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Live from New York, it's "Sarah Palin"! (Oh, and "Hillary Clinton," too)

“Saturday Night Live” kicked off its 34th season last night with a “nonpartisan message” from Sen. Hillary Clinton (SNL regular Amy Poehler) and Gov. Sarah Palin (guest Tina Fey).

As the two stood behind a lectern, flanked by American flags, "Palin" said they were “crossing party lines” for this unexpected joint appearance “to address the now very ugly role that sexism is playing in the campaign ...”

“... an issue which I am frankly surprised to hear people suddenly care about," interjected "Clinton."

And it got better from there.

“PALIN”:  "You know, Hillary and I don't agree on everything ..."

“CLINTON” (OVERLAPPING): "Anything. I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy."

“PALIN”: "And I can see Russia from my house."

“CLINTON”: "I believe global warming is caused by man."

“PALIN”: "And I believe it's just God hugging us closer."

“CLINTON”: "I don't agree with the Bush Doctrine."

“PALIN”: "I don't know what that is."

Poehler portrayed Clinton in a number of sketches last season, including one that satirized what was seen as the media’s love affair with her opponent for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama. Fey’s strong resemblance to Palin was noted as soon as Sen. John McCain picked the virtually unknown Alaska governor as his running mate two weeks ago. Fey played that resemblance up last night, arranging her hair in a striking updo and perfectly mimicking Palin’s flat prairie accent. 

[UPDATE: Palin was flying from Nevada to Colorado when the show was broadcast but was able to see it, thanks to the satellite TV system on her JetBlue charter. According to ABC News, there were guffaws from the sizable press pack aboard the plane -- but only silence from the front cabin, where Palin and her advisors were seated, even though flight attendants told reporters that it was on there too.]

Speaking of Obama, he had been scheduled to appear on "SNL" last night but canceled, citing the devastation in Texas resulting from Hurricane Ike.

-- Leslie Hoffecker

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It was not only very funny, but very true. Palin is a joke, Gramps is a joke for picking her and all the sheep who blindly follow this fool are a joke too.

I have great respect for Hillary Clinton and loved this skit. Can you imagine what Hillary must feel like everytime the republicans pretend to care about sexism when months ago, they all laughed at the "Iron My Shirt" signs their operatives waved at Hillary. Hillary spent her whole life preparing for leadership - Wellesley, Yale Law, Children's Defense, volunteer work in New Bedford, MA. I've seen her speak in person many times. She has traveled the world and met with their leaders. She is a skilled politician. Most of all, she has spent her life committed to womens' and childrens' issues. Palin should never compare herself to Hillary as they can't be more different. Vote Obama if you stand for the issues Hillary believes in. He's our best hope for the future.

Your laughing at your own jokes kids.
Affirmative action has taught everyone that nothing prepares a person more for a job then emersion. I don’t think that the questions about readiness to be President are about what classes you have taken, the demonstrations you have organized or the one time you feel you were right. It’s about chutzpa / guts and character. It’s about stepping up and saying yes or no and not parachuting with a present vote. That is why you jesters will have four years to throw your funny spit balls. Mainstream America can see through you.

People gripe about the bias... but Palin is comical. I know lots of dittoheads are nuts for her. But they are going to go nuts for anyone that Rush tells them to go nuts for.

Everyone else can see that Palin is a clown. You could take any idiot in this country and pad their resume with outlandish claims of "executive experience" and then surround them with a hundred million dollars of public relations and a priceless quantity of GOP PR/Lobbyist effort. And everybody would get excited about it. It's like a reality show plot.

It's like American Idol, except that millions of people might die if Palin screws up. And, if Palin does more actual interviews and press conferences.... and if the media does their job of exploring her record.... come November 4th, only the GOP kool-aid drinkers are gonna vote for McCain-Palin.

Nobody is going to bet the future on this ditz (with the exception of those people who believe they are going to be raptured... because... why should they care about what happens to the world? They don't believe in the future or history or science.)

But really, I am glad to see that other people see through Palin. Because there isn't much there once you get beyond the hype.

John McCain will win easily.

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin’ redneck," like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re "untested."

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a "light" burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.

Palin jokes were great but where was the Obama satire?

Posted by: Thomas Bauer | September 14, 2008 at 10:37 AM


Obviously you don't watch SNL. Obama has been satrized before.

The Democrats ridiculed Hilary at every turn while giving Obama a pass. This in spite that Hilary was in Serbia and soldiers were shooting at her and she had to duck bullets and cancel the welcoming ceremony. It's not exactly McCain being a POW and being tortured for years; but it was close. Hilary is the Democrats’ only war hero.

Thank God that McCain has the courage to select a working mom to be his running mate. I don't see the Democrats doing the same thing. Not only did they reject Hilary as a potential President but also as a potential Vice President. Instead, they as Obama endorsed Biden - an old white male senator from Delaware which has the same population as Alaska, where Palin is the governor. Besides, being a senator is not even an executive position, which being a governor is. The President, I should remind you, is an executive position.

If the Democrats truly value experience, they would have nominated Hilary instead of Obama. If they don’t, they are hypocrites to bash Palin, who by the way has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined.

