Tales from the Trail

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Oscar beckons Sarah Palin … for shopping.

Palin(Reporting by Zorianna Kit)

What a difference a year makes! Last year, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was catching flak for her shopping habits during her 2008 campaign. This year, she's strolling around Hollywood's Oscar gift suites with family members having items given to her -- leopard print sandals to match her leopard print jacket, for instance.

The morning after her appearance on "The Tonight Show", and amid reports she was in Hollywood talking to TV executives about a possible TV show (see below and here on the blog), the former Alaska Governor turned up at the Silver Spoon gifting suite in West Hollywood with daughter Willow, grandson Trip and an entourage of about seven people, according to the suite's organizers.

The gifting suites, in case you don't know, are set up by merchants to promote their products during Hollywood's Oscar week when the town is filled with A-list  celebrities. The idea is to have your product photographed or in some way associated with a celebrity and, as a result, people will want to buy it. And who better to help sell a product than politician-turned-celebrity Palin?

So, what did Palin get? Well, right from the start she wrote a check for $1,750 to the American Red Cross, which was collecting donations at the suite for Haitian relief. "That was the first thing she did before even checking in and saying 'hello,'" said The Silver Spoon's Lorena Bendinskas. She said suite organizers had invited Palin because she had been a big supporter of the Red Cross. Notably, Palin and her entourage came and left before the suite opened officially on Wednesday morning.

Then, Palin and family got down to the business of shopping -- Oscar style. They went to each vendor and were "gifted" items including hats and sunglasses by Perry Ellis, Jenna Leigh Lingerie, Stone candles, Wembe soaps, skincare products from Bloom.com and eyelash condition from Lash food. Stopping at fashion line C&C Oscar2California, she picked out a tanktop for daughter Willow. At Bandals Footwear, she found those leopard sandals to match her jacket, and she seemed especially excited about Danish-designed Aiaiai headphones for traveling and exercise.

Palin says she was “exploited” by Fey, Couric

USA-POLITICS/FEY

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says TV doppelganger Tina Fey and CBS News anchor Katie Couric have her to thank for the career boost they are getting.

In fact, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee says, the pair of TV stars exploited her.

Fey, who has an uncanny resemblance to Palin, played a loopy version of the Alaska governor in “Saturday Night Live” skits on NBC during the campaign season.

Tina Fey leaving Earth if Palin wins

WASHINGTON – Comedian Tina Fey says she’s checking out if her spitting image twin, Republican vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, and White House contender John McCain win the general election next month.

Fey said she has loved playing Palin in the Saturday Night Live skits so far, especially with Amy Poehler who played Sen. Hillary Clinton in one and CBS News anchor Katie Couric in another.rtx8stl.jpg

“That lady is a media star.  She is a fascinating person, she’s very likeable.  She’s fun to play, and the two bits with Amy, that was super fun,” Fey told TV Guide. 

In slip up, Palin calls Afghanistan “our neighboring country”

SAN FRANCISCO – Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin called Afghanistan “our neighboring country” on Sunday in a speech that could revive questions over her tendency to stumble into linguistic knots.rtx95kp.jpg

Three days after a mostly gaffe-free debate performance, the Alaska governor fumbled during a speech in which she praised U.S. soldiers for “fighting terrorism and protecting us and our democratic values”.

“They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan,” she told several hundred supporters at a fundraising event in San Francisco.

‘SNL’ votes for political satire

tinafey.jpgPolitics and comedy collided once again on “Saturday Night Live” with Tina Fey reviving her dead-on Sarah Palin impression while Fred Armisen’s Barack Obama debated Darrell Hammond’s rendition of John McCain.

The NBC comedy show opened with Fey, wearing a pink jacket and turned out in Palin-esque eyeglasses and her trademark up-do, being interviewed by a a faux Katie Couric. Fey, who first portrayed the Republican vice presidential nominee on “SNL’s” season premiere, offered up titteringly silly answers to questions on foreign policy and her trip to New York City. She was especially disturbed during her visit to the United Nations by the high presence of foreigners there — jobs that she vowed would go to Americans in a McCain administration.

The recreation of Friday’s McCain-Obama debate featured a running gag in which McCain repeatedly proposed that he and Obama suspend their campaigns to either “hold a series of pie-eating contests,” “town hall meetings where you and I appear nude of semi-nude” or for the candidates to be air-dropped so they can search for Osama bin Laden.