Sarah Palin and her family are media darlings these days.
Episode two of her reality show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," aired Sunday, a week after it drew a record five million viewers in its debut.
She also has another book coming out, "America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag," and her daughter, Bristol, will compete in the finals of "Dancing with the Stars."
It's the kind of attention, observes CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante observes, any potential presidential candidate can only dream of. And the former Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate has dropped broad hints she might be after President Obama's job.
"This," says Politico.com's Karin Tanabe, "is a great way for her to have the attention without really having big criticism."
But, Plante points out, there are critics.
In an interview with CNN's Larry King, former first lady Barbara Bush.
"I sat next to her once," Mrs. Bush said. "Thought she was beautiful -- and I think she's very happy in Alaska -- and I hope she'll stay there."
Palin's book tour begins this week, and will take her to key presidential battleground states, such as Iowa and South Carolina, for the run-up to the 2012 campaign.
In excerpts leaked online, Palin spends most of the time talking about popular culture, rather than politics, praising films such as "Knocked UP," while criticizing reality TV shows, like "American Idol."
One political target is first lady Michelle Obama. Palin revisits comments the first lady made during the 2008 campaign, when Mrs. Obama said support for her husband made her proud of her country for the first time in her adult life.
"I guess this shouldn't surprise us," Palin writes, "since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church, listening to his rants against America and white people."
The book's publisher is now suing Gawker.com, the website that first ran the excerpts and has now taken them down under court order.
There are now reports, Plante adds, that Palin has a team on the ground in Iowa, and they're not there, he says, to check out hog and corn prices!
Nov. 22, 2010