Get The Body Politic Back In Shape


While some have expressed concern about Gov. Sarah Palin’s level of experience, there is one issue — perhaps the transcendent issue of our age — where her preeminence is unquestioned.

It is the extraordinary weightiness of this issue that had many Americans reaching out to Palin for answers so soon after she took the national stage: How did she manage to get her figure back — at age 44 — only four months after giving birth to her fifth child?

I may be on shaky ground here, but I’m willing to wager that there hasn’t been a similar accomplishment from another vice-presidential candidate in our entire history.

And don’t start yapping about my being sexist here. If Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, had regained his boyish figure four months after giving birth to his fifth child, the nation would be asking him the same question.

(According to his official campaign biography, Biden has not given birth to a single child. Nor did he win Miss Congeniality in the Miss Alaska pageant.)

To his credit, John McCain appears pretty fit himself, especially for age 72, though, like Biden, he also has yet to give birth. (Given the advancements of science that allow those in their 60s to give birth, there is still hope for McCain.)

What this means for the country is obvious. For the first time in history, our president and vice president could lead us in a national fitness class for both men and women.

(George Washington and John Adams tried to get one started, but the effort failed when both Martha Washington and Abigail Adams both refused to don sexy exercise leotards for the “Sweating to the Oldies” video.)

A fitness class that could promise real results would be much more useful than the old business-as-usual discussion of the issues, which only turns people away from politics.

Why bore people with health care proposals when you can actually help people get healthier by leading a national fitness program?

Speaking about fitness and pageants, I’m sure many readers saw the item about the Rev. Antonio Rungi of Naples, Italy, planning a beauty pageant for nuns — Miss Sister 2008.

This is wrong on so many levels.

First off, it’s an online pageant. So we won’t get to see the nuns strut on stage and announce, “I’m Sister Mary Ellen representing the great convent of the Sisters of Divine Providence of Hoboken, New Jersey!”

(Cut to crowd of supporters madly waving “Go Sister Mary Ellen!” and “Mary Ellen for Miss Sister 2008: It’s Divine Will” posters.)

This will also mean no talent competition and no opportunity for a crowd-pleasing round of questions concerning matters of church doctrine.

Admittedly, a swimsuit competition would be a little tasteless — though probably necessary if you want Donald Trump to sponsor the show — but would it be so wrong to have the nuns model their habits?

At the least they should have some kind of fitness routine. Maybe John McCain and Sarah Palin could help judge.

Write to Don Flood in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mails to

© 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.


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