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Posted at 07:09 PM ET, 07/29/2012

Dick Cheney, Russell Brand talk down Sarah Palin — and she’s partly to blame

Sarah Palin didn’t have the best weekend.

Let’s start with former vice president Dick Cheney.  Republicans who never liked Palin – and there are many – have been waiting for the day a high profile party member would lambast her, and Cheney made them
Sarah Palin speaks to a crowd of about 1,000 Ted Cruz supporters July 27 in The Woodlands, Texas. (Johnny Hanson - AP)
very happy on Sunday.

Cheney, in his first interview since his heart transplant surgery, told ABC News that Palin just wasn’t presidential.

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’” he said in the interview.

He didn’t stop there.

“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She – attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test…of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”

What Cheney said only echoed what many people have said about Palin since she hit the national scene in 2008. As someone in the GOP told me recently, Palin was great for fundraising during the campaign and helped fill McCain’s coffers, but everyone quickly grasped that she
"Stars Earn Stripes" cast member Todd Palin with his wife, former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, at NBC's TCA Party, July 24, 2012. (Lisa Rose)
wasn’t up to the task.

Palin was also a target for British comedian and actor Russell Brand this weekend. On Saturday, Brand, who is retooling his “Brand X” late night show, told reporters at a press briefing that if Palin ever appeared on his show, he would talk about her sex appeal.  

“I’d go straight to the subtext. People want to [have sex with] her, don’t they? That’s why they tolerate the other stuff.”

He was crude, yes, but Palin, it must be said, is partly to blame for being dismissed as unready by Cheney and written off as a sex symbol by Brand.

Why? She needed to buckle down and learn more about the issues and didn’t. She should have hit the books, studied and shown she could be a lot more than a pretty face.

Instead, she came off as intoxicated by celebrity, appearing in sexy running shorts in “Runners World” magazine and starring in a reality TV show.

At this point, even strippers are cashing in.

During the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa, Thee Dollhouse Tampa, a popular strip club, has hired a Palin doppelganger, Lisa Ann, who has starred in several porn movies portraying Palin.

So far, the real Palin hasn’t been invited to speak at the convention. Last week, she said she would make an announcement soon regarding Tampa. Many tea party members want her to speak, as does
British actor Russell Brand in June. (© GUS RUELAS / Reuters - REUTERS)
Newt Gingrich.

“She represents an intensity of support among our base that is vital,” Gingrich said.

Of course, Palin remains a popular draw on the conservative fundraising circuit. She campaigned last week for Ted Cruz, a Texas tea party favorite to replace outgoing Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and made an appearance at a Chick-fil-A with her husband Todd.

But can Palin maintain any credibility now that Cheney has openly tagged her as a political lightweight? In celebrity-worshipping America, I’m betting yes.

Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt.” Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker.

By  |  07:09 PM ET, 07/29/2012

Tags:  Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, Russell Brand, Chick-fil-A, Ted Cruz, Kim Kardashian, Todd Palin, Condoleezza Rice, Tampa, Republican National Convention

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