Yesterday, after a short political sabbatical, I cautiously dipped my toe back into the boiling porridge that now passes for public discourse. Drudge is always first, and it was there that I discovered that Palin had finally made it official: She’s running.
Was there ever a doubt? Talk about anti-climatic.
The big question in my mind was always this: Can she win? Her speech in Wisconsin answered that question for me. Sarah Barracuda’s reemergence finds her in full campaign mode and she is startlingly better than ever before. I know how Chris Matthews feels now.
Could Pawlenty, Gingrich, or Romney have generated the energy and sense of urgency that Palin so effortlessly brought forth? The mind struggles to animate them with such authenticity, and the reason might be obvious: There is always the nagging doubt that they are true believers.
It’s easy for Sarah because she believes everything she says. Her sound conservative agenda is not a political design, it’s an expression of core values, and the passion that issues forth is so genuine that it never occurs to a single person in the audience, on the left or the right, that she is anything other than what she appears to be.
Palin is kryptonite to the Loony-Left and the RINO-right precisely because they all know that she is serious. Does the Left fear Gingrich? Hardly. Any chance that Romney will roll back the welfare state? Puh-lease. Is Tea-Paw (Pawlenty) going to ride into the Beltway and run rough-shod over the Statists? He would struggle to find a Veep with less gravitas. They will all be ignored… until they are nominated.
To gauge the threat measure the heat, and Palin has been scrutinized and declaimed more than any other politician in history. Her travails with the punditry, mainstream media, and the establishment at every level seems to be ridiculously unbalanced… until you calculate two things.
1. Her influence. Romney could release a thousand page theses tomorrow that rivals the Federalist Papers and it would be trumped if Palin tweeted about Michelle’s garden. Is that fair? Nope. But it’s reality. When Sarah speaks, people listen, and everyone knows it.
2. Her spine. Fight like a girl nailed it. The uber-Mama Grizzly is the real deal. Boehner cries because he thinks his navel is the center of the universe. A mother with a child that has Down’s-syndrome knows that politics doesn’t even make the top ten when you list reasons to get emotional. She won’t cry when she’s being sworn in, trust me.
Sarah’s courage is her defining attribute. She has endured a withering assault and is stronger than ever because she has faced it without blinking. The Primary Season may hold surprises, but Palin has already been battle-tested like no other politician in history and I doubt that anyone will be pulling a secret rough-draft Alaskan version of Romney-care out of her closet anytime soon.
America doesn’t need a Republican version of Obama solutionism, it needs a female version of Ronald Reagan conservatism. She will be the default Republican choice for that reason alone. Her flaws are not flaws of character or ideology, and in the end people don’t choose a candidate because they think that Lexington and Concord are in New Hampshire, or that America has 57 States. People choose because they trust.
De Tocqueville knew it was true about America, and I know it’s true about Palin. Sarah is great because Sarah is good. We’ve tried everything else, let’s try honest government again… this time in heels.