Friday, September 5, 2008

Sarah Palin: Republican Rock Star

As many of you know by now, the story that John McCain had chosen Sarah Palin broke right here on my blogs -- about 3 a.m. on Friday morning. Later, at 10 a.m. (ET) I sent the following message to 250 bloggers and other onliners. It revals a lot about the GOP's new political rock star.

The Sarah Palin story was broken to me early Friday morning by Sharon Caliendo, a Republican operative and NoBama Mission Blogger, and her friend Mark in Florida:

The key national article on Sarah Palin was written a year-and-a-half ago by Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard. It was her nation media "coming out party." It's called "The Most Popular Governor: Alaska's Sarah Palin is the GOP's Newest Star."

Here's what Barnes's story said about this remarkable woman:

"Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle--especially to transparency and accountability in government--can produce political success. And by the way, Palin is a conservative who only last month vetoed 13 percent of the state's proposed budget for capital projects. The cuts, the Anchorage Daily News said, 'may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history.'

"As recently as last year, Palin [pronounced pale-in] was a political outcast. She resigned in January 2004 as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after complaining to the office of Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman.State law barred Palin from speaking."

Long after the Barnes's piece, Real Clear Politics endorsed Sarah Palin for V-P on June 4, 2008 in an article titled, "McCain Should Pick Sarah Palin for V-P" Real Clear said of her:"At 44, Sarah Louise Heath Palin is both the youngest and the first female governor in Alaska's relatively brief history as a state. She's also the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating that has bounced around 90 percent.This is due partly to her personal qualities.

"When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her 'Sarah Barracuda' because of her fierce competitiveness.Two years later, when she won the "Miss Wasilla" beauty pageant, she was also voted "Miss Congeniality" by the other contestants.Sarah Barracuda. Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice. A happily married mother of five who is still drop dead gorgeous. And smart to boot.But it's mostly because she's been a crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party."

The best web site to go to on Sarah Heath Palin is my friend Adam Brickley's at: It had over 600 comments and probably 10,000 visitors in one day -- yesterday. I managed the site for three days last week while Adam was starting his new job in DC. He has orchestrated the Palin for VP nataional effort from the beginning. Adam is a recent graduate of Colorado State University in Colorado Springs.

Sarah Palin's story? It may just be the most remarkable in the history of American politics. I look at her with admiration approaching awe. The Wikipedia bio on Sarah is right on target. It has a picture of her as a star basketball player (#22) on Wasilla (Alaska) high school's underdog basketball team's improbable victory in the Alaska State Tournament.

I've written a great deal in the past year about why Sarah would have great appeal on many levels to voters, including wives and mothers, parents of special needs children, hunters and fishermen, working families, women professionals, and military families

At the top above, picture of Sarah and her three daughters, Piper (the little one), Willow, and Bristol (the oldest daughter), as well as her husband, Todd, a former commercial fisherman and now an oil-field production worker for BP.

Second picture above: Sarah, Todd, and new son (born in June) Trig.

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