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Running Like A Palin

November 27, 2009


This week’s issue of Newsweek magazine shows former Governor Sarah Palin on the cover in little black running shorts. It reused a picture from Runner’s World magazine where she was proudly posing as a celebrity who runs. Now people on the left use this picture to mock her. And people on the right say that using this picture is sexist. And everybody, left and right, is calling it a cheap shot, inappropriate, disrespectful. I tried all week to make sense of the reaction but I don’t get it. How can an image she herself authorized for publication while in office serving as governor, become negative three months later, now that she is self-employed? I think Sarah Palin is pretty. I think she looks great in a suit and in a running outfit. I think it is admirable that she is a runner. And I suspect she knows it. It is a proven tactic that politicians use to make us runners forget about politics for a second and praise them for their athleticism. It works magic on me — I have a soft spot for running people. Last winter former Governor Rod Blagojevich went out for a run on the snowy streets of Chicago, wearing black leggings. For a second, I shifted my focus away from his hairy messes all the way down to his pants. And I was in awe when I learned that President Bush was running three miles every day and that he stopped eating dessert. For a second, I was thinking about a determined runner, not about a war-time president who has time to run a 3-miler every day. If Newsweek intended that I look at Palin’s picture and feel antipathy, then it failed. Perhaps much like doctors can treat nudity asexually, I can see muscles and discipline where the critics see naked legs. The only statement I see in this picture is about her running ability. The woman can run!




“I want a girl who gets up early / I want a girl who stays up late / I want a girl with uninterrupted prosperity / Who uses a machete to cut through red tape,” Short Skirt / Long Jacket, Cake





Art: Wonder Woman, © DC Comics

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One Comment leave one →
  1. MIchelle Glick permalink
    November 28, 2009 9:09 AM

    Love the alternate perspective!

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