By the Herald editorial staff
No matter who you've got coming to dinner on Thursday, you're sure to be bested by one Richland family.
Not that your family and friends aren't wonderful, but Sarah Palin is coming to dinner at their house.
No one is hotter on the national media landscape right now than the new author, despite the best efforts of her grandbaby's daddy to steal her thunder.
In case you missed it, efforts to hype Levi Johnston's upcoming Playgirl pictorial just happened to coincide with Palin's book tour for the debut of Going Rogue: An American Life.
And even though Palin used not less than the Oprah Winfrey Show to invite Levi to join the family for dinner at Aunt Katie's house in Richland, we have a feeling he's not coming.
And frankly, we don't really care.
Palin will be here and she'll graciously follow-up turkey day with a book signing at Hastings in Richland on Sunday. No matter your feelings on Palin -- either love or hate, theredoesn't seem to be any middle ground -- her book will be about as hard to come by in the Tri-Cities this week as a Zsu Zsu Pets Hamster. (That's the must-have toy desperate parents will be searching for Friday morning.)
Palin's got deep roots in the Tri-Cities -- her grandfather came to work at Hanford in the '40s -- so it's no surprise that she'd surface here at some point. But for Thanksgiving and while she's got the No. 1 best seller at Amazon.com? We couldn't ask for more!
OK, maybe that was a bit gushy, and even here in the reddest part of Washington, not everyone is a big fan of Palin.
It's interesting to note that some of the things that earn her the most admiration -- her folksiness, her pride in Alaska, her love of her family -- also draw barbs from her critics.
Whatever your Palin pulse, she brought a refreshing presence to the presidential campaign as John McCain's running mate.
Much ado was made about her family and her upgraded wardrobe. Her answers to some questions from interviewers left something to be desired. But in spite of her well-coiffed appearance, she was refreshingly unpolished and forthright in her candor.
In an era when national politics are dominated by candidates who seem more like products than people, Palin comes across as genuine.
She's proud of her home state of Alaska, even though she chose to resign before fulfilling her first term as its governor. She's got a lot on her plate, with kids and grandkid, constant media scrutiny, newfound celebrity and loyal political followers who hope she leads their parade.
At this point, Palin is more celebrity than candidate. Her political future is unclear, though we're still certain she can pack a wallop if she decides to rejoin the game.
No one should begrudge Palin this chance to cash in on her popularity and secure a solid financial future for her family.
We think Palin will findmuch around here to remind her of her home in Wasilla -- especially a shared love of open spaces and outdoor activities.
We suggest a nice hike up Badger Mountain or maybe a run in the Turkey Trot to help Palin decompress from the high-profile book tour while she's here.
We hope the family enjoys a nice, quiet Thanksgiving in Richland and that Palin gets a chance to rest her book-signing hand. We're sure she'll put it to good use as we expect hundreds -- if not thousands -- to line up for a chance at an autograph Sunday.