Support 100 years of independent journalism.

Look to the hand, ’cos Palin ain’t talking

White House press secretary mocks "handwriting" fad with scribbled list in honour of Tea Party queen

By Samira Shackle

Ah, Sarah Palin, once again providing amusement to the masses. Some scrawled notes on her hand during her keynote speech to the Tea Party convention made international news earlier this week.

Although she just about made it through the speech without their assistance, she very obviously stopped and referred to them during a television interview later in the day. The notes, which said, among other helpful things, “Lift American spirits”, have been dubbed the “hillbilly Palm Pilot”.

And the general hilarity shows no sign of abating. The White House press secretary Robert Gibbs joined in, breaking off from a daily briefing to consult a list on his hand (see video above). He said: “I wrote ‘eggs’, ‘milk’, ‘bread’, but I crossed out ‘bread’. Then I wrote down ‘hope’ and ‘change’, in case I forgot.” Perhaps a retort to Palin’s jeer: “How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

He’s not the first to get scribbling — some US TV presenters had already got in on the action. Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC featured on the Daily Rundown programme with notes written on her hand. It’s not all bad, though — Eric Bolling appeared on FBN’s Happy Hour with “Sarah 2012” on his hand.

Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up

Is this a new trend? The mind boggles.

Compare and contrast

Sarah Palin’s hand:

Budget Tax Cuts
Lift American Spirits

Tea Party Palin 

Robert Gibbs’s hand:




Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter.