We all, of course, remember Sarah Palin basing her knowledge of international relations on the fact that she was able to see Russia from Alaska. With merely a maritime border separating Alaska from the big bad Russians, Palin argued, it fell on Alaskans to be America's first responders to an international invasion from Putin & pals. We all, of course, also remember having a good chuckle at Palin's ridiculous reasoning as well as Levi Johnston's forced grin from being forced by Secret Service to love Palin's daughter.
Despite my stronger-than-dislike feelings towards Palin, there is at least one redeeming quality that she brings to table: Palin is an avid runner. In a past post, I reviewed an interview Palin gave to Runners World in which she cited her reasons for running, her running history and her weekly running regimen. Much to my chagrin, Palin did strike me as a serious runner and seemed to speak about it in a much more organized and insightful than she did when being questioned by Katy Couric about all things politic and economic.
However, after Thanksgiving last Thursday, it seems like the divide between Palin the politician and Palin the runner is getting narrower and narrower by the Alaskan day. Because, just as she did with the governor's position in her home state, Palin quit in the middle of Washington state's 5K Turkey Trot charity race, an annual event organized by the Benton-Franklin Chapter of the Red Cross to support local disaster services, health and safety services and service to armed forces. Citing her wish to avoid the crowds of people waiting for her to cross the finish line, Palin opted to head home early, though, exactly where on the course she quit, remains unknown.
And, just as she lambasted her detractors during her vice-presidential campaign without allowing herself to be questioned on live television, Palin also used the power of the print media to criticize other's running prowess without allowing herslef to be impugned once again. In an August interview with Runners World Magazine (which I discussed in a past post), Palin tooted her own horn once again when asked how she would fair in a race against Mr. President Barack Obama. Boasting that while she may lack the physical strength to take on the President, she could outlast him by sheer will power, "If [it] were a long race that required a lot of endurance I'd win...I betcha I'd have more endurance...If you ever talk to my old coaches they'd tell you, too. What I lacked in physical strength or skill I made up for in determination and endurance".
While Palin was not asked what she meant by a 'long race,' based on her performance in last week's 5K Turnkey Trot, it would appear that her definition of a long race would mean something shorter than a 3.1 mile course.
I'll admit it: Sarah Palin does have one unique ability. She is able to maintain a poker face better than most people I know. She has the ability to sit in front of a camera and, without revealing the slightest hint of a smile, tell the world that she has the requisite ability to handle international diplomacy based solely on the fact that she can see a foreign country from her backyard. She can, with a straight-face, tell a reporter than she reads too many news magazines and periodicals to list despite not being able to name a single one. And she can give an interview to a running magazine and, with pure conviction in her voice, tell readers that she would beat President Obama in a race given her determination and endurance. Maybe instead of politics, Palin would be better suited for competition of another kind...the Wold Series of Poker!