Sarah Palin—the Longhorn—Gets a Kick Out of Her Famous Name

Typing one’s name into Google to seek out our far-off alter egos has become a guilty pleasure. But for one UT student, that search revealed a bit more than she’d bargained for a few years ago.

Sarah Beth Palin, a UT nutrition junior, remembers the first time she saw her name pop up in a Google search—and it wasn’t actually hers. That was five years ago, before “Sarah Palin” became an American household name.

“No one in my family had ever heard of her,” Palin says. “We didn’t think much of it.”

They learned quickly how wrong they were. The controversial Alaska politician achieved fame (and notoriety) as John McCain’s running mate during the 2008 presidential race. At the time, Sarah Beth Palin was intimidated by the attention brought on by her famous moniker.

These days, Palin has learned to enjoy people’s reactions when she hands over her license or credit card, even finding humor in the situation.

“I can do a pretty good Sarah Palin accent,” Palin laughs. “I spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos to get it right.”

Her father also gets a kick out of his daughter’s doppelganger, often introducing himself as “Sarah Palin’s dad” to strangers.

But, as any politician would know, celebrity isn’t all fun and games. Palin often suffers the wrath of people who judge her based on their knowledge of the politician’s platform and views. But, according to Palin, those encounters are very rare.

More often than not, Palin’s name does more help than harm—at least to her wallet.

“My friends and I were at an Austin boutique once, and the manager said if we had any quirky talents, he’d give us 50 percent off,” Palin says. “While my friends started doing things like juggling, I pulled out my ID. I got the discount immediately.”




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