Explaining away eye-roll at teacher, Palin invents new use for Botox

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, August 9, 2010 21:47 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Confronted by an especially tenacious protester in Alaska recently, former governor Sarah Palin tried to put on a good show for the lone camera present. Tried, that is, until learning the woman so adamantly criticizing her works was a teacher.

Her reaction is best described as an eye roll.

Naturally, the video sparked a tidal wave of blog posts and embeds, ultimately bothering Sarah so much she saw fit to issue a puzzling clarification on Facebook that seemingly invents a new use for the toxic beauty product Botox.

In other words, it would appear this protester really pushed Sarah’s buttons.

To be fair to Palin, the teacher, one Kathleen Gustafson, had unfurled a banner that read “WORST GOVERNOR EVER,” and she was adamantly criticizing her for quitting the job of governor to become a “celebrity.”

And that was all before Palin asked about her profession.

Their conversation, as transcribed by Think Progress, went like this:

GUSTAFSON: You swore on your precious Bible that you would uphold the interests of this state, and then when cash was waved in front of your face, you quit.

PALIN: OH, you wanted me to be your governor! I’m honored! Thank you!

GUSTAFSON: I wanted you to honor your responsibilities. That is what I wanted. I wanted you to be part of the political process instead of becoming a celebrity so that you could (inaudible). And if that’s the best you could do, then good for you. If that’s the best you could do.

PALIN: Here’s the deal. Here’s the deal. [...] That’s what I’m out there fightin’ for Americans to be able to have a Constitution protected so that we can have free speech…And also there…

GUSTAFSON: In what way are you fighting for that?

PALIN: Oh my goodness!

GUSTAFSON: In what way?

PALIN: To elect candidates who understand the Constitution, to protect our military interests so that we can keep on fightin’ for our constitution that will protect some of the freedoms that evidently are important to you too.

GUSTAFSON: By using your celebrity status, certainly not by political status.

Politico outlines what happened next:

Palin’s daughter Bristol, standing next to the former governor, then tried to explain that her mother is now “representing the United States” rather than just the state of Alaska.

“Yes, I know, you belong to America now,” Gustafson said, redirecting the conversation back to the ex-governor.

After watching her daughter jump in, Palin seemed to try to cool tensions.

“What do you do here?” Palin asked.

“I’m a teacher,” Gustafson responded, to which Palin appears to roll her eyes.

During the conversation, Palin’s security appeared to be jostling for position in front of the camera, constantly flanking the videographer in the first moment of the clip, then backing off. Around 1:11, Palin asks what the woman does for a living.


After the media picked up that YouTube clip, Palin took to Facebook to explain away her exasperated expression. She essentially names a list of all the teachers in her family and insists she wasn’t mocking teachers.

But before she gets to that, she casts a bizarrely different die:

They claim I – wait for it – “appear to roll my eyes” when the lady tells me she’s a teacher. Yes, it’s come to this: the media is now trying to turn my eyebrow movements into story lines. (Maybe that’s why Botox is all the rage – if you can’t move your eyebrows, your “eye rolling” can’t be misinterpreted!)

Palin has never admitted to having Botox injections but some experts believe that she has undergone some minimally invasive cosmetic work. Of course, the line certainly isn’t the first time Palin has mentioned Botox injections: she opened a Tonight Show monologue with a joke about it.

Speculation on whether Palin gets Botox injections has flared a number of times since her emergence on the national stage during the 2008 presidential campaign, when it was Sen. John McCain who was outed for his own frequent Botox injections, only to later find himself in a minor fracas of his own after an eye-roll during a debate with then-Sen. Barack Obama.


McCain, like Palin, has never publicly acknowledged using Botox. However, if Palin is really curious about the unintentional uses of the product, she could just ask Kate Gosselin of Jon and Kate Plus 8, who suffered the ill-effects of a botched Botox job just earlier this year. Gosselin is confirmed to be making an appearance on Palin’s television show, after she was spotted vacationing in Alaska.

The TLC network’s president commented that the Palin family “graciously shared their Alaska” with the Gosselins.

And, cue the eye-rolling.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.