We here at Texas Monthly are busy making preparations for the Iowa caucus, which is, as readers know, rapidly approaching. For today, then, I just wanted to pass along some reading recommendations: a couple of unusually well-done profiles, and a word salad from the former governor of Alaska.

The first is Joel Stein’s delightful profile of Bernie Sanders for Bloomberg BusinessWeek:

In Plymouth, Sanders is asked about his interests other than wealth inequality. “History,” he says. “How communities thrive. How they flourish. How people don’t get left behind. How social change takes place.” In other words: the history of wealth inequality. When the New York Times once had him pick a question from a reader out of a hat, and Sanders had to describe the U.S. to a Martian, it took him only four sentences to get to the phrase “income and wealth inequality.”

The second is Andy Kroll’s authoritative look at Jeff Roe, Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, from The New Republi:.

The 43-year-old had dreamed of running a presidential campaign ever since he got his start in politics in rural Missouri. Now, behind those townhouse doors, awaited a candidate set to interview Roe for the chance to land just such a job. This candidate also happened to be the same man whose career Roe had sought to end before it began: Senator Ted Cruz.

It was a Tuesday, and Cruz had votes in the Senate. Roe was told he had an hour to make his case. The two men ended up talking for three and a half.

And, thanks to Kyle Blaine at BuzzFeed, we have the full text of the speech Sarah Palin gave yesterday, endorsing Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency. Readers are encouraged to leave additional recommendations in the comments—or, perhaps, pictures of baby animals for the benefit of anyone who straggled through the entirety of Palin’s speech.