Last Thursday, while the rest of us were eating stuffing and probably violating the Constitution, Sarah Palin was participating in a 5k Turkey Trot in Kennewick, Washington. As is often the case with Palin, though, the word “participating” does not mean what you want it to mean. It turns out that the former Alaska governor dropped out of the race midway through, ostensibly to avoid the crowd of onlookers waiting for her at the finish line. See, she just wanted to run in the race and meet some Real Americans, not turn the Red Cross charity event into some sort of Going Rogue publicity spectacle. That’s why she announced her participation only two days before on her Twitter feed, and why her team was called the Rogue Runners. And shame on you for finding some cruel poetry in Palin’s decision to quit a charity race she had time to enter because she quit the governorship of Alaska. You try operating the complex assemblage of touch-screens and levers required to synchronize the Palin II‘s legs for 3.1 miles.
You guys are probably getting sick of the snake that et cetera etc. by now, but we here at Combat! blog love it when Palin does something like this. It means quotes from Sarah Palin supporters, and Sarah Palin supporters are like human rorschach blots. On Thursday we got Cynthia and Gary Waddoups,* who by their own admission are stalking Palin “in a big way.” “There’s just something about her,” Gary Waddoups told the Herald, “the way that she can articulate exactly the way we feel about the country.” Well, I’m glad someone can. It’s not surprising that a man who has chosen his favorite politician because “there’s just something about her” finds Sarah Palin especially articulate. In the same way that Sarah Palin is somehow a rogue for spouting vague platitudes about the importance of family, organized religion and traditional values, and “down-home” (according to West Richland resident Stacey Thompson) for being an international celebrity with a multi-million dollar book deal, she’s also a magical political phenom by virtue of having no ideas and saying nothing about them, often. Rome is the mob.
It’s disappointing to find out she can’t run three miles, though. Isn’t this the same woman who paddled a kayak while giving birth? By signing up for the 5k, announcing it on Twitter, greeting a bazillion people at the beginning, running with a police escort and then not bothering to finish the actual race, Palin provides us with the last and possibly most definitive in the string of metaphors that is her public life. No, she’s not like a crazy lady who drops out of a Turkey Trot. She’s like the drunk, excessively flirty girl who loses interest in you as soon as you try to kiss her. She doesn’t make a lot of sense, she loves everything and feels strongly that we have very little time in which to act, and she only wants you to think she’s pretty. For Sarah Palin, it’s not finishing the race but shaking hands at the beginning; it’s not writing the book but signing it. She’s just like us, and we’re the best people in the world, because we love her.