As Sarah Palin started her book tour to promote the release of "Going Rogue," the Web was abuzz with questions about Newsweek's Nov. 23 edition, which hit mailboxes and newsstands earlier this week.

Palin is pictured in running gear, a long-sleeve top, shorts and running shoes in what is presumed to be her office in Alaska. The photo was part of a shoot for Runner's World magazine's monthly feature, "I'm a Runner," which appears on the last page of the magazine. The picture that accompanied Palin's August profile shows her sitting on the ground with an Alaskan landscape behind her, wearing the same top as in the Newsweek image, but with capri pants instead of shorts.

A Runner's World spokesman said Wednesday that the photographer's contract stated the images would be embargoed for a year. The photo was not obtained from Runner's World.

At The Gaggle blog at Newsweek.com, a posting Wednesday morning gave Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham's response to the blowback about the cover.

"We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do," Meacham said. "We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: Does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard."

Wonder what the likelihood is of seeing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the cover of Newsweek in their workout clothes accompanying an article critiquing their political roles.

Later Wednesday, a second blog post appeared, quoting from Newsweek Managing Editor Daniel Klaidman's "Today" show appearance, in which he also was asked about the cover image choice: "Since (Palin) has been on the national stage, there have been these questions about her gravitas and her seriousness. Sarah Palin has cultivated this image of a down-home, folksy, outdoorsy woman. And I'm not suggesting it's not authentic, but there is a sense in which she understands that it resonates politically," Klaidman told "Today" host Matt Lauer. "There are a lot of people who would see that image and say, 'That's Sarah Palin, that's why she connects with people, there's that authenticity.' I don't think this is an image that is taken out of context, especially when you consider what the point of the story was: to raise these questions about her seriousness."

So what do you think of Newsweek's cover, and coverage, of Palin? E-mail us at moxie@postandcourier.com, and we may print your response next week.