ELECTION COUNTDOWN 2008
FLIRTING WITH THE ENEMY
GOV. SARAH PALIN
....rolls out the charm
Sarah winks up a storm
and proves she's 'hot'!
By RON MILLER
Sarah Palin scares me. For all kinds of reasons. But the main reason she shivers my timbers is because I've discovered she's beguiling and...dare I say it, seductive. She has a smile like Malibu sunshine, which I imagine comes in handy for a girl from Alaska.
When I sat down to watch her first and only debate with Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee Sen. Joe Biden on Oct. 2, my main concern was that Biden would verbally pistol-whip her and finish the process of completely trashing her as the Republicans' vice presidential nominee. I didn't want to see something ugly like that.
Don't get me wrong. I wanted to see her lose the debate on everybody's scorecard because she strikes me as a political lightweight with such reactionary ideas that, if she ever became president, I'd live in constant fear she'd get ticked off at Vladimir Putin and nuke Russia before the radium clouds had even settled over Iran.
Then her face filled my TV screen and she winked at me.
That's right, she winked AT ME! And she kept on doing it, over and over. Don't tell me you didn't see it! I mean, one of the networks even isolated all her Oct. 2 winks at me into one reel, which made her look as if she was recovering from the St.Vitus Dance.
All right, maybe she wasn't specifically winking at moi, but I'm sure she intended every adult male in America to sincerely believe she was winking just at him. I bought it. It was so obviously a wink that I even looked at my watch to see how much time I had to fly out there in case she wanted to come up to my hotel room after the debate.
I'm no political historian, but I'm willing to bet that's the first time a candidate for vice president ever winked at anybody on national TV during a debate.
Anyway, I was taking notes, a habit I picked up way back in my early days as a newspaper reporter, and my notes clearly showed Biden was working at the top of his form. That is, he was until she gave him one of those coy, beguiling smiles of hers. Instantly, Biden's mouth burst into a grotesque caricature of a smile that reminded me of that guy in Victor Hugo's "The Man Who Laughs" whose face was carved into a permanent smile by cruel gypsies when he was a little boy.
It was, in fact, a world-class Cheshire cat grin right out of Lewis Carroll. Maybe most people thought his big smile came because she'd nailed him by bringing up one of those nasty quotes he'd made about Barack Obamaback when they were rivals for the presidential nominaton. I knew better. I think it was the same smile I had on my face at the same time, the smile that said, "Ohmigod, she's hot!"
Am I accusing Gov. Palin of using "feminine wiles" to charm a male opponent and all the guys watching at home. Well, as Sarah would say, "You betcha!"
Funny thing is, even though I knew it was a debating tactic of hers, I couldn't help myself. It reminded me of one of the most humliating days of my life, back when I was a seventh grader, selling candy bars at the school carnival. I walked around with the candy bars in one of those trays that hung at waist level from a strap around my neck. I was doing fine, making money for the school project, when a sexy girl named Sonja came up to me and vamped me.
"Could I take a couple of extra candy bars?" she asked me after paying for one.
"You'd do that for me, wouldn't you?"
Sonja was one of those seventh graders whose body was already in the ninth grade. I don't believe I said anything, unless you want to count "gulp!" as a word. She just stood there in front of me, kind of swaying a little and giving me that smile that felt like hot mercury moving its way up a thermometer. She took half a dozen or so candy bars that I had to pay for later. When she left, I felt like I needed to be hosed down by the fire department. Maybe I was. I can't remember if any parts of me were still smoking bad enough to set off any alarms.
That's the way Sarah Palin made me feel on Oct. 2. I started to like her a lot better. I started to excuse her inanities. I looked at her and saw what a charmer she probably can be in person. I understood why so many women like her: She can wrap some guys around her little finger.
When the debate was over, most all the on-air pundits said she'd done well. Most thought Biden had won, but that the real news was how positive an impression Palin had left, especially considering the low expectations most of us had for her at the start.
Will I vote for her? Are you kidding? As long as I can stay at least 1,000 miles away from her at all times, I can be sure she won't blink her eyes at me and maybe sit on my lap and whisper something in my ear, like "Would you vote for me, big fellow?"
Yes, I'll keep my bearings and let my brain decide my vote and not my baser instincts. But I'm willing to concede right now that Palin is more than just a pretty face. In fact, she's a pretty face with oak leaf clusters. She should stay in Alaska and help keep the temperature rising among the ice floes.
©2008 by Ron Miller. This column first posted Oct. 6, 2008.
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