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On her return to Fox, Sarah Palin is a tad restrained

Peter GrierThe Christian Science Monitor
Stephen Nowers photo

Sarah Palin was back on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning. The appearance marks her return as a paid contributor to Fox after a multimonth hiatus that began when her old $1 million-per-year contract with the network expired.

So did she say anything liberals will find outrageous and Tea Party members will love?

Well, we’d judge that she was pretty restrained during her chat-up for the Fox and Friends team. Her best line came at the start, when they showed a clip of her speech from over the weekend at the Faith and Freedom Coalition annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Congress should “put themselves on Ted Cruz control for a week," said Palin.

Sen. Ted Cruz. R-Texas, was a phone-in guest, which was the way they played that bit, and not her comment that the US should “let Allah sort it out” in Syria, instead of ramping up military aid to Syrian rebels.

After that, Palin talked a bit about her upcoming Christmas book, which she described as a legal primer to “pushing back on the politically correct who would try to take the Christ out of Christmas," but also a “festive and jolly” book with recipes.

Then she spent a lot of time conflating the IRS scandal, in which agency officials vetting applications for nonprofit 501(c)(4) status singled out politically conservative groups for special scrutiny, and recent revelations about the extent to which the National Security Agency (NSA) captures the communications data of Americans.

“This is one big ball of wax of a big, overgrown government that has gotten out of control and the people have had enough,” said the former half-term Alaska governor.

She was not that hard on NSA leaker and self-described whistleblower Edward Snowden, observing at one point that “nothing will ever be the same for this man,” and also saying, “I think that the issue again is that government is so large and so intrusive in all aspects of life that we need more revelations, we need more truth about what our administration is doing."

Thus, Palin unsurprisingly appears to be going with fellow tea party favorite Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky on this, decrying the possible decay in US civil liberties as opposed to branding Mr. Snowden a possible source for Chinese intelligence, which is the ex-VP Dick Cheney approach.

However, on the national airwaves she did not go so far as to repeat the judgment she’d expressed in her Faith & Freedom conference speech that the NSA “couldn’t find two pot-smoking deadbeat Bostonians with a hotline to terrorist central in Chechnya ... really?”

Maybe she’ll ramp things up in appearances to come.