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September 4, 2008

One Superlative Choice

Patricia A. Kelly

Hurrah! A breath of fresh air has come into the presidential race. I laughed with delight at the perfection of the choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as soon as I heard it. I have felt strongly all along that the men on the “short” list would not be able to help John McCain win, and now a new choice is available, a choice that enhances his chances.


Mitt Romney scares right-wing Christians with his Mormon faith, and lacks charisma, although he was my choice for president. Tom Ridge ran Homeland Security and was a governor of Pennsylvania, but I’m not too impressed with Homeland Security. Joe Lieberman, a wonderful man, is a Jewish hawk, a difficult sell both nationally and internationally, his exemplary character notwithstanding.


Sarah Palin is an extraordinary and gifted woman. She has risen from presidency of the PTA to the governorship of a state, and is the most popular politician in Alaska. Thus the bumper sticker: “Coldest State. Hottest Governor.”


She is self made. There can be no alternative to the conclusion that extraordinary performance brought her to the governor’s mansion. She didn’t have a strong political machine.


She, as John McCain says, “knows who she is and what she believes.” She has rooted out corruption in Alaska, stood up to the big boys on both sides of the party line, and won.


Barack Obama says that running his campaign with its huge budget is the equivalent of running a state. Balderdash! There’s no doubt that he is a brilliant and talented man, but she has more experience in leading a government, not to mention her role as commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard.


Jennifer Dougherty, the first female mayor of Frederick and the only mayor to lose her own party’s primary when running for re-election, says that running the city of Frederick is equivalent to being the governor of the state of Alaska. Oh, please!


One of the first arguments against Governor Palin is that her selection shows John McCain’s impulsive decision making and poor judgment, as he had only met her once. John McCain says he has been watching Governor Palin for some time, and that she has been exceeding his expectations since the announcement of her as his choice.


The second argument against her, other than her alleged lack of experience, is that she has a lot of children, including a newly born, handicapped child, and that she should stay home and take care of them. I am left open mouthed when I hear this from liberal, feminist women. A lot of the women, who are saying this, would have aborted little Trig. Let me think, what would have been worse for him, being killed or having a mom who works (and a really attentive dad)? No one would ever say this if she were the dad.


These same women are saying that she got what she asked for in her daughter’s pregnancy at age 17. They’re smirking behind their hands, asserting that her stand that abstinence, rather than birth control, should be taught in schools.


I have two comments. First, I went to a private girls’ parochial school. A little nun, blushing deeply, taught me about abstinence. Of course, she did also explain in some detail what I would be abstaining from, and how you get a baby.


Second, I’d like everyone reading this who has a daughter who became pregnant after being taught about birth control in school or at home, to please stand up. Children do what children do.


A third argument being used against her is that she is guilty of too much work and not enough child care. I think she has done a lot more mothering than many working mothers. She spends time with her husband and family, hunts and fishes, is physically active, cooks dinner for her family and eschews wasteful perks of office, not to mention the “bridge to nowhere.”


She is smart, and she works hard, I’ll wager she’s a quick learner. We know what she stands for. She temporarily halted the gas tax in Alaska when prices were so high. She has sent a check to each Alaskan family to help cover winter fuel costs, that money coming from increased tax revenue generated by increased oil prices in the state.


Make no mistake, she has a learning curve ahead of her. But she knows about government; she knows about energy; she knows about fiscal responsibility; and she has guts.


I want change as much as any Democrat does. I strongly believe that the Republican Party has violated its’ own principles in recent years. I think that Sarah Palin makes John McCain’s assertion that he intends to reform government much more credible.


At the very least, if and when our carrion-eating press is adequately fed, and if and when Sarah Palin and her family decide to go on in the face of this harassment, the dialogue of this presidential race will be vastly enriched by her presence.


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