Sarah Palin’s refreshing words
Beginning at 16:36 in this video of her speech today when she accepted John McCain’s selection of her as his Vice Presidential partner, Sarah Palin said these words:
…I signed major ethics reforms…And I championed reform to end the abuses of earmarked spending. In fact, I told Congress: Thanks, but no thanks, to that Bridge-to-Nowhere. If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we’d build it ourselves.
Well, it’s always safer in politics to avoid risk, to just kind of go along with the status quo. But I didn’t get into government to do the safe and easy things.
A ship in harbor is safe but that is not why the ship is built.
Politics isn’t just a game of competing interests and clashing parties.
The people of America expect us to seek public office and to serve for the right reasons. And the right reason is to challenge the status quo and to serve the common good.
Now, no one expects us to agree on everything, whether in Juneau or in Washington.
But we are expected to govern with integrity and good will and clear convictions and a servant’s heart.
Time will tell whether Palin has the ability to play successfully on the national stage. But in terms of an initial impression, Palin made a good one with those refreshing words.
Various interviews with Sarah Palin
Listen especially to the first one where she talks about energy issues. I believe Palin has a chance to alter the domestic energy debate during this presidential race. Sounds like she has more experience, judgment, and knowledge on the topic than any of the other 3 presidential/vice-presidential candidates. More on her experience in the following WSJ piece.
Wall Street Journal on Palin Has Long Experience Dealing With Big Oil in Home State.
Dean Barnett on Diminishing Palin: How the left will try.
Bill Stuntz on Palin, Obama, and the Experience Issue.
Bill Kristol on Let Palin Be Palin: Why the left is scared to death of McCain’s running mate.
Kenneth Davenport on The Wrong Kind of Woman? NOW’s crusade against Sarah Palin.
Fred Barnes on Providential Palin: She may be the one conservatives have been waiting for.
John McCormack on Sarah Palin, Not a Buchananite.
Volokh Conspiracy on Palin and Buchanan, II.
Helen Smith on Why Palin Is a Fantastic Choice: A Vice President Palin would help women in ways that are often ignored.
Jonah Goldberg on Commander of the Alaskan National Guard, Cont’d.
Jonathan Adler on The Alaska National Guard.
Jonah Goldberg on Pivot Palin, Pivot!
Rich Lowry on Fighting for the Middle Class.
NRO editors on The Palin Pick.
Jonathan Adler on Palin and Creationism.
Hot Air on Palin no panic pick: WaPo.
Flopping Aces on Palin’s Trooper’Gate: Beating MSM distortions to the truth.
Lisa Schiffren on The Fighter Pilot and the Moose Hunter: McCain’s V.P. pick has electrified the base—for good reason.
John Podhoretz on She’s Palin by Comparison.
Dick Morris on Lady is a Champ: McCain takes back the race with an inspired, maverick selection.
Father Raymond J. de Souza on McCain unveils a secret weapon for culture wars.
As to the issue of women in politics, I would say this: We have to get beyond the current politically correct gender silliness. The national debate on the role of women often has the depth of an elementary school playground argument. The horrible quality of that debate seems particularly ironic for some of us conservatives who were huge fans of Margaret Thatcher 25+ years ago and, had she been an American, would have voted for her in a heartbeat. Yet it wasn’t her gender which endeared her to us. It was her world view, her ability to articulate that view, and her courage to act on that world view. She was principled, she was tough, and the fact that she was a woman was utterly irrelevant. Irrelevant to her, too, which is something most feminists don’t get in today’s America. And what will make history record Thatcher as great will not be that she was a woman but that time proved her world view and actions were wise and timely.
In a nutshell, the metrics by which we should measure the quality of any man or woman are their world view, their ability to articulate it, and their courage to act in a principled manner. For the good of our country, we should encourage a never-ending competition between different world views from both men and women. May the best ideas triumph over time.
It is extremely inappropriate at this very early stage to mention Palin in the same breath as Thatcher. But what is appropriate is to point out that there is often an intolerance among many feminists for their sisters who don’t tow the politically correct left-wing feminist line. And these women don’t see the obvious irony of how intolerant they are of intellectual diversity among even their own gender. I hope Palin stops talking about the glass ceiling because, by doing so, she is playing the game on her opponent’s turf. She will do more for advancing the opportunities for other women by being competent and wise, by showing it is possible to play in the political big leagues while holding a different world view. Now that would be true diversity, a diversity which would shake the very foundation of feminist politics! Which is why the Left is so desperately trying to smear her upfront. It is far too early to tell how well Palin will do. She will most certainly be tested in the next 60+ days and let’s hope she finds her own distinctive voice like Hillary Clinton found hers in the latter stages of the Democratic primaries.
Finally, I will close with a response I wrote in the comments section:
Hey, this is getting fun!
I write a simple post noting how Palin’s initial impression was positive even as she is unproven on the national stage. That would be called a balanced and understated comment.
And that brings out the MoveOn.org wackos who then call people who disagree with them idiots!! Somebody must be getting anxious. Better be careful in your name-calling though. You wouldn’t want to be accused of being sexist and treating Palin like Hillary was treated by other Dems. Or of trying to swift-boat Palin. LOL.
Yes, Andrew Sullivan is so persuasive when he writes: “[Obama] is a man who has spent his adult life thinking serious thoughts about serious issues and having serious conversations about them with other serious, well-informed people.” Would Sullivan mean Obama’s conversations for the last 20 years with his preacher who openly states his hatred of America? Or would he mean Obama’s working directly with an unrepentant terrorist who has said he should have done more to hurt America? Or would Sullivan mean all those “present” votes Obama has done as a legislator? Yes, such heavy and principled thinking indeed. Sounds presidential to me!
Some things never change: All of this reminds me of Bill Buckley’s long ago comment that he would rather be governed by the first several thousand names out of the Boston phone directory than the Harvard faculty.
Regardless of what unfolds, good or bad, the bottom line is that this presidential race just got a lot more interesting. And that is good for the country.