Sarah Palin is so much cooler than Michelle Obama. She doesn’t go in for all that sincere, let’s help people stuff. People can help themselves! Encouraging efforts to change, to be healthier, to move more and eat less cool fun stuff-that’s just so honor-society. So condescending, too. Only rich, snotty people think they know what’s good for you better than you do. That’s no doubt why the New York Daily News says that Palin’s been on a roll lately, cracking snide jokes about Obama’s anti-obesity campaign on Sarah Palin’s Alaska (“This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert,” Palin said as she pulled graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate from her cabinets) and on Laura Ingraham’s radio show ("What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children.”)
Of course, Palin’s parents taught her to make good decisions, or at least healthy ones. As she told Runner’s World in August of 2009, “[M]y parents instilled in us that fitness and running were going to be a part of our lives growing up.” She says she ran throughout her vice-presidential campaign and feels “crappy” if she goes more than a few days without a run. But that’s all her choice, of course. She wouldn’t want to impose-or even encourage-others to follow in her healthy footsteps. Because she trusts the American people. And maybe because promoting healthier living isn’t nearly as popular as pretending you can have your cake and be thin too.
That’s disappointing. Sarah Palin may like her sweets, but it’s more than clear from her running habits, her fit appearance, and even her TV show that she makes a healthy lifestyle a priority-much like the Obamas themselves. Promoting good food choices and exercise shouldn’t be a political issue. Maybe she could tackle it with a little Palin snark. I’d rather see her look out at her fans and ask the parents of the one in three American children who are overweight of obese: “Hey, people. How’s that s’moresy-desserty thing workin’ out for you? Maybe it’s time for a change.”
Photograph of Sarah Palin by Allison Shelley/Getty Images.