Sunday, November 2, 2008

Great Moments in Campaign Palintology

Move over Tina Fey. As much as I hate to say it, you're yesterday's news. Today's news has more to do with a couple of guys named Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastien Trudel, a Montreal comedy duo known as the Masked Avengers. Yesterday the woman who would be president, er, uh, I mean vice-president of the U.S., Sarah Palin was mercilessly punked by the the duo, one of whom posed as French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The six-minute call was time enough for the fake Sarkozy to invite Palin to go hunting with him in a helicopter,and to implore her not to bring Dick Cheney. In case you're one of the six people left who haven't heard this uprorious prank, hear it now.

Am I the only one who now pictures Sarkozy and his nubile young wife, Carla Bruni lounging in the presidential palace, sipping champagne from foot-tall flutes, and listening to this crank call over and over again? In the background I picture Carla's new CD playing, but the more tipsy they get from the champagne, the louder their guffaws become. It's Saturday Night Live at the palace - no Tina Fey required.

This would be so much fun if it were not so prophetic. Listen carefully to Palin on the phone with fake Sarkozy. She sounds like a high school girl taking a call from the captain of the football team. She's about this close to giggling and tripping over her words. Thank God it was not the real president of France speaking. Are we not, as a country, sufficiently humiliated by now? Do we need a woman who is one heartbeat away from the presidency speaking to one of the most powerful men in the world as though he were calling to ask her to the prom?

This latest misstep on the part of the McCain/Palin camp makes me wonder if we haven't been missing the forest for the trees. Everyone questions Palin's readiness to assume the presidency, and usually the question has to do with her lack of knowledge of foreign policy or with her unfamiliarity with the Washington scene. Perhaps we should also be questioning this candidate's level of sophistication. The world has certain expectations of the President of the United States. Whoever assumes this position is expected to exhibit a certain worldliness, wisdom and urbane demeanor. Even Jimmy Carter and Teddy Roosevelt were able to pull that off when called upon to do so.

But Sarah? Well, I guess I should apologize for this before I say it, but...well...who was it that once said, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig?" Oh shut up now. I didn't necessarily mean Mrs. Palin is a pig. All right already, I'll rephrase. How's this? You can put $150,000 worth of Neiman Marcus and Saks duds on a Wasilla girl, but she's still a Wasilla girl. Wasilla - population 9,780, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Wasilla, where the population is 85.46% white. Wasilla, in its way, may be a lovely spot in Alaska. One wonders if it offered Mrs. Palin the requisite life experience to deal with people like Nicolas Sarkozy, or say, Vladimir Putin, or Queen Elizabeth.

I'm worried. I'm not taking a full breath until after Tuesday.

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