PURDUM: A lot of people did tell me something that Cynthia said, which is that she takes everything very personally. She has this sort of grandiose sense of her own place in the cosmos. She has an unrealistic sense of what people should expect of her and what she should be required to deliver.
I think, in some ways, as puzzling as her statement was on Friday, it's at peace with that. It's at peace with this person who does not seem to operate in any conventional sense as a politician would who knows she has to live to fight another day, who should keep her friends close but her enemies closer. It's very personal for her.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Does it make you think she wants to come back, wants to get back on all of this?
PURDUM: I think she wants to get back at whatever she feels has wounded her and aggrieved her. But I take her to her word at some level, that she wants to have a hiatus in her life. I think the last thing she must really want is to be in the thick of it because if you can't take the heat in Juneau, Washington is a lot hotter.
BLANKLEY: She's both a narcissist and she wants people to stop pay attention to her. Look, narcissism is the disease of the age. A lot of folks suffer from it. The statement about narcissism reminds me of the Goldwater campaign, where 1,000 psychiatrists signed an ad saying he was nuts. We throw around these charges.
My sense is, that the thing she most needs is a good, small team of advisers who are shrewd and she feels comfortable with. Because obviously there's been a scattershot of folks the way she's presented herself. I think it's fixable. And as you mentioned, when Dick Nixon said you won't have Nixon to kick around, he subsequently got elected twice to the presidency.
DOWD: Well, I think -- I mean, obviously, all these terms (inaudible) about politicians being narcissistic is not page one.
I mean, almost every one that we all know is narcissistic. That's why they run for office.
The question, though, becomes, that their celebrity that they have, either they have when they come in, like Ronald Reagan, and what they use it for, and that adulation that they have.
Because they're all, sort of, self-involved. All of them are. How do they use it? Do they use it about "me" or do they use it about "we"?
And I think part of the problem with Sarah Palin is not her advisers and is not all that kind of stuff. And it's not necessarily that she's a narcissist, which all these politicians typically are. It's what is she using that for?
And most politicians, like Ronald Reagan, use it to advance a bigger cause And something bigger -- more than about themselves, and use that celebrity status, just like Barack Obama, I think. You can criticize his policies -- and he has celebrity status. He's trying to...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that's what she's saying she's going to do here.
DOWD: Well, that's the question, though, is that she has not demonstrated. And the one place she could have demonstrated substantially, which I believe that, if she really wanted to have a political future, she would have shown what she could do in Alaska, and say, "I'm not going to pay attention to what's going on down in the 48 states. I'm going to do my job. And if I do my job well, then maybe I have a future."
But quitting in the job that -- the only place she can do it seems bizarre to me.