As the husband of a bright, beautiful and talented wife who, after birthing and parenting our eight children is now earning her PhD in political science, and as the father of five bright, beautiful and talented daughters, I am stunned and somewhat outraged at the “talking points” response of some pundits and Democrats to the selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as Sen. McCain’s running mate.
I’ll admit I was skeptical when Hillary Clinton’s supporters claimed the Obama campaign was sexist. But I’m rethinking that after reading their petty and demeaning response to Friday’s announcement:
“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same.”
And talk about classless — this mean-spirited response to the historic selection of a woman on the national ticket came while the McCain campaign continued to air an ad in which Sen. McCain congratulates Obama on becoming the first African-American presidential nominee.
In addition to seeing her accomplishments be minimized — something professional women have had to deal with for many years — some Obama supporters are suggesting she can’t be Vice President (or presumably Governor) because she has children at home. Is that really an argument the Democrats want to make in 2008?
But the most ridiculous arguments relate to her ability to deal with foreign affairs. In the first place, as the Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard, as the mother of a son who is about to be deployed to Iraq, and as the Governor of a state that deals with Russia and Canada regularly on border issues, the Republican No. 2 has far more executive and foreign policy experience than the Democrats No. 1, Sen. Obama.
But more importantly, we heard talk about a host of Governors — Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Charlie Crist — as potential vice presidents. All are or were state governors, and none of them has any more experience in foreign policy than Sarah Palin, but that issue was never even raised during speculation about those candidates. And had one of them been selected, no one would be asking those questions now. Why? Because they are seen as competent, in-control chief executives of states who would bring balance to a ticket that has a foreign policy expert in Sen. McCain at the top of the ticket.
It is difficult to escape this painful conclusion — the ONLY reason people are raising questions about Sarah Palin’s ability to be Commander in Chief when they didn’t raise those questions about other governors considered for Vice President is because … (gasp) … she is a woman.
Sarah Palin is a Reagan conservative. She is bright, tough and capable. I would much rather have Sarah Palin in the Oval Office dealing with a foreign policy crisis than either Barack Obama or Joe Biden — two of the most liberal members of the United States Senate whose general approach to foreign threats is to apologize for all the bad things America has done and ask for mercy.
Does anyone remember Margaret Thatcher — she dealt with the same attacks when she became Prime Minister of Great Britain. Does anyone recall the “iron lady” having to shore up the first President Bush when he started to go “all wobbly” about using force to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait?
One Alaska pol said that the ground in Juneau is littered with the bodies of political opponents who underestimated Sarah Palin.
All I know is that on Friday morning I saw a poised, confident, competent chief executive of a state. And when I looked in her eyes I’m pretty sure I saw steel.
Word of advice to male Obama supporters, pundits and unconvinced Republicans — you need to do an internal scan check for latent sexism before you embarrass yourself any further.
I was living in California under Governor Reagan and I really can’t recall how he obtained all his foreign policy experience before being elected president of the United States and then effectively bringing down the Soviet Union.
Gov.Palin was vetted against some very capable candidates for John McCain’s VP choice. I trust McCain’s people who conducted that vetting process did it right and Mrs. Palin is fully qualified for the role she is currently in line for.
Great article and to the point. If she were a man, this would not be discussed at all. And Obama is the last one that should be calling someone inexperienced. She at least has on her record accomplishments that mean something. I have yet to find anything on his.
The history of Governor’s as POTUS is much stronger than that of Senators. This is a very hollow and transparent effort aimed at detracting from what is clearly a formidable opponent.
Thank you, Len!
You know, they trashed Hillary Clinton every chance they got because she is a woman, but this time around millions of outraged Hillary supporters are watching and standing together to call them out on every vile sexist attack.
