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As Long as We Remember...

September 11, 2008

A Pit Bull With Lipstick

Chris Cavey

Sen. John McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate was the dominating conversation in St. Paul at the Republican National Convention. The resulting affect of this selection vice presidential pick was a totally revived Republican Party, like giving a huge shot of adrenalin to a formerly lethargic patient.


The evening before Senator McCain’s announcement speculation among the party faithful went wild in the Twin Cities.  Everyone there for pre-convention meetings were politically well-heeled Republican National Committee members and other various hard-core insider types. Yet none had a clue of the Arizona senator’s final choice.


Friday morning, as the press winnowed out potential candidates, many people became rather somber because “their” guy had been removed from the hopeful list. Frankly it was near depressing looking at some of the long faces as the perceived odds-on favorites depreciated.


Then the announcement was made. Smiles quickly appeared as the Sarah Palin stories started to circulate beginning with the members of the Alaskan delegation. It was instant acceptance and satisfaction that this was the right choice for John McCain and the Republican Party.


During Governor Palin’s speech given at the Dayton, Ohio, rally, all the committees stopped their work and tuned in to the monitors in the meeting rooms totally mesmerized. Everyone wondered how the governor from Alaska would perform. Rooms were totally silent. Within minutes, however, it was clear that her national debut was a political homerun.


In the committee rooms dozens of people were weeping, men and women, party leaders, the rank-in-file. They all knew, as if by collective epiphany, that Sarah Palin was the right person at the right time for this Republican Party.


By Monday morning we were handing our Maryland Delegation McCain/Palin buttons hand carried from home, which instantly became the envy of all. By early evening the convention center was full of McCain/Palin buttons and signs. During that shortened session the buzz in the seats was only two topics – Hurricane Hanna and the lady governor from the last great frontier.


Over the course of Sunday and Monday alone I did eight or nine press interviews including NBC’s national feed Sunday afternoon. All the questions were the same topic – Gov. Sarah Palin. What did I think, and is she experienced enough?


Having been one of the people welled up with tears on Friday, my thoughts concerning Senator McCain’s veep choice came out loud and clear to the media. Sarah Palin is ideologically and – in speaking the plain truth – a “Chris Cavey” kind of Republican. As for the question of experience, that too was easy.


It is ridiculous and insulting for anyone to think that a governor of any state in this Union could be inexperienced based on population. Like it or not, you cannot become a governor without working hard and having some political savvy.


Governors are executives who make decisions everyday, decisions in which they are solely and directly accountable to the citizens. They are not part of the legislative body that makes collective decisions through committee. Sarah Palin is a tough governor in a state with unique issues.


Wednesday’s speech was a Palin three-run homer. Sarah Palin showed the convention and the American people that she had the right stuff. This lady is ready to compete in the game with the good ’ole boys and take them down on her terms as she has done in Alaska.


She drew a proverbial line in the sand and said “cross at your own risk.” In just two speeches she has breathed into the Republican Party and many women across our nation a vision of the future – a female “Generation X” national candidate.


Governor Palin is a multi-tasking hockey mom and governor, a lady who grew into adulthood when Ronald Reagan was President. She is a reformer, a straight-talker and a self-proclaimed “pit-bull in lipstick.”


I got a feeling there will be plenty of change in Washington once the lady governor from Alaska arrives.


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