March 05, 2009

Some just-published research suggests that the incontestable hotness of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hurts her chances of becoming president, which is a sore disappointment to her admirers at Conservatives4Palin, and also to me. Never mind any discussion of Palin’s political leanings or qualifications. It just seems to me that if America is going to elect a woman president, she might as well be a hottie.

I remember sitting at VodkaPundit‘s home near Denver, the day after the Democratic convention, blogging Palin’s announcement, and going straight at the Hottie Factor:

What better way to counter the MSM stereotype of conservatives as uptight, boring, sexless prudes than to celebrate the fact that the GOP running mate is totally hot?

Like Sarah Palin, my wife is 44, a pro-life Christian mother (six kids), and very attractive. My beloved wife is at the age when catcalls and whistles are more flattering than offensive, an affirmation that she’s still got it.

So I’m thinking that Mrs. Palin won’t really mind being acknowledged as a hottie, and her husband will probably find it flattering, too.

If there’s anything I know about public relations, it’s that nothing is so disarming as self-deprecating humor. People who can tell a joke at their own expense”€”and Ronald Reagan was a master of this”€”thereby make a twofold statement:

“€¢ I am aware of my own faults, i.e., I am smart enough to get the joke.

“€¢ I am a big enough person to laugh along with those who see in me something of the ridiculousness of humanity.

Self-deprecating humor can be a kind of ju-jitsu, turning a perceived weakness into a strength, as when Reagan, running for re-election in 1984 as the oldest man ever to be president, joked that he would not make an issue of his opponent’s youth and inexperience. And if Sarah Palin would learn to make a clever self-deprecating joke or two about her looks, it would remove that elephant-in-the-room factor in a way so as to enhance her credibility.

Because beauty is associated with sexuality, it tends to make people uncomfortable and awkward, especially in our politically-correct society where fear of a sexual-harassment charge hovers silently in every workplace. It is my contention that beauty is an objective reality, a simple fact of life, and that the attempt to suppress acknowledgement of beauty”€”to forbid a man to compliment a good-looking woman”€”forces us into a stifling artificiality.

Nature suppressed creates a tension that distorts our perceptions and responses. I would argue that the unnatural influence of political correctness, suppressing our natural appreciation of beauty, leads to the kind of situations where sexual-harassment is actually more likely than it would be if the objective reality of beauty were more frankly acknowledged.

Perhaps my sensibilities on this matter are shaped by the fact that I’m a Southerner, and Southern women are such irrepressible flirts. I’d say Texas women take the cake on this score.

At last year’s Media Research Center gala, I went outside the hotel for a smoke break and encountered two 50-something blondes from Texas whose husbands are MRC donors. After being stuck in the uptight world of Washington for so long, it was a delight to be endlessly honeyed and sugared by these two erstwhile belles from the Lone Star State. They flirted with a facile facetiousness that immediately infused a friendly familiarity to our conversation.

Their flirtatious ways, you see, are a form of courtesy. Too many people think of “courtesy” as cold formality. But the jest that dissolves social awkwardness”€”and this is what flirting is”€”is a gesture of generosity, and generosity is the bedrock principle of courtesy.

When I met my wife more than 20 years ago, I loved the way she smiled when I flirted with her. “Ah, look at that smile”€”she’s crazy about you, McCain,” I thought to myself, and pursued her with all the romantic ardor of Pepe Le Peu chasing that white-striped cat.

After we were wed, it happened that one morning I stopped by the Hardee’s restaurant where she was then working the breakfast shift. And I watched as she took the food orders of two old guys from the nearby National Guard armory”€”all the while smiling at their flirtations just as she had smiled at mine!

Painful as it was to discover that I wasn’t quite as special as I’d thought, there was wisdom to be gained by this discovery. Beauty is an objective reality, and all men notice it. There’s a country song by Sammy Kershaw, “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” but don’t kid yourself, guys”€”there is no beautiful woman who is unaware of her beauty. The kind of girl commemorated by the country song is merely gracious about her beauty, blessed with the kind of generous soul that does not begrudge men’s admiration, nor so superficial as to believe beauty alone is sufficient merit in a woman.

Is Sarah Palin such a woman? I think so. Although her aptitude for high office remains much debated, this research that claims her beauty is a disadvantage is just another example of the idiocy of academic “experts.”

* * * * *

Speaking of experts, Taki’s Magazine editor Richard Spencer is becoming an expert in romantic missed chances. I told you on Valentine’s Day about how young Richard whiffed his turn at bat with Michelle Lee Muccio, and promised then that I knew of “a certain blue-eyed stunner” who would be in Washington for the Conservative Political Action Convention. Let the discerning eye judge whether I delivered as promised:

Alas, another swing and a miss for young Richard. I could relate the details, but it’s just too brutal to bear telling. Richard assures me he doesn’t lack for female companionship, and obviously such a fine-looking young fellow must have many prospects. However, given his 0-for-2 record in the encounters I’ve personally witnessed, I’d say he needs all the help he can get, if we’re going to save those fine Spencer genes from a sad Darwinian fate.

From McCain

So if any of you young ladies out there think you’d be interested in that handsome lad, just drop me an e-mail, and we’ll see if we can arrange an opportunity for Richard to strike out with you, too. If he keeps up with this losing streak, we might have to bring in Taki himself to give the boy some instruction on the art of flirtation. (And by the way, ladies, don”€™t try e-mailing me with requests for an introduction to Taki. He can fend for himself.)


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