald Reagan, but it also rips the heart out of some of her opponents.

PALIN (from 2010 Tea Party Nation convention): How's that 'hopey-changey' stuff working out for you?

O'DONNELL: Palin says as hard as she worked to beat Mr. Obama in 2008, when he was elected- quote, 'I shared the feeling of almost desperate hope that many other Americans felt. Like them, like you, I love my country and want it to succeed. But a new morning in America hasn't broken over the Capitol dome.' In very personal terms, she also questions the President's patriotism, concluding he has 'a stark lack of faith in the American people.'

Some say the book offers a blueprint, clues on how she would attack Obama if she runs in 2012.

JAY NEWTON-SMALL, TIME MAGAZINE: Certainly, this book has all kinds of dog whistles for the base about what her messaging would be if she ran for president.

O'DONNELL: On Obama's signature legislative achievement, Palin writes, 'We don't consider the health care vote a done deal, not by a long shot. Instead it was a clarion call, a spur to action.' Palin also attacks Hillary Clinton, in what she calls her 'bra burning militancy' for this comment made in 1992, when Bill Clinton first ran for president.

HILLARY CLINTON: I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession-

O'DONNELL: Palin says, 'Some of us like to bake cookies. Some of us also think we can do that and still have successful careers.'

Near the end of her report, O'Donnell turned to a New York Times reporter Robert Draper, who quite predictability questioned the Republican's suitability to be president:

O'DONNELL: All of the buzz and controversy is likely to produce a bestseller, but will it help show that Palin is qualified for the presidency?

ROBERT DRAPER: Going negative definitely will help spur sales, but voters want to see someone who can be soothing, who can project optimism, and who can seem like an executive, rather than someone who takes a swing at anyone who offends them.


On Monday's Today, the NBC correspondent joined her colleagues John Berman on ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's Bill Plante on The Early Show in highlighting former First Lady Barbara Bush's opposition to Palin. She also noted how "even the conservative magazine, The Weekly Standard, is going negative on Palin. The article says Palin's show 'has secured her a spot in the reality TV Star pantheon. And good for Palin, though there's no compelling reason to suggest the rest of us should tag along behind.'"

A week earlier, on November 15, O'Donnell played up a recent Gallup poll which found that "more than half of Americans, 52 percent view her negatively, making her the most divisive of all of the potential candidates in the 2012 Republican field."

- Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.