Some initial thoughts about Sarah Palin:
Before I begin to make a sympathetic, yet, skeptical defense of Palin, I must say that I will NOT support this ticket. Readers of this blog will be familiar with the reasons. My family will once again support the Constitution Party.
Sarah Palin’ choice for Vice-President was one of the boldest things McCain has done since he has entered political office. Voting against earmarks and for the troop surge in the Republican party does not even come close to the choice of Palin as VP. His choice proves a few salient points: a) Radio talk-shows still make a tremendous impact on the political sphere. Neo-Cons like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh prove why they are the top two celebrities in the business. Though, in my estimation they do great harm to the future of this country, nevertheless, their voices still matter to a great many conservatives in America. Republicans have been threatening McCain for a long time that if he chose a liberal like Lieberman or Ridge, then he (McCain) would face the wrath of conservative voters who have lost their patience with the status quo of Washington.
Hence, bringing Sarah Palin into the picture has caused an enormous uproar in the corridors of modern media leading to an unprecedented hysteria among liberal think tanks. With the departure of Hillary as a potential first-woman president emerges the unknown figure from Alaska. As political analyst Chuck Todd has mentioned, this was a “calculated decision.” Indeed this may have tremendous repercussions in the next two months. McCain may have hit the lottery. If so, this will be remembered as one of the smartest political moves in modern history. The reader must remember that many female voters felt betrayed when Obama knocked out Clinton, and these same voters may now have another opportunity to voice their dreams.
But who is Sarah Palin? This relatively unknown governor from Alaska brings several admirable qualifications:
First, she is a committed pro-life advocate. She does not hesitate to affirm her commitment to life. In fact, her life is a testimony to this commitment. Her fifth child was born with down syndrome. Whereas the liberal elite would have urged such a woman–for the sake of success–to abort this innocent child, she lived her convictions. This to me separates her from the vast majority of women involved in the political arena who would give their children up for the sake of political success.
Secondly, in light of the first point, Palin is committed to the family. She has five children. She is more confortable in a room of soccer moms or hockey moms, than in a party with the Washington elite. This means any role she may play in the White House will be steeped in a deep familial overtone.
Thirdly, she upsets the liberals. MSNBC Chris Matthews went ballistic after discovering that she does not take exception on the abortion issue. The fact that it is so rare that a politician feels this way is a strong argument for the McCain/Palin ticket.
Fourthly, the Palin’s were strong supporters of the Pat Buchanan ticket in 1996. I am philosophically and politically aligned with Buchanan on most things. The fact that they were advocates and fund-raisers for Buchanan means that they have some sympathy for paleo-conservatism, and even Libertarian ideals.
Fifthly, about a year ago, some in the Ron Paul campaign came to suggest Palin as a possible VP candidate in a Paul ticket. She once said of Paul: “He’s a good guy.” “He’s so independent. He’s independent of the party machine. I’m like, ‘Right on, so am I.’” As one author wrote:
She has publicly complained about fellow Republicans’ unethical behavior and references Alaska’s Constitution whenever she speaks. Considered a maverick in the GOP, she goes around saying things like: “Fiscally speaking, the private sector can do a better job than government can do.” and “Also just trusting individuals to make wise decisions for themselves and families. I have a lot of trust in individuals. I don’t trust government nearly as much.” She recently signed a bill making it a crime for public servants not to report bribery they know about.
Sixthly, she is a life-member of the National Rifle Association. Need I say more?
Finally, and most importantly, she is a committed Christian. This merits our respect and deepest sympathy for this candidate.
However, in the end of the day, Palin is not going to be the president of the United States, though with McCain’s age, she is a heartbeat away. Though she is in favor of the war that has killed over 5,000 US soldiers and thousands of Iraqis, Palin does not seem so hawkish and bellicose as McCain. But no one knows what a few years in Washington may do.
No one knows how she will impact McCain and his thinking as the years go by, but one thing is clear with the McCain/Palin ticket: The Obama presidency may have to wait a few more years.