Your daily Palin

Madonna plays pundit, Paris praises the candidate's "hot bod" and a new blowup doll surprises exactly no one.

By Judy Berman
Published October 9, 2008 7:20PM (EDT)

Remember what it was like to have a female candidate whom people actually took seriously? Love her or hate her (or feel lukewarm about her, as I do), most Americans treated Hillary Clinton like a politician to be reckoned with. While misogyny undeniably affected her campaign, it never overtook it. Perhaps because Sarah Palin doesn't have much to offer politically or intellectually, it seems that when the dust settles on the 2008 election, the governor's greatest, lasting impact on our culture may be her endlessly touted sex appeal. And that, "my friends," makes this a sad moment indeed for feminism.

So am I particularly shocked, or scandalized, that a company called Topco has created a Sarah Palin sex doll? Nope. In what appears to be a saucy acknowledgment of a potential lawsuit, the product's clumsy official name is, "This is NOT Sarah Palin Inflatable Love Doll." Its packaging shows an impossibly buxom lady -- who, incidentally, bears little to no resemblance to Palin -- busting out of a cheap, disheveled business suit. The box's marketing copy is about as cheesy and uninspired as it could possibly be, with lines like, "Let her pound your gavel over and over" and "Cross party lines with your own inflatable running mate!" I'm still scratching my head over the quip, "Blow her up and show her how you're going to vote." For her? Against her? With your penis? I give up.

Speaking of Palin's sex life -- because who can think about anything else lately? -- Buzzfeed is speculating on the candidate's bare ring finger. Apparently, she has been spotted sans wedding band several times over the past few weeks. The way I see it, there are two ways to think about this. The first, obviously, is that Palin's planning on ditching her husband, "First Dude" Todd. The other possibility is that, like strippers and pop stars everywhere, the governor has removed her ring because a seemingly available VPILF is more conducive to fantasy than one whose jewelry keeps reminding you she's taken.

Perhaps no one knows about this better than Paris Hilton, who took the opportunity, in an interview for November's issue of Harper's Bazaar, to give Palin a few fashion tips. "My advice to Sarah Palin is, you've got a hot bod; don't keep it to yourself," Hilton told the magazine. "Why wear a pantsuit when you can wear a swimsuit? Welcome to the Lower 48, girlfriend." Clearly Hilton hasn't had the pleasure of watching the ever-popular clip of the Alaska governor in the midst of a swimsuit competition.

And finally, did we really think we'd get to Nov. 4 without hearing Madonna sound off on Sarah Palin? America's favorite opinionated pop star -- a lady who knows a thing or two about mature sex appeal -- had some choice words for the V.P. candidate at a concert Saturday night: "Sarah Palin can't come to my party! Sarah Palin can't come to my show!" To me, that just about says it all, but here's the Los Angeles Times blog to put a creepy spin on it: "I don't think I'm alone in saying I would pay dearly to watch Sarah and Madonna mud-wrestle. Who do you think would win? Sarah's got some seriously toned calves from all her running. But check out Madge's scary thighs." Way to raise the level of discourse, guys.

Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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