Inside Politics Weekend: Hot for Palin

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Beauty school

Vice President Hottie. The Conservative’s Dream Girl. The adorability factor of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is harder to manage than it looks.

She’s been stereotyped and underestimated by press and public, says documentary filmmaker Liza Figueroa Kravinsky, whose new movie “Beauty: In the Eyes of the Beheld” plumbs the feelings of gorgeous American beauty queens, performers and professional women.

“Palin’s looks helped her get a job as a sportscaster. The resulting fame may have helped her win an election to public office. Those are good things. But it’s a double-edged sword,” said Ms. Kravinsky. “When beautiful women reach a certain level in their careers, perceived competence becomes an issue. Just listen to all the jokes you hear about her being a ‘hottie.’ How would you like a ‘hottie’ for a potential commander in chief?”

Such was the common complaint among the women in the documentary.

“Beautiful women are often stereotyped as being conceited, superficial, dumb people who rely on their looks to get everything they want in life. That perception does not help someone running for vice president of the United States,” Ms. Kravinsky contends.

“Good looks help men win elections, but that issue is more complex for women,” she said.

Summing it up

The good governor is not just like Margaret Thatcher, as many of Mrs. Palin’s ardent fans have been saying. She’s, well, getting Gipper-y.

“Now we know why liberal Democrats hate and fear Sarah Palin,” says conservative strategist Richard A. Viguerie. “Sarah Palin is the next Ronald Reagan.”

“Governor Sarah has captured the heart and soul of the convention, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement. She brings together social conservatives and economic conservatives and libertarians, and people who are fed up with the culture of corruption that infests our nation’s politics,” he said.

“From this moment forward, there’s no limit on where Sarah Palin might go,” Mr. Viguerie concluded.

By the numbers

69 percent of Americans overall say men and women are equally able to be good political leaders.

60 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats agreed.

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