I’ve discovered that I have something in common with Sarah Palin: The ability to ramble incoherently. So, permit me to blather away! If you get bored, multitask while you’re reading, or skimming, this blog. That’s what I’m doing as I write it.
But don’t worry, I won’t talk about Bristol Palin or the rest of the Palin brood. I’ve never caricatured the Palin’s oldest daughter — and, as far as I’m concerned, the children are outstanding in every way. I’ve never caricatured soon-to-be-ex-First-Dude Todd Palin, either. I’ve wanted to, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. But I will say this about Todd: He’s VERY well groomed for an Alaska outdoorsman. He trims his goatee just so — the kind Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck or some other Hollywod stud might grow. And there’s always a hint of mousse in his hair, perhaps as a counter to the whiff of moose urine in his lumberjack shirt. He’s sort of metrosexual, Klondike-style!
…Not that I’m trying to pass judgment here. I recall the time, a few years back, when there were some major renovations being done on my old house. The contractor guys were knocking down old walls, raising enormous clouds of thick dust, and breaking quite a sweat. Yet, when I stopped by to check out their work one lunch hour, these burly, filthy men were sitting in a circle, eating their deli sandwiches, and discussing hair care products and cologne. Todd Palin would have fit right in there. Me? Not sure I ever sweat enough to need cologne. Besides, I prefer to emit a neutral aroma whenever possible.
But I digress, as does Governor Palin! She’s not only the best-looking elected official in the United States, but she’s a joy to caricature. Her facial features could not be easier to capture and exaggerate. Not sure who is going to replace her as best-looking elected official when she quits the governorship at the end of July? Texas governor Rick Perry, maybe? According to the late Texas columnist, Molly Ivins, Governor Perry certainly has the “pertiest” hair of any governor. And Texas needs a handsome, well-coiffed leader as it prepares to secede from the rest of the United States. The sooner, the better, in the opinion of some.
But back to Sarah. Those big brown eyes that slant a bit downward: the distinctive eyelids; mascara and eye shadow applied to perfection; the oddball, designer glasses that frame and accentuate her eyes so well. Then there’s that lovely, square-shaped skull. Not that square heads are necessarily attractive — often they aren’t. But in Ms. Palin’s case, squareness works: the prominent cheekbones; the strong chin that narrow-chinned comedian Tina Fey can somehow mimic with devastating precision. It’s all great for caricature.
A lot of people think noses are the key to caricature, but they’re not. It’s the eyes, which is why I can go on ad nauseum about them. Still, regarding Governor Palin’s nose, it’s a beaut! Small and finely sculpted — by genetics, not the knife — with an almost vertical bridge. As with her eyes, the glasses just seem to be a perfect fit for her nose.
I could go on — and, well, why not? Governor Palin’s mouth is also great for caricature. It’s a beautiful mouth: lipstick applied as though she worked at a department store cosmetics counter; and her perfect teeth come to a bit of a point where the two top, front incisors meet. This gives her some bite — some credence to the “Sarah Barracuda” nickname she earned on the high school basketball court.
And Palin has aged well. The fine wrinkles under her eyes and around her mouth are lovely. Parishoners at her Wasilla church should pray that the governor doesn’t fall prey to the Botox needle. She’ll never need it.
At age 45, the governor still has a fine figure, too. Clearly, the former beauty pageant contestant did not go to pot after settling for runner-up in the 1984 Miss Alaska contest. But, alas, I must qualify a bit on this point: Don’t tell the governor, but she doesn’t have the greatest legs. They’re kind of blah! My cartoon legs of Sarah Palin are always shapelier.
But there’s more. Sarah Palin, we’ve been told, can field dress a moose. But she won’t break a nail doing it! She tends to them carefully, and does whatever it takes to keep her hands looking soft during the harsh, sub-Arctic winters. She wants her hands to look their best while she employs those well-practiced gestures during interviews with Katie Couric. Which actions, of course, only fall into Tina Fey’s hands on Saturday Night Live!
So there you have it. I’ll leave the governor’s peculiar, erratic behavior, her quitting for the “sake of Alaska,” and other odd and contradictory comments and actions, to more qualified pundits. And her accent, speaking style and use of sarcasm — kind of Roseanne Barr without the wit — I’ll leave that to Ms. Fey. But I have to hand it to the governor — she’s been a blast for me and all other caricaturists and editorial cartoonists. Whatever she ends up doing after leaving Juneau, I don’t think she’s venturing far from our collective conscience.
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