Abram Sauer of Esquire talked to Sarah Palin the other day. No, not that Sarah Palin - the other one. Does sharing a name with the inimitable former Governor of Alaska and presumably US presidential hopeful in 2012 bring a certain amount of pain? You betcha!
The name is not a common one, but there are a handful of Sarah Palins in the United States. About 12 are Facebook members. The database on Classmates.com lists 30 — including the one who graduated Wasilla's Burchell High School in 1982. But per capita, the coincidence appears far more common in England, where a handful of the dozens of Sarah Palins I contacted were also far more willing to talk about it.
"If I had a pound for every time I have heard someone crack a joke about my name, I would be the proud owner of a Bugatti Veyron," says one Palin from Brighton. "My name is actually not the same as hers either — I am a Sara, not a Sarah."
Other Palins recounted, perhaps thanks to the former Alaska governor's own predilection for Facebook, receiving friend requests from Mama Grizzly groupies, including positive messages of thanks for inspiring them to beat cancer. But of course there is hate mail: "you should never have been born," "you bitch," and "you've insulted every single black American," for starters.
"In everyday life in England it's fine, the odd comment — everyone thinks they're the first," says a Sarah Palin from outside of Manchester. "But on Facebook it's just a right pain in the rear end."