Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hillary Clinton Versus Sarah Palin

As the world rightly focuses on the McCain-Obama contest, a battle is shaping up behind the scene -- one that pits two powerful women -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Gov. Sarah Heath Palin -- against one another. Why is Sarah Palin the woman the Democrats fear most? I'll try to answer that today (Sunday). If you scan through the previous columns, you'll find comments on both women.

Gov. Sarah Heath Palin welcoming home Alaskan soldiers who fought in Iraq. Gov. Palin's son, Track, age 18, is an infantry soldier in the U.S. Army.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton giving her concession speech on Saturday, June 10

Sarah Palin may very well be John McCain's choice for V-P on the Republican ticket. Barack Obama apparently doesn't want Hillary to be his V-P choice, but for purely political reasons he may choose her anyway.
Why do the Democrats fear the presence of Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket? In part, it's her legendary toughness (they don't call her "Sarah Barracuda" for no reason). But her main strength is her strong appeal to critical groups of voters. Consider:
Married women: Sarah's marriage to Todd Palin gives every evidence of being a model relationship. Sarah and Todd were childhood sweethearts, and they eloped shortly after she graduated from high school.
Young people: Sarah is only 44, and she exude youthfulness and energy. She has children ranging in age from 18 (son Track) to a few weeks (son Trig).
Military families: Sarah and Todd are a military family. Their son Track enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry on September 11, 2007. It's extremely likely he will see combat duty in either Afghanistan or Iraq, or both.
Families with children: The Palins have five children, three of them teenagers, as well as daughter Piper, age 7, and baby Trig (a Norwegian name).
Reagan Democrats: Palin has the highest approval ratings of any major elected official in the U.S. -- in the 90% range. That means she's gained approval from the vast majority of Democrats.
Women professionals (journalists, teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and businesswomen): Sarah is the consummate female professional, having served as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and as governor of the state. Her college degree is in journalism. Her parents both served as public school teachers.
Working families: Sarah's husband, Todd, has labored his entire adult life as a commercial fisherman and an oil field production worker. The couple's links to working families go far beyond the usual political rhetoric.
Gun owners: Sarah is an avid hunter and a life-member of the National Rifle Association.
Pro-Life social conservatives: When Sarah found out that her unborn son, Trig, had Down Syndrome, she and her husband elected to have the child. Her point was that God has a purpose for every human being. When Trig was born, the Palins' press release began with thse word, "God has blessed us . . . ." The fascinating point was that they meant every word of it.
Evangelical Christians: Sarah is an evangelical Christian. However, she doesn't wear her religious faith on her sleeve. She is not anti-gay and does not scapegoat people who disagree with her.
People concerned about energy and the environment: As governor of Alaska, Sarah is among the best-informed elected officials on both issues. She's head of the energy committee at the Republican Governors Association and is a strong advocate of level-headed conservation of natural resources.
Overall, there's no other Republican that brings more to the table than Sarah Palin. She has exceptionally wide appeal. She would help John McCain with many groups with which he's currently weak (including young people and women professionals).
Of supreme importance: Sarah could be particularly helpful in battleground states with large numbers of working class voters, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.
In 2012 (if Obama wins this year or if McCain elects to serve just one term) or 2016, the presidential face-off could pit Sarah Palin against Hillary Clinton. One imagines that it would be a battle royal.
Note: I hope everyone will visit my Hillary Supporters for McCain column. It contains a guest column by a Black woman from North Carolina -- a Hillary supporter -- who is now strongly backing McCain.


Ted said...

Great phone call to C-Span Washington Journal this morning (Sun 6/8) between 8:30 and 9:00 EDT more than praising Palin's attrubutes and wisdom of McCain selecting her as Veep.

Interesting that C-Span's guest on women in politics issue (taking the caller's question), albeit she was a Dem sympathizer, more than clearly more than praised Palin and continued discussing Palin then and later in the program.

In line with your discussion, this is not rocket science here, Palin must be the choice.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Ted, you're doing great work. Somebody once described what I do as "creating clamor." Hey, that's also what you do, and it's helping Sarah's chances a great deal. Sarah has more executive experience than Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton combined.

steve maloney
ambridge, pa

Ted said...

Thanks. The thing here is that by helping Sarah's chances, we're helping McCain's chances, and by helping McCain's chances, we're helping America.

So this is a three-fer.

Anonymous said...


I love Sarah. For purposes of disclosure, my first choice is Huckabee, but Sarah is my number 2 pick.

I'm not asking this question to be difficult, but do you think that running a vp campaign at this particular time with Trig being so young and with special needs is viable? Is he going to travel with her, or would she be separated from him for months?

If she had not had the baby so recently, I would be even more excited about her prospects.

As it stands... she could be the GOP's Hillary in 2012.. now that would be intersting, cause you know hill will be back!

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Hi Anonymous: I've said that "Sarah Palin is no ordinary mortal." (See below for material of great interest.) Sarah has a tremendous support system from her husband, parents, and friends. I think she could do more good for Trig and others like him by running for high office and influencing policy on special needs children. She received a mega-endorsement today (see below). If she needs someone to help with the care of children (she has a bunch), my wife and I volunteer our full-time services.

Bulletin: Today one of the nation's most important conservative columnists, Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade, endorsed Sarah Louise Heath Palin of Alaska for the vice-president slot on John McCain's ticket. Please tell everyone in the blogo-verse! Good for Jack! He calls her McCain's "secret weapon" and a major key to victory. He calls her "a running mate who's got it all."

Sarah's candidacy is critical to the victories of Republican candidates like Melissa Hart, Toni Gilhooley, Dana Walsh, Marina Kats, and many others. Jack's column is at:

Carlos Echevarria said...

I came across your blog & article today, regarding Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin.

Your analysis is both incisive and thoroughly well rounded. My site has a number of entries in which we are essentially stating the same criteria that she brings to the table...

She is a modern day, GOP "Wonder Woman"...McCain would be remiss if he didn't take this huge opportunity to counter-act Barry's Messiah propoganda with the selection of a beautiful,reformist conservative, smart, popular, telegenic, tough woman!

McCain-Palin 08

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Dear Carlos: Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments on Sarah Palin. I'll be reprinting them on my national blogs, including