In high school, Sarah Palin’s nickname on the girls’ basketball team was “Sarah Barracuda”. Playing off this, stage managers at the Republican National Convention used Heart’s 70’s hit “Barracuda” as her signature music, much to the chagrin and dismay of the Wilson sisters. However, in light of several recent offerings by Reuters and Associated Press photographers, perhaps a more appropriate selection would be ZZ Top’s “Legs” or even Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher”. Then again, with stories circulating that Playboy founder and geriatric man-about-town Hugh Heffner would be more than happy to have the former beauty queen grace the glossy pages of his flagship publication should the whole vice presidential thing not pan out, maybe the J. Giles Band’s “Centerfold” would be a better choice. Offering the Hockey Mom-cum-Alaskan Governor-cum-Republican vice presidential nominee the honor previously shared by such legendary Playmates as Jenny McCarthy, Pamela Anderson, Anna Nicole Smith and Marilyn Monroe, the soft core pornographic impresario said, “Palin would make a great centerfold, I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about a really sexy-looking woman wearing glasses." Ever the consummate purveyor of profitable erotic fantasy, Heffner teased, “Imagine what she’s like when the glasses come off! It would be a new definition of the word ‘vice’ in vice president.” Meanwhile, recent wire service photos of the picturesque Palin vary from looking like a movie poster for an 80’s B grade male hormone-fueled coming of age comedy to something found in the private collection of an obsessive high heel fetishist. Anyone recall seeing “My Tutor” at the midnight movies? How about “Porky’s”? If so, you get the picture. Literally. By the way, is it just me, or does the young man in the photo bear a striking resemblence to Anthony Michael Hall's intrepid partner-in-vice from "Weird Science"? Hmmmmmmm...... While the wire service photos and Heffner’s enthusiastic offer are titillating and play off of Palin’s admittedly classy-yet-naughty librarian sex appeal, in the end they are sexist and demean both the tenor of the campaign and the candidate herself. They belittle and objectify her in ways that normally draw the ire of committed feminists. Yet, they remain oddly still when it comes to defending their Republican sister from the north. Take for example coverage of the vice presidential debate. How many photos of Joe Biden’s black leather oxfords made their way onto the wires? None. How many shots were there of Palin’s red stilettos and shapely gams? Six. Though this should not be surprising in a culture that directly links a woman’s value to her sex appeal and attractiveness, one wonders why traditional opponents of the packaging and marketing of women as sex objects such as Gloria Steinem and the National Organization of Women haven’t risen to Palin’s defense. Where are those who loudly rose to Senator Clinton’s aide and decried the media’s chauvinistic treatment of Hillary mere months ago during the Democratic primaries? Could it be that they see Palin as a threat to their ability to frame and dominate the debate over women’s issues in the political arena? Would the bastions of the political commentariate sit quietly by were the publisher of Playgirl to opine tantalizingly about Senator Obama’s sex appeal while offering him the magazine’s centerfold? Or would they rightly condemn it as being beneath the level of discourse expected in a presidential campaign; particularly in the face of the mounting challenges currently confronting the nation. As previously noted, Palin is dangerous to the Liberal template for modern women and its view of their Conservative sisters as nothing more than unfulfilled domestic slaves; shrill bible-thumping shrews or hapless hillbilly bimbos. Perhaps that is why they have given the tacit approval of their hypocritical silence in the face of what can best be described as the institutionalization and acceptance of sexism as a political tactic. Then again, maybe Alanis Morrisette's "Ironic" wouldn't be such a bad choice, don'tcha think? She’s got legs and knows how to use them, indeed, faithful readers. Stay tuned for further updates as events warrant and Palin’s potential Playmate prospects are decided on November 4th.