10/31/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Note On Sarah Palin's Pageant Past

It is a mildly titillating curiosity to see a candidate for office or other august personage in a bathing suit. Nothing more. The recent guerilla footage, blurry and over two decades old, of a youthful Sarah Palin walking across the stage in a red shiny one-piece is a minor and meaningless blip. All it means is that she was in her early 20s and did what girls that age in Wasilla did, and if she got some tuition money out of it then power to her. Let me tell you, had that opportunity been available to me at that time, I would have happily strutted and collected my check — and if for some reason they came out now, I would be abashed but not ashamed. Because it has nothing to do with the work I do every day.

Ditto Sarah Palin. I don't even care that she jumped around between 5 colleges. Its a non-issue. I only care about what she's done with it since then.

She started late and rose fast, and she is by any standard a savvy and accomplished woman. But when I disagree violently with her positions or find her wanting for her paltry, stuttering answers to Katie Couric, it has nothing to do with that lycra-clad moment in her twenties and everything to do with what she has not yet learned. And does not yet know.

Let's not confuse the issue.