Call it "The Lick."
Halfway through Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention, television cameras cut to Palin's daughter, Piper, 7, cradling her infant brother, Trig, flattening his hair with her hand, oblivious that America was watching.
She rubs the baby's messy locks flat on his head a few times, then, unhappy with the results, licks her hand, palm to fingers, and applies slobber.
The hair submits.
This pleases little Piper, until she considers the aftertaste.
It was a tiny, unscripted moment, a taste of legitimacy buried in two weeks of rehearsed politicking, and America ate it up.
Within a few hours, video clips began popping up on YouTube.
"Piper Palin Licking Baby Head"
"Piper Palin Spit Shining Trig's Hair"
"Big Lick 2008"
"Piper Palin: The only reason anyone should vote Republican"
"The Other Palin Daughter's Odd Behavior: The Hair Lick"
By morning, radio talker Glenn Beck was fawning over how real the moment was, how it anchored Palin as one of us. The Press Association in Europe was reporting that, "Away from the political rhetoric, millions of TV viewers saw her youngest daughter Piper lick her hand and try to pat down her 4-month-old brother Trig's hair as Mrs. Palin introduced her family to America and the world."
"Piper Palin" shot to No. 24 on Google's "Hot Trends" list of things Americans are searching for.