The Enquirer claims Palin may have consorted with Shailey Tripp, an Alaska-based masseuse who was arrested last year for prostitution. Their evidence:
— Documents show Tripp gave free massages to an "anonymous person working for Sarah's campaign for governor of Alaska."
— According to an anonymous source who emailed the Enquirer,
My sources reveal that a massage therapist and computer technologist, SHAILEY TRIPP, had an affair with Todd Palin that lead (sic) to her arrest March of 2010. [...] According to the tenants in the building of her offices, they saw Todd come and go often and heard noises that sounded like someone was having sex. It was the same tenants who called the police on her.
— Physical evidence revealed in Tripp's prostitution investigation "could tie Todd to an alleged extramarital affair."
All this is a little thin, especially that last bit, and of course, the Enquirer isn't known for its high journalistic standards. However, as blogger Ron Hart notes, they've gotten a little more respect since breaking the story of John Edwards's affair. At the very least, Palin can now join Al Gore in the ranks of political figures who've been accused of dallying with massage therapists (though the Palin rumor really suffers from the lack of a "sex poodle" hook). At most, both the Enquirer and Hart suggest the allegations have the potential to threaten Palin's 2012 presidential run. Which is kind of sad.
The use of candidates' personal lives to judge their political ones is always questionable — sometimes it makes sense, like if there's sexual harassment or abuse of power involved, if the politician is secretly engaged in activities he or she vocally decries, or if he suddenly disappears from office to "hike the Appalachian trail." But in this case, it wouldn't even be Sarah Palin's personal life at issue — and what Todd Palin allegedly does with massage therapists doesn't really impair his wife's leadership abilities. Her own incuriosity, ignorance, and lack of empathy can do that all by themselves.
Todd Palin Sex Scandal [National Enquirer]
Todd Palin, Sarah's Husband, Said To Be Involved In Extramarital Sex Scandal [Associated Content]