It will no longer be tolerated. The free for all attacks on women in the media and by members of the Democratic Party will cost them the election in November. Every time they attack Sarah Palin, more women in this country resolve to vote for her in droves in November, not just to stick it to a party that has treated women like mud while at the same time trying to tell us that they are the better party for women’s issues, but to prove that Sarah does represent all women in this country, no matter what party ticket she is on.
I will personally be proud to vote for the first female VP in the US in November.
It is classless to have attacked Palin in the manner that the Obama campaign did.
Of course, had it been Obama’s VP pick, there’d be racist accusations left and right.
Nevertheless, we are honored to support the McCain/Palin ticket and are certain that she will continues to represent the centrists and independents in this country like the maverick she has been for Alaska.
Congratulations Gov. Palin; you’ve made women of America very proud.
Sarah Palin is an absolutely brilliant choice for VP.
I called my daughter Mary to tell her of the selection and said, “Mary, I’ll bet Sarah Palin was a lot like you when she was your age; competitive, friendly, compassionate, a lover of God and full of integrity. You could be President too someday Mary”.
I could see the ear to ear smile through the phone.
Well said, Len!
The more I hear about Sarah Palin, the more impressed I am. She also brings more experience in the area of energy than either McCain or Obama. She most certainly is NOT a pawn of Big Oil!
My son is an Alaskan and says Mrs. Palin has an 80% or better approval rate in her home state. Can any other governor in the country beat that? Certainly not Arizona!
Where is it written that we have to vote for either McCain OR Obama?
There are five candidates on the Arizona ballot and TEN on the Colorado ballot.
Here is the best answer I received from a friend:
Sarah Palin is the US’s answer to Margaret Thatcher!
Anyone who thinks she cannot handle the job or deal briskly and efficiently with ANY issue, including foreign governments … well, they haven’t met our Sarah . She is not “just a woman”, she is not “just a way to get votes” and if anyone expects her to smile, simper and be sweet – they don’t know Sarah. She is *more than* qualified for the job and the best possible choice McCain could have made.
As an Alaskan resident as well as a resident of Wasilla, AK, where Sarah Palin was at one time Mayor … I can speak with confidence. Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska is exactly what she portrayed during her introduction this morning and exactly what our US Government needs. She is ethical to a fault (if there is such a thing), a refreshing change to the status-quo and as smart and determined a PERSON (gender really isn’t an issue here as far as I’m concerned) as anyone could ask for at the head of government.
Sarah is no naïve “small town mayor” – she just *started out* there. Btw, as Mayor of Wasilla, she brought this “small town” through a lot of GOOD changes and left it at the end of her term having grown to the 4th largest CITY in Alaska – a lot of growth and a stronger economic base than ever before.
She has EXECUTIVE experience *running a government* (something NONE of the other candidates can actually boast, even John McCain , as Governor of Alaska and got there by defeating the incumbent Republican Governor, who was definitely part of the “old school” and who seemed very much in the pocket of the big oil companies.)We in Alaska wanted change – and we got it in the person of Sarah Palin!
Sarah Palin is everything she looks to be and more. Her approval rating as Governor of Alaska has been as high as 95% and is currently leveled out consistently in the upper 80 percentile throughout the state (and in both parties) – the HIGHEST approval rating of ANY sitting Governor.
Sarah has been turning around corruption in the Legislature of Alaska – turning things on their ear for that matter; cutting spending in spite of the increased income the state is currently receiving due to the high oil prices – she has insisted on putting a huge amount of the “windfall” into savings for the future rather than spending, spending, spending – and has insisted from the get-go on what she refers to as “honest, ethical and transparent governing” – no more closed door meetings and dealings – the big oil companies thought she would be a pushover and have learned better to their chagrin.
She understands the “real people” and the economic issues we all face (Alaskans along with the rest of the country) – she was one of “us” not long ago. Rather than passing useless “laws” or throwing money at pet projects, she (most recently) temporarily suspended the state gas tax (on gasoline at the pumps, fuel oil and natural gas for homes, etc.) and has ordered checks issued to ALL residents of Alaska this fall in an attempt to assist with the burden of high fuel costs for the upcoming winter. I could go on and on, but that’s enough for now . She isn’t doing these things to be popular – she is doing it because her constituents are HURTING financially and she is in a position to help.
