As Politico noted on Saturday, former Gov. Sarah Palin was the latest celebrity to take up the ALS research ice bucket challenge. She had been challenged by the owners of Wasilla Arctic Cat, a snow mobile dealer in Alaska. She in turn decided to go bi-partisan by challenging Hillary Clinton and her old running mate Sen. John McCain.
The origins of the ice bucket challenge are obscure. The idea is to record a video of oneself accepting the challenge and then having a bucket of cold ice water poured over one’s head. It is encouraged but not required to write a check to the ALS Association. Then one can challenge another person to do the same. Thus far the challenge as raised over $60 million for ALS research.
Former President George W. Bush accepted and performed the challenge and then challenged Bill Clinton to have an ice bucket of cold water poured over his head. President Barack Obama has been challenged by multiple people but has thus far declined. A large number of people in the entertainment, sports, and political worlds have had buckets of icy water poured over them for the worthy cause.
ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, causes the degeneration of the motor neurons that control movement. The muscles of ALS sufferers begin to weaken and then atrophy. Eventually they become paralyzed. Death inevitably follows as involuntary movements such as swallowing and breathing are no longer possible.
Palin, as is usually the case when she does anything publically, came in for some venom over her ice bucket challenge. Raw Story suggested that she was in it solely for the publicity and accused her of making horrifying noise when the icy water hit. It even noted with shock the use of a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper as a prop, The article said a lot of other things too that were potentially libelous, but certainly angry.