“I want you to get out in the real world and marry a rich man,” Joan Rivers told Big Brother contestant Emilia Arata earlier this year, when she took part in the show’s Celebrity Hijack. “If you’re smart, get a man with a heart condition, walk behind him, go ‘boo!’ and you’ll be set for life.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Arata will take the acid-tongued comedian’s words to heart, but the advice has rung home for Sarah Palin, who has become part of the celebrity hijack of American politics that is the latest Presidential election. Not that she plans to marry John McCain, of course, but she is certainly stands a strong chance of becoming the American President if the 72 year old keels over at some point during his time in office, should he and Palin win the election.
Her rise, like that of Barak Obama before her, has been spectacular. She filled a hole in a certain part of the American psyche that requires even their leaders to be pretty and young and adept with a gun, but she has become so rapidly overexposed that she is now facing satire and ridicule at every turn.
This is what happens in the world of celebrity, of course – you reach giddy heights of fame, everyone talks about you, everyone’s exited and people even make dolls in your image. Then, before you know it, the same people who were so enthusiastic are lambasting you and sticking pins in the dolls. And so it has been with Palin, who is learning that with every giddy high comes a huge and unnerving plunge.
Admittedly the economic crisis riddling America has put paid to much of the pettier sniping in the campaign, but it is this that has put paid to Palin’s appeal too. She is too much of a blank slate and too little is known about her political record. Obama, who has come in for similar criticism in the past, has at least had many months to put himself and his ideas across. Palin is left shivering in the economic climate, propping up an emperor whose clothes have been built on the shares in companies like the Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.