The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

VP No Laughing Matter

3 min read


I never thought I’d say this, but after yawning my way through last Friday’s presidential debate: thank goodness for Sarah Palin.

With campaigns that started in 2006, the presidential race had begun to dwindle into predictability by August 2008. Gone with Hillary and Huckabee went the petty personal attacks, and the final two candidates resorted to discussing, dare I say it, the issues.

Then the Alaskan wind blew in Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a tabloid-friendly gust of fundamentalist fresh air. Palin’s nomination brought us all back to the heart of politics—teen pregnancy scandals and hacked e-mail accounts. The campaign became entertaining again.

The runner-up for Miss Alaska had been state governor for 18 months when she received the nomination, and has since made many appearances in US Weekly and on What was that argument from the McCain camp about Obama being “inexperienced” and a “celebrity figure?”

Palin is a caricature; the hair, the glasses, the moose-hunting, and most importantly, the accent.

Besides naturally looking almost identical to Palin, Tina Fey has the rest of her work already done for her on “Saturday Night Live.” Fey’s impersonation of Palin involves little parody. Many of Palin’s gestures and comments are hilarious enough without exaggeration.

Last week’s episode of “SNL” opened with a sketch mocking Palin’s heavily criticized interview with Katie Couric. Unlike the parody of the first presidential debate which appeared later in the episode, the Palin sketch contained direct quotes from the actual CBS interview. The lackluster debate parody had much less content to draw from and resorted to absurd and cheesy humor.

It seems that John McCain is too honorable and Barack Obama is too ardent to be effectively mocked. Palin, on the other hand, with her pit-bull analogies, is fair game.

It was Palin’s disastrous interview with Katie Couric that caused not only an “SNL” parody, but worry from liberal and conservative bloggers alike about her preparedness.

As I upload an e-mail with the 17th Photoshopped image of Palin in a bikini, I have begun to assess the likelihood of this hockey mom becoming Commander-in-Chief.

I can’t help but think of George W. Bush in 2000. If we’d only known what the lovable moron portrayed by Will Ferrell on SNL was capable of, perhaps the country wouldn’t be in half the mess it is today.

As fun as it is to watch and mock Sarah Palin on TV, one must not forgot the dangers that come with incompetence.

Palin is no John McCain, no Dick Cheney, and certainly no Hillary Clinton.

When it comes to government, boring is usually better. Do we really want the next president of the United States to be someone who considers Alaska’s vicinity to Russia credible foreign policy experience?

She is, after all, in the words of her Tina Fey-counterpart, “only a heartbeat away.”

Unless Palin manages to prove herself in the Vice-Presidential debate tonight, we must look past what makes us laugh and put our country in the hands of those that can be taken seriously.

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