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New study suggests hot Sarah Palin should dowdy down for 2012

March 5, 2009 |  6:02 am

The logo for SarahPAC the political action committee for Republican Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Newly released academic research suggests that Sarah Palin's sexiness, while great for selling copies of Vogue magazine and political buttons about the hottest governor from the coldest state last fall, may actually have hurt her vote-getting ability, which seems to be what elections are about.

Of course, standing next to John McCain is bound to make pretty much anyone look pretty much prettier. Which may be one reason the crowds often chanted "Sar-RAH! Sa-RAH!" when the Republican governor and Republican senator appeared together as the GOP presidential ticket.

Alaska Republican Governor and GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin

According to an article by Tom Jacobs on the website of Santa Barbara's Miller-McCune Center, recently completed research at the University of South Florida indicates that, at least among a select group of students there, those who found the hockey mom more attractive also judged her less competent, less intelligent and less capable.

This didn't seem to have much impact in Palin's 2006 primary upset victory and statewide election as the largest state's first female governor.

But the finding, being published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, does conform with previous research that found attractive women in high-status jobs were perceived as less competent.

Both outcomes would seem to strongly indicate there's more to the glass ceiling for females than the actual glass. No news to them.

According to Nathan Heflick, a psychologist and one of the research authors, it wasn't Palin's appearance per se that turned off the research subjects.

"It was the effect her appearance had on their perception of her competence and humanity," Heflick said. "Those variables made people less likely to vote for her."

All of which would seem to suggest that, for any hope of success in 2012 or beyond, the 45-year-old governor needs to whack off that hair, pork up a bit and get some cheap, baggy pantsuits over at the Wasilla Wal-Mart. And instead of that come-on wink that many thought they liked, she'd do well to develop an uncontrollable facial twitch.

Also lose the kids, stop smiling, get angrier, so she can look more congressional. That's been working real well for Republicans the last two elections.

For olde time's sake, we've thrown in a video down below of Palin addressing a crowd that seems to like her the way she is.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: SarahPAC.com;  Associated Press

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