Miss America, the beauty pageant scholarship contest winner formerly known as Miss Indiana, is apparently no shrinking violet:
When it was clear she had emerged as a favorite of the judges, she and a group of other leading contenders were asked, "Why should you be Miss America?"
Stam, 22, boldly grabbed the bull by the horns in a manner rarely seen in the pageant world, where so much is riding on the right response.
"This is a transitional year for Miss America," she said. "We're trying to rebuild the image of Miss America, making her the 'it' girl and I am the 'it' girl.
"I can take Miss America to the next level, put her in the public eye, give her the media attention that she needs, rebuild the program, make it what we want it to be."
She also said it had been an exciting year, because Barack Obama became the first African-American president, "and now I'm Miss America!" Oh, and here's the part of the pageant where Stam walked around in her bikini ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/24/mis-america-pageant-updat_n_160627.html ) -- don't ever say I'm not trying to elevate the level of the offerings here.