She became Governor of Alaska by defeating the Incumbent Republican Governor and doing it *without* the money or the support of the Republican Party, which was amazing in itself – and she won by a landslide. The “powers that be” at that time totally underestimated Sarah and learned better the hard way. Let’s hope Obama does the same. Sarah has done exactly what she claimed she was going to do when elected and is just as popular today as the day she was elected – perhaps more so since even the Democrats up here seem to like her – she works well with both sides in the Legislature here.
Sarah “belongs” to us (Alaskans) … and although we are going to be terribly sorry to see her leave before she finishes the job she started here (two years ago) straightening out OUR State … we understand she is needed for a bigger purpose and hopefully her Lt. Governor will be able to fill her shoes here and continue the job.
As for worrying about what would happen if McCain were to die or step down or whatever … here in AK we’ve only been wondering how long we would be able to KEEP Sarah in Alaska and have seen her as our first woman President of the USA from the start. It’s always been a matter of whether she would wait until the end of her TWO terms as Governor (no doubt at ALL that she would be re-elected if she ran for a second term at the end of her current term) … or end up in Washington sooner. She could do the job TODAY.
Personally, I feel a lot better about McCain now that I know he has someone as savvy, as strong, as ethical and as steady as Sarah at his back. She will be an excellent Vice President … and my guess is will be our US Republican Presidential candidate in four years – AND by then the country will KNOW here – will love and respect her as we do here – and she’ll win by as much of a landslide as she did here in Alaska. I only wonder if McCain has a clue what he is unleashing on the US of A . She is going to be a fresh wind, but also a strong wind.
Is that enough of an endorsement? If not, I’ll add this … Jerry and I have for many years felt the best “vote” was to vote for the lesser of two “evils” and hope they didn’t do too much damage. Two years ago during our State Governor’s race was the first time EVER that we actually asked for not just a little sign to put in our yard showing our support of our candidate (something we’ve never felt the desire to do at all before) – we asked for a full 4′ x 8′ “SARAH PALIN FOR GOVERNOR!” sign and were proud to have it. She hasn’t let us or Alaska down. She will do the same for the USA if given the opportunity.
Feel free to pass this on to anyone who may be interested
Deb Frost, in Alaska
She is perfect for the VP. She is down to earth and willing to care for the people, as she has shown in her state as Gov..So we should just make comments on wishing President McCain and Vice President Sarah Palin a successful four years in office. God will once again watch over our country.
I believe Sen. McCains choice in choosing Sarah Palin was a brilliant move on his part.
My husband & I were hoping he would choose her. She is perfect & in time could become our first female President.
I have never really liked Sen. McCain but he just sold me. Not because Sarah is a woman. But because I like what she represents & what she stands for. Finally, someone with some sense may become our Next Vice President.
She is the Apple Pie of America! What a team!
Len, thanks for this article about Gov. Palin. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have been proud to be an Alaskan for nearly two years now. In fact, I left AZ the day after the general election in Nov. 2006. By the way, I was very disappointed that Napolitano was re-elected…I voted for you.
So while I didn’t get the chance to vote for Sarah Palin, I am so glad that my fellow Alaskans had the good sense to elect her in 2006. I admit, I wasn’t excited about voting for McCain this year, but I definitely don’t want Obama to become President. I had resolved to vote for McCain anyway, but when I heard that Palin was his running mate, I lost all hesitation.
My husband and I are both state employees. While I disagree with her support of my husband’s commissioner (DOC), I realize that you don’t always agree with everyone about everything.
Now the question for Alaskans is, who will be Governor when Palin is VP and our Lt. Governor Sean Parnell is elected to the U.S. House?