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June 8, 2010

Election Final: Sarah’s Fingerprints

Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters - Belmont Park. Elmont, New York June 5, 2010.
Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters - Belmont Park. Elmont, New York June 5, 2010.

If tonight’s second wave of 2010 mid-year primaries was supposed to be definitive of something, I’m not seeing what it was — except a good night for female candidates (as well as for Sarah Palin, who got behind a number of victors).

Having morphed into a full-fledged cultural celebrity, now regularly making the scene at events like the Triple Crown, Palin — knowing the cameras were on her every minute — looked more than smug on Saturday at Belmont in her designer glasses (I’m loaded), and her redneck-y hat (I’m bad) with its rhinestone cross (I’m with Jesus).

Having gotten behind winning candidates like Branstad, Haley and Fiorina (while also drawing media attention this week for her oily Obama taunts), this Palin photo — even though it was taken on Saturday at the Belmont Stakes — might still be the most significant image of election night.

  • Spaniard

    Looks like she’s gonna explode!

  • Nordmann

    Looks like Obama turned down her offer of advice on the Big Spill.

  • BamaGuy1024

    Sarah Palin’s breasts are suddenly much larger. She has obviously used some of her windfall of cash to have more than a little work done. She is so plastic, so superficial, so overconfident, so holier-than-thou – precisely what the GOP needs at this moment in time, an arrogant inflated bosom scowling moronic harpie who knows how to recite party line talking points and throw acidly critical remarks about democrats and the administration. Oh America…

  • gastropoda

    What this photo misses is how wildly inappropriately she was dressed, especially as the guest of Marylou Whitney. She looks like what she is: a Wasilla hillbilly. Some commenters elsewhere have speculated that her expression reflects her awareness that people around her are disgusted, which is why she came up with the obvious lie that she was wearing the wrong clothes because “the limo driver got lost.” No NY limo driver gets lost.

    • Michael Shaw


      Thanks for the background.

  • Chris

    The “cross” on her hat looks more like a stylized version of the Confederate Flag.

    • Nancy

      Chris, As I said, she is a nasty, miserable phony, using her children and religion as props. The worst kind of person. The “Cross” on her hat, indeed.

    • Sue J

      That’s what it looked like to me too, Chris.

  • peter Hollander

    I find the “cross” on her hat to be a bit of a double-edged sword, pardon the pun, with the rhinestones it made up of giving it a look similar to the band of star in the Confederate Flag:

    She’s just so f–king with people, on both sides.

  • g

    She’s got those cigarette lip-wrinkles, like Laura Bush.

  • Gasho

    She’s always been set up to crash and burn. She may be riding high with her book tours and political clout in the tea bagging party, but eventually, the fact that her talking points aren’t based on reason (let alone wisdom of any kind) will come back to bite her.

    The faster she rides this thing, the harder it’s going to crash.. and it looks to me like she’s got it on full throttle.

    The cross on that hat is also tipping just a little to the south, if you know what I mean. Isn’t that flirting with the anti-christ?

  • Megan

    Such an interesting photo. I always want to talk about the photo rather than the subject, but I’ll say two things about the subject right up front.

    1. She is tremendously photogenic. Very vibrant, draws the eye, photographs beautifully. We knew that.

    2. I didn’t recognize her.

    3. I’m still not done marveling that women fill the screen in political photos now. It was only two years ago that you were posting picture after picture of Sen. McCain’s campaign with not a single woman in the frame. Here a woman is the topic, with an attendant man at her feet.

    On to the photo:

    Somehow the tarp struck me as very American. We’re rich enough to cover whatever jerry-rigged thing is going on behind her with an expensive piece of specially designed cloth. What is it covering? How come the stagecraft of hiding something is so evident?

    She is very alive and charismatic in that picture, but she is also almost entirely boxed in. Metal bars hold her in to her back and her right. The approaching man (the Tea Party?) blocks any movement to the front. Her only exit is to our right (her left), but she won’t look at it. Her attendant sees it, but they aren’t communicating.

    Everything but her Self, her appearance and charisma, is so out of focus as to be indistinguishable. What is going on besides Ms. Palin? Who can tell?

