The burning question sane women have about Sarah Palin: "Just who the hell does she think she is?"
I'll tell you who she is: Sarah Palin is a Pretty Girl. Due to her Miss Alaska runner-up credentials, Palin has enjoyed a life, thus far, of getting what she wants, whenever she wants it, regardless of rules, consequences and fairness (try to ban books? fire an enemy? lie blatantly? force her daughter into a sham marriage? why not!). Palin believes her opinions matter simply because people have always paid attention to her. In Alaska, where there are approximately a hundred men for every woman--and a thousand men for every Pretty Girl--Palin must have enjoyed the rapt, undivided attention of any man or moose she ever met or shot. The air of entitlement--what Palin embodies, from her Kawasaki glasses to her Naughty Monkey pumps--is a hallmark of Pretty Girls. Think of the Pretty Girls from high school. Recognize the not-blinking smugness, the certainty that their jokes were funny, their observations were interesting and that their believes were correct? I sure do.
Not so say that all Pretty Girls have an inflated sense of importance . . . actually, I am saying that. Or, at least, they do until they grew out of it. Most Pretty Girls are humbled by life. Their over-confidence is knocked out of them by the inevitable disappointments and failures we all have to deal with. Many Pretty Girls, sadly, get fat, ugly and old. They figure out that, in the great wide world, pretty isn't enough. It's a damn good start, and it opens doors. But, eventually, Just Pretty doesn't cut it. You also need to be smart, insightful, considerate, open-minded, flexible.
Despite facing "challenges," Palin does not appear to have been humbled by life in the great wide world. Why? She hasn't been in the great wide world. She's been in the great white north (and I do mean "white"). She might be able to see Russia, but she hasn't been there. Nor has she been to Iraq, although she claimed to have been.
This week, Palin arrives in New York (where the population of a single city block is larger than all of Alaska) and will visit the United Nations. No doubt, she'll soon announce that she's traveled 'round the globe by walking the corridors there. She will spend a day of meeting-and-greeting international diplomats, giving them the Pretty Girl treatment, smiling and winking, just like she smiled and winked at Charles Gibson to idiotic affect. (Just try to imagine Hillary Clinton winking when asked a question about national security. Can't be done.) After leaving the UN, Palin will most likely claim that she now has vast experience handling (as in, shaking hands with) foreign leaders.
The hubris! The delusion! Only a Pretty Girl would compare herself to a pit bull. Only a Pretty Girl would say "nucular" two times on TV without a shame and embarrassment. Will hubris, ultimately, be Palin's fatal flaw? Now there's something to pray for.
To answer the question, "Who does Sarah Palin think she is?" Why, she's God's gift to mankind, of course. What shocks and saddens me is that so many women seem to agree.
Follow Valerie Frankel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/valfrankel