— If you’re wondering what Sarah Palin is up to this summer, one thing about her is certain: She just might save your life.
Her only platform is a lifeguard's chair and her main concern about running involves not allowing it around the pool.
Meet the “other” Sarah Palin, a 20-year-old University of Texas junior who shares a name with the former Alaska governor, Fox News commentator, and possible 2012 Republican presidential contender.
Sarah Palin, the Texan, is very popular online. "My Facebook is just blowing up," she told TODAY. "Just today I have 193 friend requests."
When she introduces herself, orders a meal or fills out a form, she gets immediately recognized. “It is really weird 'cause when I introduce myself to people, I'm like, 'Hi, I'm Sarah Palin,'’’ she told NBC News. “They kinda do a double take!"
The younger Sarah Palin hails from Heath, Texas. Heath also happens to be the Alaskan Sarah Palin’s maiden name. While the 20-year-old Palin was still in high school in 2008, the other Palin was announced as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate, ensuring that the Texan’s life was about to altered in a surreal way.
The days of her being referred to by her friends simply as “Sarah" were over.
“All of a sudden, I just got like 50 text messages within an hour,’’ she said. “And everyone was just, like, ‘You're gonna be the next vice president.’ I knew my life was gonna be changed forever.’’
For the past three years, she has fielded insults, praise and more directed her way that were meant for the former governor. He father, Joel, also happens to be a fervent fan of the the Republican star, so at any opportunity, he proudly proclaims his allegiance to both.
“Yeah, I get asked all the time if I'm any relation to Sarah Palin,’’ Joel said. “And, my standard answer is, 'Yeah, I'm her dad!"
As for his daughter’s opinion about the woman whose name she shares, she prefers a neutral stance.
“Well, I'm not a political person at all,’’ the younger Palin said. “I wouldn't say a bad word about her. I don't like her, I don't hate her. I just share the same name as her.’’
It’s a moniker that also may soon not belong to her much longer, however. At least, if she's planning on becoming a motivational speaker.
The famous Palin is now trying to trademark that name for “educational and entertainment services" as well as "motivational speaking services in the field of politics, culture, business and values," according to her application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, revealed by TIME. While it’s a rare move for a politician, it could force the Sarah Palin from Texas to start using her middle name, Beth, to distinguish herself.
Either that, or she needs to become even more famous than the Alaskan one.
“You know, maybe one day I'll be ‘the’ Sarah Palin, and she can be the ‘other’ Sarah Palin!’’ she said.
The younger Palin, who does a convincing impression of her well-known namesake, does have one thing in common with her besides her name. She's got the political jargon down, too, when ending an interview.
“My name is Sarah Palin! And I approve this message!"