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Sarah Palin is definitely a candidate ... for an Emmy

While Sarah Palin is busy touring America, she might want to plan a stop in Hollywood in September. While political pundits speculate about whether she'll seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012, she may potentially receive an Emmy nomination next month. She's an executive producer of her controversial series "Sarah Palin's Alaska," which the TLC network has entered for consideration in four categories: cinematography, picture editing, music composition and best reality program.

It's not the first time politics and entertainment have mixed at Hollywood awards. Minnesota's U.S. Sen. Al Franken is a five-time Emmy winner: four as a writer and producer of "Saturday Night Live" and another for writing "The Paul Simon Special" in 1978. Jerry Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati (1977-1978) before becoming better known for his infamous daytime talk show, but the only major showbiz award he won was a Razzie Award as worst new star for the 1998 film "Ringmaster." And, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the star of the "Terminator" films and many others before serving as governor of California. In 2004, he won a Razzie as "worst Razzie loser of our first 25 years."

Sarah Palin newsIf Palin is nominated for her series -- in which she guides the viewer on a tour through her home state -- it won't be her first brush with Emmy, and it may not be her last. Tina Fey won an Emmy two years ago for spoofing the ex-governor on "Saturday Night Live." And HBO is currently in production of a film adaptation of the book "Game Change," which chronicled the 2008 presidential election. It stars four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore as Palin and reunites the writer and director of "Recount," which won best TV movie in 2008 and earned a supporting-actress nod for Laura Dern as another controversial politico: Florida Secretary of State Katharine Harris.

An Emmy nomination for Palin would break new ground, but another entertainment award frequently honors politicians: the Grammys, which have bestowed best spoken word album honors to three presidents (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama), as well as to now-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1997, who won for "It Takes a Village."

But it's Al Gore who in recent years has proven the most powerful political force in the entertainment world. His global-warming film "An Inconvenient Truth" won best documentary at the Oscars in 2007, and a corresponding audio book won a Grammy. Neither of those awards went to Gore himself (the Oscar went to director David Guggenheim, and the Grammy went to the album's producer, engineer, and three performers), but later the former vice president would go on to accept an Emmy for Best Interactive Television Service on behalf of Current TV, the network he co-created in 2005. The irony is that, if Palin, a staunch Republican, wants to succeed on the awards circuit, she could find no better role model than the Democratic Gore.

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-- Tom O'Neil

 Photo: TLC

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Sarah can sure act....from crocodile tears after losing an election, quitting the governorship because she can make more money elsewhere, visciously demeaning anyone who questions her sanity, and smiling because the air between her airs is swooshing (thanks Mad Magazine).



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