Palin weighs in on plays anchor, mocks herself

Posted at 10:23 AM, Apr 03, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-03 10:23:14-04

By Gabriella Schwarz, CNN Producer

(CNN) – Sarah Palin channeled her history as a television reporter, politician, mother and cultural phenomenon into a new role on Tuesday morning when she became a temporary member of the self-dubbed “lamestream media” through a guest hosting gig on NBC’s “Today.”

The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee talked politics with host Matt Lauer, defended Jessica Simpson’s recent weight gain and dubbed Tori Spelling an “inspiration.”

Looking forward to the 2012 presidential election, Palin offered some advice to the eventual GOP nominee’s choice for the No. 2 spot on the party’s ticket.

“Don’t play it safe and do just what the GOP establishment expects them to do and that is to get somebody kinda just going along to get along, not wiling to go rogue and shake it up and say that we need relentless and we need sudden reform of our government to put it back on the side of the people,” Palin told Lauer.

She also said her party “doesn’t know what’s coming,” and predicted the Republican ticket will be clobbered by the media, whether or not the eventual choice has experience on the national stage.

“They don’t know what’s going to hit them in terms of double standards being applied to them in the positions that they hold and the records that they are running on,” Palin said.

Palin managed to make fun of herself throughout the morning and was seen surrounded by stacks of newspapers, a reference to her 2008 interview with Katie Couric when she failed to name any newspapers she read. She sat in Lauer’s dressing room during a tease writing on her hand, which conjured memories of a 2010 appearance when she was seen glancing at notes written on her palm.

Weighing in on cultural affairs as part of a panel, Palin said Oprah represents what “makes America great” and is “showing the grits it takes to succeed.”

When asked about the ridicule surrounding singer Simpson’s weight gain during her first pregnancy, Palin said it is “none of anybody else’s business,” adding she would have wanted to punch anyone in the neck who mocked her during her pregnancies.

Although she gave a thumbs down to Ashton Kutcher playing Steve Jobs in a potential biopic because she is not a fan of people being paid to play real individuals, as actress Julianne Moore was to play Palin recently in HBO’s “Game Change, she gave a thumbs up to Tina Fey.

“Tina Fey was good,” Palin said of her famous impersonation. “Tina Fey’s been pretty clever.”

During a segment with Tori Spelling, Palin, a mother of five, said the actress was an “inspiration” given her role as a mother and career woman. She also encouraged her to have more children. Spelling is currently pregnant with her fourth child.

“Only four? Keep going. The more the merrier,” Palin said.

At the end of the show Palin acknowledged she had a “great morning.”

“You guys are awesome, thank you,” she added.