November 18, 2008
Just who are the amorphous individuals attacking Gov. Sarah Palin as not being smart enough to have been vice president? What makes her less capable than Joe Biden? In retrospect, if Biden was such a brilliant pick, and if Michelle Obama is so intelligent, why were both kept off the main stage in the closing weeks of the presidential race – while Sarah Palin was increasingly in public view?
I submit they are comprised of two factions – the first being those that never wanted her to be vice president – the other, those who are afraid she may succeed as a presidential candidate in 2012.
Lumped into both groups are those who don't have a clue, which includes elitist Republicans who place a higher value on a person's alma mater than they do a person's ability.
The accusations now surfacing is that Gov. Palin isn't "smart enough" to even consider running for president, to which one might argue: like Al Gore and John Kerry were, and like Joe Biden is – but I digress.
A pre-eminent business leader told me many years ago, "You don't have to be super smart to be successful – you just have to be smart enough to surround yourself with people who are."
To that point, Sarah Palin is not only smart enough to surround herself with smart people, but she is also both smart and capable. Her record of accomplishment in barely two years as governor of Alaska is extraordinary.
She is a proven fiscal conservative who puts the best interests of the people ahead of "good ol' boy" politics and policies, and she isn't hesitant to take on malevolent factions of her own party. She holds to traditional values, not as a mace, but as a way of life.
She restructured her state's pre-existing severance tax on oil and gas production, renegotiating the structure in full public view, and the rebated part of the resulting surplus went directly to taxpayers. She ended a multi-year stalemate over the financing and construction of a $40 billion cross-state pipeline that supplies cheaper natural gas to Alaskans and the lower 48 states.
That single act alone did more to advance American energy independence than Biden, Obama or McCain can boast collectively. In her capacity as being responsible for the Alaskan National Guard, she authorized 521 missions that saved 200 lives.
As governor, she is responsible for her decisions. She cannot hide behind rhetoric as "having sponsored" a piece of legislation or having gotten a committee chairmanship based on seniority alone. Nor does she have the option (or inclination if she did) to vote yea, nay or present.
At the time of her being announced as the vice-presidential candidate, she had an approval rating of 87 percent – unlike Congress, which, depending upon the poll one views, had an approval rating of 9 or 10 percent with a disapproval rating of 78 percent.
Fox News reporter Carl Cameron acted as interlocutor, breathlessly revealing how unnamed sources were spilling theretofore whispered details of what Gov. Palin was actually like. The problem is, as Fox News' Greta Van Susteren exposed on her show, the things he reported never happened.
We have yet to see Cameron eagerly sharing that fact as breaking news.
Sarah Palin and those like her are the future of the Republican Party. Conservatism is not dead – moderates are the losers in this election. No liberal has been elected by outing themselves as same. They become centrists, moving center and center-right (remember the elections of 2006).
Obama, who is recognized by other liberals as the most liberal liberal in Congress, spent the last two months of the campaign running center-right.
The attacks are coming from those who fear what Gov. Palin represents. They fear not being able to convince enough people to oppose her unless they start savaging her now. I am also inclined to believe that a good number of those spreading the lies and misinformation are either from, will be or desire to be part of a certain former and future presidential hopeful loser, who fancies himself a contender in 2012.
Sarah Palin is good for our party – she is good for America. And trust me, those attacking her do so because they fear her ability to connect with voters. They wouldn't waste their efforts if this were not the case. To those who say she isn't "smart enough," I say she doesn't have to be an Adams, Jefferson, Madison or Reagan; she just has to be smart enough to know it and surround herself with capable people.
And keep in mind that Ronald Reagan was attacked as not being intelligent enough, while Bill Clinton was hailed as being supremely intelligent.
Palin didn't lose the race for McCain – he lost it himself despite her giving him a tremendous boost going into the closing weeks of the campaign. She is, however, the reason his six-point loss wasn't a double-digit loss.