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A recent article by Newser founder and Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff tried to explain the similarities between Silvio Berlusconi and Sarah Palin.

Their success, he says, is easy to explain:

It’s pure shamelessness, a total absence of self-consciousness, combined with entrepreneurial zeal. These are extraordinary self-reliant salesmen, Berlusconi and Palin. Id people. Media creations, it goes without saying. He was a cruise-ship crooner; she a beauty contestant.

These are all good points, although I think Wolff glides over a fundamental difference: While Sarah Palin wittingly adapted all the cliches the media wanted her to fit in, Berlusconi modeled his image to his liking, having the power to do so with a big chunk of Italy’s television channels and quite a few influential daily and weekly publications.

Wolff then goes on to explaining why this Palin-Berlusconi model is so attractive to voters.
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