SARAH Palin has named X-Factor judge Simon Cowell as one of her political inspirations. In extracts leaked from her book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, Palin enthuses about Cowells attributes on the talent show and praises the judge for bringing contestants down to earth. No-one theyve encountered in their lives, from their parents to their teachers to their president - wanted them to feel bad about hearing the truth, she writes. So they grew up convinced they could become big pop stars like Michael Jackson. Cowell could be a little harsh at times, but he upholds the highest standards, and something in us recognises and responds to that, Mrs Palin says in the book. The British judge was almost alone in his willingness to tell hard truths, she writes. The book, a treatise on politics, family and religion, is due out on Tuesday. Telegraph