Archive » October 23, 2008
FROM THE RIGHT
By Harris Sherline, Contributing Writer
Sarah Palin has been characterized by some observers as Ronald Reagan in a skirt and by others as an airhead.
Reagan also was ridiculed for his ideas and values. Throughout his years on the national political scene, the media portrayed him as a stupid and doddering old man. However, he was anything but the low-IQ idiot his detractors made him out to be, and living and leading by his bedrock moral and ethical principles, he won the Cold War and transformed America in the process.
Sarah Palin, who has been drawing crowds of thousands as she campaigns around the country, is having much the same effect. The Republican conservative base has been waiting for a return of Ronald Reagan, and they believe they may have found it in Sarah “Barracuda,” with her reputation as a “maverick” in Alaskan politics. She has been an equal opportunity reformer, taking on both Democratic and Republican scofflaws alike.
She has been compared to Margaret Thatcher, and although it may be a bit early to say for sure, Sarah seems to be headed down the same path as the “Iron Lady.” It seems that she will be a factor in national politics in the years to come.
As for her qualifications, or lack of qualifications, to be vice president, a mere “heartbeat” away from the presidency, she is far better qualified to hold the highest office in the land than both Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Much has been made of Obama’s experience as a political organizer or Biden’s background in foreign policy matters, but neither one of them has ever actually run an organization of any size or complexity, especially when compared to running a state. It’s fairly easy to measure: virtually no experience running any organization of any size versus having been in charge of a state that has 29,000 employees with a $7 billion budget.
Although Sarah Palin may not fit the model that liberal America has in mind for the nation, her values are clearly on the side of middle-America. She comes from a small town with small-town values, and is tough and resilient enough to mix it up with her political adversaries. She also represents American women in general, who are often called upon to serve their families and communities at the same time.
In addition, Gov. Palin has the advantage of having been involved in the country’s national defense. As governor of Alaska, her responsibilities have included serving as commander in chief of the only National Guard unit on permanent active duty in the U.S. She routinely is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security and counter terrorism. She also has a higher classified security rating than both Obama and Biden.
Sarah Palin’s many accomplishments as governor of Alaska include having taken on the oil industry, forcing it to increase its contributions to Alaska’s coffers, which she promptly distributed to residents of the state. She negotiated a $40 billion pipeline to carry gas to the “lower 48,” substantially cutting the state’s budget at a time when Alaska’s revenue increased. Her approval rating among Alaska’s residents has consistently ranged from about 65 percent to 80 percent, the highest of any sitting governor.
The fact that Sarah Palin is so roundly criticized by liberals is actually one of her most endearing qualities.