Sarah Palin is co-hosting the "Today" show this morning so that NBC can hold onto its number one ratings slot while Katie Couric guest hosts "Good Morning America." Stay tuned here for live updates on any and all awkwardness that occurs.
7:02 a.m. Sarah Palin has been introduced and is sitting on the couch fumbling with a pile of newspapers. This, of course, is a cute response to Matt Lauer's joke yesterday about if she was preparing by reading the newspaper. So: tee hee, etc. She also cracked a joke about Tina Fey being in the building. Aaaand Julianne Moore is now crying in a corner somewhere.
7:08 a.m. Lauer is interviewing Palin about politics despite her saying yesterday she didn't want to get into any in-depth political discussion. (Note: the newspapers have disappeared.) Some highlights:
Palin on Romney: "Anything is still possible. But the numbers are what the numbers are and he's still the front-runner."
Lauer: Are you happy with that?
Palin: "Anybody but Obama."
She also says, "There is no perfect candidate," and Americans shouldn't put too much faith in politicians because "a politician will disappoint you." She adds, "The four gentlemen that are running, they all have their strengths and America would be better off with any of them."
7:16 a.m. Palin urges Americans "to fire that CEO of our country." She also advises Romney not to play it safe and says we need someone wiling to "go rogue and shake it up." That must be how she got her tan.
7:17 a.m. Matt Lauer said something about Palin coming back in "the 8 o'clock hour." BOO. And Savannah is now sitting in the chair Palin was just in and they are doing a story about the woman who works at McDonald's and claims to have lost her winning lottery ticket. Well, Katy Perry's video is playing on Vh1!
7:27 a.m. I can't help but notice Ann Curry is wearing a flashy white-and-black patterned dress with a little Palin-esque pouf in her updo. You know, look at Ann! Look at Ann! Pretty dresses mean a lot when you're a woman on TV, sadly.
7:30 a.m. OMG Sarah Palin is in Matt's dressing room! Playing with his blush brush and breakfast pastry! (Or is it her breakfast pastry? WHOSE CARBS WE MUST KNOW.) (For more on Palin occupying Lauer's dressing room, see here.)
7:32 a.m. Since Palin was sitting next to what looked like a big can of hair product, Ann Curry cracked a joke about how Matt Lauer really needs so much hair product, elbow elbow! You go, Ann.
7:34 a.m. Apparently the next time Palin is on set she's going to join the show's panel of experts to talk about the slutty prom dress ban sweeping the nation. Oh thank God, I thought this was going to be all fluff.
7:39 a.m. Disappointed by Palin's amount of involvement so far. She's like the few sprinkles on top of an ice cream sundae rather than the meringue on a Baked Alaska. Nudge nudge har har! (That one was for you, Ann.)
7:46 a.m. Still Palin-less, and as I Google Image desserts Carnie Wilson is talking about her weight loss surgeries. I love you, Carnie, but today we're here for Palin this morning, hopefully just this once.
7:49 a.m. Ooh! Palin's back! Wavin' from the couch. Her hosting duties continue shortly, says Ann.
7:52 a.m. Palin's back with Matt and Ann on the couch! Lauer: "Have you seen 'Today's professionals'?" Palin: "I watch Fox." HAHAHA. She is crushing it with the jokes.
(7:58 a.m. I think I'd rather watch traffic segments on the local news than that "The Lucky One" movie.)
8:00 a.m. FINALLY IT'S 8 O'CLOCK! Palin's supposed to do something significant, which she is since she's standing outside with Al, Ann, Matt and the general public, or, "All you New Yorkers and all you tourists."
8:02 a.m. Palin: "We'll talk about Jessica Simpson and what I consider some unfair criticism of her weight gain during her pregnancy." *Moves to edge of seat.*
8:05 a.m. Al's pick city today is... Anchorage, Alaska! Cute!
8:10 a.m. Omg omg, Star Jones and Sarah Palin are on a panel talking about Oprah. This must be some kind of morning television nirvana.
8:11 a.m. Palin thinks Oprah represents what makes America great. Okay!
8:12 a.m. Dr. Nancy just called Jessica Simpson fat and said the media should leave her alone. What? Really?
8:14 a.m. Lauer asked Palin how she'd have felt if people criticized her weight gain when she was pregnant. "I would have wanted to punch them in the neck," she replied, noting, "That Hollywood image is full of itty bitty people. People unrealistically tiny." Well, that's true. Of all the things she's said this morning, that is definitely true. Then Star chimed in with: "Are you people lame?! Do you think that actual picture of her naked [in "Elle" magazine] looked just like that? It was airbrushed within an inch of her life!"
8:16 a.m. Moving on! Palin is not a fan of some enemy app that might go on Facebook. Obama came up.
8:17 a.m. Last topic for "Today's professionals": Ashton Kutcher playing Steve Jobs. Palin says, "Do any of you have experience with people being paid a lot of money to pretend like they're you?" Which opened the door for them to ask if she's seen "Game Change!" "I didn't see the movie and I wouldn't waste my time to see the movie," she says. "I don't waste my time on false narratives." But she adds that Tina Fey has been "pretty close" in her impression. It's okay, Julianne Moore! Tom Ford still loves you.
8:26 a.m. Oh by the way, Ryan Seacrest is going to be making that major announcement he's been teasing on tomorrow's episode of "Today," not today's. He claims it's because of shoulder surgery but, I can't help but wonder if he decided to move it so that he wouldn't have to compete with Palin, and so that NBC would have another thing to hype against Couric on "GMA."
8:31 a.m. Palin's back outside on the plaza! She's going to talk about raising teenage daughters. She has two girls, ages 17 and 11, so she must know what she's talking about, Matt says. "It's a crapshoot!" Palin jokes (?) while oh it's Ann! Hey Ann! She says she has a teenage girl too.
8:36 a.m. What do you think Ann Curry and Sarah Palin are talking about off-camera? If I were Lee Aronsohn I might say, "Periods." Or, "Labia."
8:40 a.m. Oh it's time for Ann's big segment! Conversing with Palin and two other women about teen girls and opening with a hard-hitting question about how moms can teach their teen girls confidence in the age of reality TV. "You know what would be nice?" Palin says. "Is if the market would demand reality shows that would portray healthy independent young women striving for a strong work ethic that are the antithesis of so many things we're seeing in reality shows."
8:42 a.m. Palin says there's a fine line between being a parent to their child and a friend. And the conversation ends with the other two ladies gabbing, and Ann telling Palin she did a good job with the conversation. Well, we knew she and Matt wouldn't escape the two hours without saying something that could be interpreted as condescending.
8:55 a.m. Ann and Sarah had a total "Bridesmaids"-esque bonding moment over the Wilson Phillips performance.
9:00 a.m. Palin's back on the plaza telling Al she won't stick around for the hibachi segment but if they "put some caribou on the grill" she'll consider it. You know, that would keep a lot of people watching.
9:05 a.m. Now that Savannah Guthrie is talking politics (in-depth by "Today" standards, I guess) I guess that brings Palin's hosting gig to an end. Live-blogging/television hasn't been this much fun since that other thing everyone got up super early to write about, the Royal Wedding! Thanks for watching with us, everyone!