Thursday, September 04, 2008
Brilliant article by Matt Friedeman, "The Palin Factor"
This was awesome, had to share!!
By Matt Friedeman - Guest Columnist - 9/2/2008 10:25:00 AM
"This race is over.
Well, OK, not quite over. But I have always thought that the presidential sweepstakes of 2008 was McCain's race to lose. Now, because of the addition of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to the ticket as running mate, I am more convinced than ever that Barack Obama's inaugural ball isn't happening anytime soon.
Could McCain lose? Sure – anything can happen in the next few months; but if he keeps speaking truth to power in juxtaposition to Barack Obama whistling into the wind (reference the Saddleback Forum) and continues making excellent campaign choices (see appointment of campaign guru Steve Schmidt and selection of Palin), then Obama ought to be worried. Very worried.
With Palin, the conservative base is energized, reaching into their pocketbooks and signing up as volunteers. No other running mate choice could have even come close to invigorating the base as this one has. In retrospect, there may well have been wisdom in trotting out the vice-presidential prospects of Joseph Lieberman, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Mitt Romney. When Palin was finally announced conservatives were giddy, once they had time to wipe the sweat off their brow. It could have been worse, much worse; and, really, as everybody thinks back on it, how could it have been better?
With Palin, the political Left is rattled. Exhibit A is their questioning, with the mainstream media in tow, whether Governor Palin's son Trig is really her baby, or her grandbaby. They were so embarrassingly running headlong into their reportage on the story that Obama had to make a statement trying to call them off. Pity. There is nothing quite so revelatory as watching the Left foam at the mouth, become utterly unnerved at a situation they can do nothing about, and start saying the darndest things. Things, for instance, that leave the American public exceedingly peeved. It has now been announced that the eldest Palin daughter is pregnant out of wedlock; that the Left is still snickering will only infuriate the more decent American middle all the more.
With Palin, there has been some perceived starch applied to the normally conservative backbone of Senator McCain. With her, he is all the conservative he ever was, but more. She brings social and economic conservative credentials that are at least as principled as his and perhaps more consistent. More than one signal has come from Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family headquarters that, yes, he is voting for her and that yes, Mr. McCain is looking a bit more like one of the guys that can be counted on for future bold and right-leaning decisions.
With Palin, readiness, as an issue, is both accentuated and diffused. Bring up whether she is ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, and you have to explain why "community developer" is more impressive than small business owner, city councilwoman, small town mayor, and a fly-in-your-face challenger of Republican corruption and good-ol'-boyism. Bring it up, and you have to ask why the only person of the four in the presidential sweepstakes with executive experience of a state half the geographical size of the continental U.S. is less important than a man who has served in the Senate 150 days and did basically nothing of real worth before he began running for president.
With Palin, you have someone who has opportunity to appeal to women on the levels of accomplishment, style, and grace; and to men, who surely must be impressed that here is a gal who can bag, gut, and eat a moose. The latter adds a degree of real life toughness, of course, but it only complements sharp political elbows that she has not been shy about throwing around when principle is at stake in her party and at her statehouse.
With Palin, you have someone with a wide range of experience that most Americans will be able to appreciate one way or another. Tenacious high school basketball player, leading her teams in prayer; beauty pageant scholarship winner; All-American family with a husband who apparently admires and loves her as much as she admires and loves him; slowly climbing the ladder from the small town city council to the highest office in state-wide politics. She has friends, she has enemies, she has supporters, and she has detractors.
But mostly, she's got game. And she just made McCain, a man who was headed to winning this election, a much improved candidate.
This columnist has often predicted that when a woman rose to the level of president or vice-president in this country, it would not be a liberal in the Geraldine Ferraro-Hillary Clinton mode; no, it would be a classy, conservative woman in the mode of Margaret Thatcher.
Governor Sarah Palin looks to be that woman."