Obama spent the last year claiming that experience isn’t important. Democrats should take him at his former words, and vote for Palin.

I say thanks but, no thanks, to Sarah Palin.

(And great job to TIna Fey).

The love/hate relationship between politics and the media is simply amazing. They were there when she made her appearance and people still flock to news of her, both good and bad. The media is branded as elitist and biased when the fault, or even speculation thereof, is covered, but on those other occasions are expressing the "will of the people" when she is held up in high regard.

Me? It was funny and to me seemed to parody sexism and feminism in the campaign and the joke was not about the presidential candidates themselves. Some of the other comments here seem to miss the point in this regard.

If anything, Sarah Palin will provide fertile ground for the late night comedians as she is deserving of the same public ridicule as any other person so prominently featured in the media. Many of us will laugh and many will call them haters. That's too bad since far too many people have lost their perspective and objectivity.

I loved the skit and I love Sarah Palin. I can laugh at the satire and respect the woman. I feel that Obama, Hillary, Biden and McCain are all politicians who will say anything to get elected and change their message to suit the audience. Sarah Palin is the only real deal -- therefore, McCain/Palin now get my vote because the ticket is at least 50% authentic.

Wow…appears Dr. Dave is an irritated imbecile.
To those of you...that think and I use the term losely...think..Palin and McCain are truly the answer this country needs....see your doctor. They have meds for you!!!

hmmm...all you got is you think Palin is ..."awesome"? When you graduate...let me know. Untill then your invited to my nephew's 7th birthday party. You will be thrilled with the balloons....and very intrigued with how they float.

Very funny, it is sad that SNL however has to point out the obvious... but they do! Republicans just don't see it for what it is, someone who is not qualified to be a leader of the free world and is one heart beat away from being it. Sad

Hysterical. Both Tina and Amy were right-on in their portral of both women. I have watched it several times and continue to laugh out loud each time. What fabulous writing. Everything was so true... how can anyone help but enjoy these performance, regardeless of the politics.

McCain/Palin is more drama than substance, as the Bush/Cheney ticket was - when Americans voted that it serve not one, but two terms. Conservative America fell for it; manipulated by fear and half-truths, symbols and words; by people who looked and spoke familiar. Look at our great country now. We are paying for the fears of our fathers, who wish that America be what it was 60 years ago. At the very least, it was more comfortable to be white. Today, not only are we not the same, the world is not the same; and America has let its dignity slip in the hands of greed and incompetence. Republicans are patriotic until they have to pay higher taxes to bail America out of the mess they nurtured for eight years, but leave that to the younger folks to figure out. 50 years from now, most of the 40 plus voters will be gone, but will our homes be worth selling? Will women still have the right to choose? Will America still cease to communicate with its enemies? Who cares. As long as we wear flag pins and dictate God's will, we should still pretty much feel like proud Americans.

To Mr. Tim Wise: THANK YOU!

why are all the repugs so bent about this skit? Its a satire people. Lighten up a bit!

Tim Wise--your analysis of white privilege is so true!

Why do I feel like I am being swept away and carried by a herd of lemmings over a cliff? I am hoping that Americans make an informed choice to make a better place of this country for themselves and their children. I will let the reader decide whom I am for.

I would love to enjoy this skit for what it is, but I can only eek out uneasy laughter. The skit shows how flawed our political system has become. It's time to stop electing people that we'd like to have a beer with or because they shop at Wal-Mart. It's tiime to start electing leaders who can communicate the complex issues this country will soon be facing, and who watch the idiot box less than we do.

The best part of the sketch (perhaps other than Palin's gun pose):

Palin: What an amazing time we live in. To think that just two years ago I was a small-town mayor of Alaska's crystal meth capital (which is true by the way). And now I am just one heartbeat away from being President of the United States. It just goes to show that anyone can be President--

Clinton: Anyone. Anyone...(shrugs and shakes her head)...Anyone.

The fact of the matter is that Palin simply can't be one-step from the White House. Obama-Biden is simply a better option.

This is hilarious! I already believe that the right wing has no compassion for anyone other than people who look and act like themselves; that they only have interest in making the rich richer and the poor poorer; that they have insisted on trying to be the world's police when often it's none of our business; that they claim to espouse Judeo-Christian beliefs while at the same time treating others (in legistlation and finances) as Jesus would NEVER have treated anyone; that they use fear to try and motivate people to adopt their ideals; that they are the modern-day pharisees and sadducees; that they see everything in black in white when we live in a gray world; that many of them lack the intellect to see differing points of view and make their minds up based on facts rather than lies and rumor...and now I know that THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE OF HUMOR! It is no wonder that the democratic party has the corner on college-educated people. It seems to me that the republican party is full of people who have never been taught how to be critical thinkers or how to refrain from making decisions soley based on self-centered biases. I am so proud to be a Christian Democrat who has compassion for people who don't look and act like I do. Now I do have some close republican friends and I know that there are exceptions to every rule. Even though not all republicans are uneducated rednecks, they are very misled and sorely misguided.

I have a new satire named Political Tag Team (PTT). Who do I contact.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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