Exclusive: Sarah Palin Flexes Her Political Muscle at the Republican Convention
by PAM MEISTER
September 4, 2008
Her nickname is “Sarah Barracuda,” and last night, Sarah Palin showed America exactly why. In a speech highly anticipated by many Americans – including my husband, who rarely watches political television – she wowed the crowd and created a sense of panic among the Left. Palin showed Americans that, to quote Fox News’ Brit Hume, “while she may be a rookie, this is no rookie politician.”
It was Rudy Giuliani’s job to get the crowd pumped up before Palin’s appearance. As he prepared to cede the podium to her, he asked, “How dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be vice president? How dare they? When did they ever ask a man that question? When?”
It’s funny how Hillary Clinton was lauded for her lack of baking skills, but Sarah Palin’s dedication to her career is questioned by self-annointed elitist feminists like Sally Quinn because Palin has lots of children, one with special needs, and a pregnant teenaged daughter. It’s amazing what a difference the capital “R” after your name can make.
Modern feminism is a crock. You heard it here first.
By the time Palin took the stage, the crowd was cheering wildly, which went on for several minutes. “This demonstration for Sarah Palin seems to have a life of its own,” Brit Hume commented.
At the rally in Dayton, Ohio last week, Palin exuded confidence - and that confidence did not fail her in the much larger arena of the Republican Convention. The speech was an effective combination of “Meet Sarah Palin,” promoting John McCain’s ability to lead America, and serving as an attack dog against Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
As she did in Dayton, Palin introduced her family. While scandal-mongers were likely hoping she’d address the media-driven scandal created around her daughter’s pregnancy, she would only say, “From the inside, no family ever seems typical, and that’s how it is with us. Our family has the same ups and downs, the same challenges, and the same joys. Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. And children with special needs inspire a very, very special love.”
Three cheers for her refusing to bend to the mainstream media’s agenda. It’s something that’s likely to infuriate them even more than the fact that they were caught with their pants down when McCain announced Palin as his VP pick.
She reminded us the lesson she learned from her parents: “This is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity.” I guess hard-core feminists and the media didn’t get the memo.
Daniel Henninger, writing for the Wall Street Journal, explains further the liberal backlash againstPalin:
The Sarah Palin story doesn't fit the standard liberal model the past 30 years of what defines a high-achieving woman. The impulse in acceptable political society to condescend to lovely, ebullient Sarah is palpable. If the TV commentators tried to sound any smarter dismissing her qualifications, their big brains would burst.
In the first of many jabs at Barack Obama, Palin praised the work ethic and patriotism of small-town Americans, which garnered big cheers from the audience. And she didn’t stop there. Explaining her oft-mocked job as mayor of Wasilla, “I guess a small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they’re listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening.”
She also took aim at Obama’s faux presidential seal; his Greek temple at Invesco Field; the fact that he wrote two memoirs but has yet to author any successful major legislation; and that he can mention the wars America is currently fighting without using the word victory – except as it relates to his presidential campaign.
While these things may not be helping Michelle Obama’s kids, they help to put the opposition on the defensive, and Palin delivered that service with a charming smile.
Palin also took a stab at the media who have been pooh-poohing her over the last week: “I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion; I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this great country.” There goes that much-coveted invitation to speak at the National Press Club and an invite to Sally Quinn’s next garden party in Georgetown. Too bad; she could have brought caribou canapés and moose meatballs for the buffet table.
Focusing on her accomplishments while governor, Palin told Americans that Alaska has a healthy budget surplus. As governor, she also vetoed half a billion dollars in wasteful spending; suspended the state fuel tax; said “no” to Congress’s “Bridge to Nowhere;” broke the oil companies’ monopoly on resources; and began construction on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline which will help lead Americans to energy independence “from dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart. The stakes,” she reminded us, “could not be higher.”
This is where her knowledge about energy supplies as they relate to foreign policy problems – Iran, terrorists, Venezuela, Russia – will be an asset. And while she may be a foreign policy novice, she understands that al Qaeda, Iran, and other threats won’t go away just by talking to those behind the threats without preconditions. Mort Kondracke noted afterward that she showed “some understanding of geopolitics – the geopolitics of energy.”
One of the savviest parts of her speech was when Palin mentioned higher taxes in conjunction with small business owners and blue collar workers in states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and others who are worried about their jobs and the economy – swing states that are considered to be crucial in this election. It was a direct appeal to Reagan Democrats and Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton in those states.
Palin was talking about McCain’s experience in Vietnam when she said, “The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery. This world of threats and dangers – it’s not just a community and it doesn’t just need an organizer – and though both Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden have been going on lately about how they’re always, quote, ‘fighting for you,’ let us face the matter squarely: There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you…in places where winning means survival and defeat means death.”
Yet this can have a different meaning: winning means survival in today’s dangerous times. Islamofascists are intent upon the destruction of our way of life, and if we resist, they wish to destroy us as well. It’s something to keep in mind when you head to the polls in November. (For more information on the national security challenges we face as they relate to the election, be sure to check out the FamilySecurityMatters.org National Security Presidential Voter Guide.)
What it all boils down to is that Sarah Palin gave a savvy, sophisticated speech that rallied the convention and likely rallied the Republican base around the nation. Did she rally others to her cause as well? Time will tell. She still has to get through campaign appearances and debates where she will be speaking off the cuff, not from prepared remarks, so much remains to be seen. But if tonight is any indication, the Republicans are looking at a very competitive edge in this election.