Day 4 at the Television Critics Association tour. Network: NBC.
SARAH-NITY NOW: I shook hands and chatted with Sarah Palin tonight. The TCA tour moves in mysterious ways.
Palin was on hand at the NBC party because her husband Todd is participating in the show Stars Earn Stripes, which also will air on Global in Canada. I knew Todd was at the shindig, because he had participated in a panel previously. But when ace reporters Scott Pierce and Jolie Lash both whispered in my ear that Sarah had entered the fray, I went on the hunt.
I had my phone in my hand when I realized I was walking directly behind Sarah Palin. When I stopped to put my phone in my pocket and dig out my digital recorder, that was long enough for a security guard to move toward me and say, “Not behind, please, not behind.”
So I walked around front and patiently waited my turn to try to talk to her, not sure if it would happen.
As I watched, a woman approached Palin and in the course of their conversation, the woman touched Palin on the arm. The security guard moved in and said, “No touching, no touching.” I immediately thought of George Bluth at the prison in Arrested Development.
Eventually my chance came to duck in to speak with Sarah and Todd. I introduced myself and shook Todd’s hand. Then as I turned to Sarah, I thought, ‘Uh-oh, do I shake her hand? What about the no-touching thing?’ Luckily, Sarah graciously extended her own hand and we shook on it.
I asked Sarah if she ever knew her family had so much star power.
“I’m very, very proud,” Sarah said. “It’s such a good show that Todd’s a participant in, because it’s such a worthy cause, to shed a light on what the military’s all about and how important it is. It’s a great opportunity to support a great cause.”
I suggested Sarah couldn’t possibly have predicted all the places that her kids and her husband have gone.
“God has absolutely blessed us with wonderful opportunities,” Sarah said. “One of our mottos is to live life vibrantly and that is what we’re doing in participating in different forms and formats that have been presented us.
“We’re very thankful for the opportunities, especially this one in particular, though, Stars Earn Stripes. It’s an amazing show and I think it’s going to just blow people away when they see the physicality, the mental challenges that were put together in this competition. Again, it’s such a great cause.”
But you knew all along Todd was this tough, right?
“Yeah,” Sarah said with a smile. “Todd and I have been together for 32 years and I knew he could handle it and do well.”
I asked Todd if Stars Earn Stripes was tougher than he thought it would be.
“No question,” Todd said. “The missions we were assigned to were just very mentally and physically draining, testing each one of us to our ending.”
I said it’s amazing what human beings can do when they’re pushed.
“It is,” Todd said. “But when you have the support around you, your military op, and you get strength from your partner, the other celebrity contestant in that mission, when you put your life in your partner’s hand, you have that much faith in them.”
I said, that’s the strength of not being alone, right?
“That’s right,” Todd agreed. And Sarah paused for a moment, seeming to really consider what I’d said, and then slowly nodded approvingly.
Then a handler stepped in and ushered them in the other direction. I said, “Nice talking to you,” and it was over.
As I walked away, fellow reporter Susan Young, who had been in the vicinity, said, “They really seemed to love you.”
Susan then added a very funny theory about why that might be. But you know what? I’ll leave that alone for now.
Whatever it was, it’s true: I had a nice talk with the former Republican candidate for vice-president of the United States, Sarah Palin.