I can't help but be intrigued by the striking resemblance between Miss South Carolina 2007, Lauren Caitlin Upton's response to the question, "Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?" and Sarah Palin's response when Katie Couric asked her, "Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas, and groceries, [to] allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?"
Here's a transcript of Upton's response:
"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children."
And here's Palin's:
"That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it's got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and getting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade -- we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation."
The use of uh and um. The non sequiturs. The key word sprinkling. They're both like beauty savants with current event Tourette's. So, perhaps the problem is not so much that Palin isn't very bright (which she isn't) but instead that she is in the wrong race. With all of that winking and grinning and folksy speak, I bet she'd be a shoo-in back on the pageant circuit.
I don't mean any disrespect to the pageant universe. I rather enjoy watching pageants, in fact. When all parties are willing participants, of course (child beauty pageants scare me.) But shouldn't we just call them as they are? They're not scholarship pageants. They're beauty contests. The Nobel Prize doesn't have a bathing suit or evening gown portion as far as I know. So why do pageants even bother with the whole interview thing? It seems unfair and silly really that pageants should attempt to peddle themselves as battles of wit. It makes perfectly lovely girls look like fools, which is exactly what's happening with Sarah Palin.
I can hear the outcry now. I get it. Not all beauty pageant contestants are stupid. I took logic in college. All poodles are dogs but not all dogs are poodles. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But, come on. Let's be realistic here, especially when we're talking about someone who could actually end up running our country. Sarah Palin is pretty. That's great. But she has no experience and no clue. So, let's get her back to the kind of competition that includes her own peers. Now that the questions have been asked and answered, it seems pretty clear that the sash-wearing set are much more Palin's speed. And good for her. Let's get that girl a corporate sponsor. But, please, let's get her off the ballot.
Oh, and Governor Palin, in case you're reading this, here's the application!
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