    Thanks for putting this up. It is definitely a rich picture.

  • heydave

    Wait, are you telling me she really IS a skank?

  • Megan

    Could you please tie that into the picture we’re looking at, heydave? What were your visual cues for your analysis?

  • Michael Shaw

    I went with SP as the election “lead pic” not just because of the brazen presentation but the sense of relaxation. If Palin has been defiant all along (or, at least, since she threw off her GOP handlers) in how she expresses and adorns herself with divisive symbolism, she’s always been a little giddy, nervous, awkward or self-conscious about it.

    Since she quit the Governorship, I’ve been seeing that awkwardness less and less, and I don’t see it in this picture at all. I think Palin’s got better handlers and strategists behind her now, a direct consequence, I assume, of the huge paychecks she’s been pulling in from the speaking circuit.

    What’s really scary is the thought, and the site, of the borderline Palin getting past the stuttering, of a flaunting Palin without the training wheels.

  • Robert Hariman

    Isn’t anyone going to say it? The photo show that she’s goddamned mean.

    • nancy

      My thoughts exactly, Robert. What a nasty, dim, phony this woman is and I will leave the country if she is ever our Prez, for sure.

    • nancy

      My thoughts exactly, Robert.

  • DennisQ

    I don’t get it. What I mean is, I still don’t “get” Sarah Palin. Why is she a big celebrity?

    The picture looks like she’s in the middle of an argument with the person facing her. I smell shit, I tell you! Don’t tell me I don’t know it when I smell it!

  • Anonymous Howard

    She has always been a study in contradictions. Designer glasses say “High class.” T-shirt says “low class.” A hat that screams “I love bling!” as loudly as “I love Jesus!”

    She is one of the people and above the people at the same time. All of America vs. the “Real” America. Which is the “real” Sarah Palin and which is the calculated facade? Or is it all facade?

    She just seems so much like a self-conscious teenager so concerned with her own public image that she doesn’t know which fashion to follow.

    • Gasho

      That contradiction is the American Psyche defined. We all want someone who we can relate to – who understands “us”, but we all aspire to be in the upper crust as well.

      Palin is a backwater politician (awful political views, a little rednecky) but she’s also a Mother, Wife and successful career type. Those things come together to satisfy the first condition – she’s grounded in at least a handful of archetypal american female characters. The second condition, the upper crust prestigious “star” condition was satisfied the instant she got the nod as the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Republican Party! She was in the same big circus tent as Obama for a while – remember that?? The campaign crashed and burned, but she’d already been shot into space by that crazy old man’s decision to choose her.

      That’s my read on her. Her journey into the upper atmosphere, though, has a distinct arc. She’s riding high now, but it’s unsustainable. She’s going to be rich, and for a short while, politically influential, but only while her stardom burns out.

  • I.M.Shocked

    To me, those designer glasses scream “New Money”
    (Cue Harvey Korman; “De-Mo-Nay, De-Mo-Nay!”)

    It looks like she’s turned around to face someone behind her. The “who farted” look tells me someone gave her the advice Dick Cheney gave Sen Pat Leahy a few years ago; “Go f–k yourself!”

    Buy the way, the “attendant” as someone put it, is her number one handler Tawd, I mean Todd. I wonder if the “bolt-ons” were his idea?

  • Charlene

    I’m struck by the contradiction of the badass hat, glasses and expression and her choice of a tee shirt with those little girl puffed sleeves. Reminds me of the Peter Pan collars that Kay Bailey Hutchison used to wear all the time, and also the language and demeanor of a few women officeholders in my area that seems to communicate to their peers: I may be your equal, but you don’t need to be afraid of me.

  • Molly

    The expression on her face reminds me of something a good friend used to say about her cranky mother:

    Don’t make any sudden movements and keep your hands away from her mouth.

  • Hoyt Clagwell

    The way she’s sitting there…it looks like she’s leaning back, putting her weight on her elbows. Very undignified and inappropriate posture for a civilized event. She looks like a centerfold model leaning back on the hood of a car or a sandy beach, tits thrust out for maximum display.

    She obviously has the skin of a woman who’s spent too much of her life “tanning.” Just one more way she’ll be done in by her own vanity.

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