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CON GAMES: Is Sarah Palin Hot?

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The hotness of Sarah Palin has not gone unremarked nor should it any more than John F. Kennedy's so-called "charisma." Sex appeal is a huge bonus for a political candidate regardless of their "capacities," to quote the late Al Campanis, and speculation about Sarah Palin's bodyparts will continue as long as the half-time Governor of Alaska continues to sling for the fences.

In order to fully plumb the debts of political hotness, it is first helpful to consider what would have happened to Sarah Palin's career had she suddenly gone to flab, like that character on Mad Men who blimped due to an unknown pregnancy.

Imagine Sarah Palin is nominated for the Vice Presidency by John McCain and promptly starts to eat her way out of prominence. The pressure is so bad she is double-dipping at Taco Bell and triple-scooping at Dairy Queen. By the time of the Republican National Convention, she is popping out of the designer pants she glommed onto the week previous. By the general election, every story is about how she got so fat so fast. Instead of a national political figure, Sarah Palin is nothing but go figure: Kirstie Alley bravely doing Jenny Craig.

And if you think this goes only for women, consider we have not had a truly fat President of the United States since William Howard Taft. Male or female, it ain't going to happen. Size matters in American politics.

So is Sarah Palin hot? Or just hot for her age, like a cougar ready to claw her way on top?

The age issue first. I would vote that, yes, Sarah Palin is hot for her age. She is trim, outdoorsy, athletic, and with enough of an hourglass figure to make time stand still cougar-wise. She also seems to be nicely excitable, a trait likely to translate into animated sexual activity. She is also smartish, though not book-smart, and pretty funny in a dopey hayseed sort of way. Get rid of the glasses, as Vogue did, and you've definitely got something to work with there.

For 44, Sarah Palin is hot. Book it, Danno.

But is Sarah Palin hot in general and hence without qualification?

Go to the Web and you don't know what you're looking at, given the proliferation of Adobeshopped Palin silicon implantations. Her physical image is as distorted as her political image is sharp. Like it or not, one is left with the video image and the television memory of Sarah Palin.

For me, it comes down to this: if she weren't such a puppet and a parrot--if it were possible for her to have an original idea in her head--then she would be red-hot regardless of age, state, or circumstance. She's smart enough, but the problem is she keeps opening her mouth and nothing worth knowing ever comes out. Talking points are not sexy. Repeating your political mantras on cue is a bore. Not even Elliot Spitzer could spend five minutes in a room with Sarah Palin without running from the room like a loon.

Is Sarah Palin really hot? Not really. To be really hot you have to know who you are without writing on your hand.