Suddenly propelled to the national stage, Sarah Palin had the dubious honour of being the least experienced vice-presidential candidate in the history of the US. Now, with the presidential election decided, the Sydney Morning Herald looks to her political future.
Weeks after Sarah Palin was lampooned by the country's comedians, her own party is catching up.
John McCain's aides have revealed their vice-presidential candidate did not know Africa was a continent and in fact thought it was a country.
She also had no idea which countries made up the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], or that the United States - along with Canada and Mexico - was one of them.
Fox News anchor Carl Cameron, the source of the leaks, reveals the party's one-time darling was already shaping up as its whipping boy before the defeat to the Democrats sank in.
"There was great concern in the McCain campaign that Sarah Palin lacked the degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate, a vice-president, and a heartbeat away from the presidency," he said.
"We're told she didn't understand that Africa was a continent rather than a country just in itself - a whole host of questions that caused serious problems.
"I wish I could have told you more at the time but all of it was put off the record until after the election."
The Alaskan governor's big spend on clothes emerged publicly last month, but McCain's aides also said that she spent "thousands more" than the reported $US150,000 on clothes during the campaign, much to the shock of the donor that footed the bill, the Daily Mail reports.
An angry aide, quoted in London's Times, described the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast", and predicted that the truth would eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.
She had been advised she should buy three new suits for the Republican National Convention in September and three additional suits for the campaign, expected to come to a total of between $US20,000 and $US25,000, two top aides said.
Cameron also revealed the Alaskan governor started to "go rogue" early on, such as after her first disastrous CBS interview with Katie Couric.
"She got very angry at staff, thought that she was mishandled, was particularly angry about the way the Katie Couric interview went," he said.
The moment was then satirised by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live in a video clip watched by millions.
"She didn't accept preparation for that interview and the aides say that that was part of the problem. And there were times that she was hard to control emotionally - there's talk of temper tantrums at bad news clippings," he said.
Cameron cites a "truncated" vetting process for Palin's selection after McCain's camp decided the then-shortlist was inadequate to "change the game" in the race for the presidency.
So they opted instead for a candidate who reportedly once opened the door to one of McCain's aides in a towel.
The relationship between McCain and Palin was further strained after she was recorded falling for a prank call by two Canadian comedians pretending to be French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
"Her staff didn't know the name of the French President," Sebastien Trudel told The Globe and Mail. "They asked us to spell it."
McCain and Palin both left Phoenix in separate cars yesterday, but Palin, for her part, "bears no ill-will to staff", Cameron said.
Palin has not ruled out a 2012 tilt, but Tina Fey has told Entertainment Weekly that she's hanging up her Palin wig.