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Erica Jong Headshot

You Betcha She's Doggone Cute

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Sarah Palin is a character out of Lewis Carroll. No one can translate that smile. She's the Cheshire Cat.

She says nothing and she grins triumphantly. Her smile lingers when the words have gone.

Nothing she says makes sense but the eyelashes never stop batting. Catch phrases and buzz words bounce in the air above her head. She adores the word "also." Also, she adores herself. She is so doggone cute she turns herself on.

She is the woman politician advertisers have been waiting for -- all style and no substance. Full of confidence and full of beans, the walk of feminism without the talk. Nobody can object because there's nothing to object to. Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro had ideas you could disagree with. But Sarah Palin is perky and inscrutable at once, you betcha. She talks. We listen but we have no idea what's been said.

She is the female candidate of GOP dreams. She talks, she smiles, she flirts, she never opposes. She makes mistakes but nobody seems to care. We watch her lips go up, go down, go sideways. We watch her eyes glisten behind rimless glasses. The beauty pageant promoters removed her soul so it wouldn't get in the way. How can we dismiss her or debate her? She's a bubble. She's fizz.

She is the perfection of beauty pageant womanhood. All image, no ideas. Camera-ready for hair and lipstick commercials. Her patriotism is of the Fourth of July variety. Let's eat a heck of a lot of hot dogs, pun intended.

She's pure as a sex-phone operator. You can fantasize but not touch. The bill comes later.

She reminds me of Paris Hilton -- who once tried to trademark the expression "That's hot." Will Palin trademark "You betcha"? Or "doggone"? Or "team of mavericks"? I wouldn't put it past her. Whatever happens with the "election" the endorsements will come flooding in. Maybelline will want her. And Kellogg's. And Wal-Mart. Some publisher must already have an offer on the table.

Sarah Palin has already won the Olympics of reality TV. She'll do just fine. As for the rest of us -- I'm not so sure.

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