I can’t believe the things Sarah Palin makes me do. I’ve spent literally years making a point of not watching reality TV (I defiantly refuse to call “Mythbusters” a “reality show;” it’s a documentary/educational show, dammit!). Now, she’s got me watching two of ’em.
And as I watch both “Dancing With The Stars” and “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” I’m learning a hell of a lot of new things.
First up, she and her family are exceptionally photogenic. Not just “attractive” or “hot” or “eye candy,” but they’re fun to watch. The cameras like them, and they’re pretty comfortable with being on camera. That’s rare.
Second, odd names run in her family. They’re rejecting traditional, “normal” names for their kids. Her children are Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig; her grandson is Tripp; her niece is McKinley; her nephew is Happy.
Next, Bristol Palin is an exceptional young woman. Yeah, she’s probably being carried through the “Dancing With The Stars” competition by fans of her mother, and she’s consistently the low scorer from the judges, but she’s up against some remarkable tough competition at this point: Jennifer Grey, actress and dancer. Brandy, singer and dancer. Kyle Massey, actor, rapper, and Disney child star — and you know Disney kids have performing drilled into them.
Bristol? 19, single mom, and worked in an orthodontist’s office. She’s the only one from the entire show who’s not a trained and experienced performer. Further, she’s the only one who never once sought fame. And she’s — to my admittedly biased eye — doing OK. Not great, but OK.
Then there’s Sarah’s speaking style. Her cornpone, down-home accent and speech mannerisms still grate on me. I don’t know if I could handle listening her on a daily basis.
On the other hand, anyone who says that Sarah’s a prima donna or diva or wimp has no clue what they are talking about. Those terms simply don’t apply to someone who routinely handles live fish, shoots shotguns, and does the other stuff she does on a regular basis.
I also took a hint of offense when she was visiting Denali National Park and she cited its size — specifically noting that this one park was bigger than my own New Hampshire. Yeah, it might be true, but still…
Finally… I am getting more and more convinced that Sarah Palin gets this country. She has a hell of a grasp on how we’re changing and going societally (and not just politically), and she’s riding the hell out of it.
She has seen the way that American society is changing, and she’s on that wave. Old-style media, old-style politics, old-style everything — she’s got a foot in that world.
On the other hand, she’s seeing the way things are developing, and she’s embracing that, too — in her own way. Social media is becoming the new thing, and she’s the biggest political figure on Twitter and Facebook. Now she’s taking over reality TV, but in her own way — family-friendly and wholesome.
This is a woman who intends to make her mark on this nation. She might run for president, or she might not — it depends on whether or not she decides if the presidency is part of the “old” ways, or if she can achieve more by other means.
And those who continue to misunderestimate her, denigrate her, dismiss her… they will do so to their regret, and their peril.