As I type this, the news media begins it’s all-out assault on Sen. McCain’s pick for VP, Gov. Sarah Palin. The argument that has moved swiftly to the forefront has been the issue of Palin’s experience. Failing mention in their assault is the proper focus on the fact that she IS the Governor of a state, commands the Alaskan guard, has reformed her own party of corruption, denied money from the federal govt. for silly projects, and is an ENERGY EXPERT! Without the slightest question, she has more experience than the Democratic nominee for President.
They chastise her now for her experience yet she has MORE EXPERIENCE THAN BARACK OBAMA in every aspect of government. I like Obama, I really do, but the day he arrived to his Senate office, he began campaigning for the Presidency. He’s been absent from senate office more than he’s been present. In all fairness to Gov. Palin, exactly what experience does Barack have? Foreign Affairs? None. A national economy? None. So, let’s understand that her nomination has reaffirmed John McCain’s status as ‘maverick.’ This is the John McCain that we all liked before he drifted so far right.
Also, the selection of McCain’s running mate has electrified conservative activists, providing a boost of energy to the GOP nominee. By tapping the anti-abortion and pro-gun Alaska governor, McCain hasn’t just won over the skeptical Republican base, he’s ignited a wave of emotion that has led some grass-roots activists ‘to weep with joy.’as
“I woke up and my e-mail was just going crazy,” said Charmaine Yoest, head of the legislative arm of Americans United for Life and a former top official in Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign. “And then when it was announced — it was like you couldn’t breathe.” The media elite — as well as elite members of the GOP consulting community — have all but mocked Palin as a former small-town mayor with zero Washington experience. But that view of her totally misses what she brings to the Republican power centers and leaves out the jubilation felt among true believers that one of their own is on the ticket. Palin, say conservative activists, has instantly changed how they feel about McCain’s campaign and spurred them to go to work for the Republican ticket.
First, though, they’re expressing their newfound fondness for McCain with their checkbooks – the campaign has raised nearly $7 million online. Republicans say the primary source for the passion can be found in Palin’s example and authenticity.
Not only is the 44-year-old governor opposed to abortion rights — but she carried and gave birth to a child with Down syndrome earlier this year, a profound and powerful motivating force to both opponents of abortion rights and the parents and relatives of special needs children.
And not only is she a supporter of the right to bear arms — but she’s a lifetime member of the NRA and an avid hunter and fisherman whose gubernatorial office couch is adorned with a massive grizzly bear pelt.
After hearing the news, Yoest, who was in St. Paul preparing for the convention, said she and other Republican women here “were grabbing each other and jumping up and down.” Steve Duprey, a former New Hampshire GOP chairman and top McCain backer who hails from the moderate wing of the party, was also in the Twin Cities when the news broke.
“I was in the Rules Committee with about 150 people in the room. They had TVs set up and we took a break to watch the announcement. For a second after she came out, it was silent. Then there was a gasp and everybody stood up and started cheering and clapping. We stayed standing the whole speech.”
After Palin finished, he said, the emotion set in.
“There were 10 or 12 women, party stalwarts, in tears, using napkins and handkerchiefs.”
“There is an electricity going through the social conservative crowd right now; it’s unbelievable,” said James Muffett, head of Michigan’s Citizens for Traditional Values, who had met with McCain in the weeks leading up to his selection of a running mate. “Especially given all the set-ups and head fakes — it’s amazing. A lot of people were sure he was going to show his more moderate colors.”
Muffett said the effect on his conservative comrades in arms has been immediate and visceral.
“My wife and I watched an MSNBC special on her last night,” he said. “My wife knew nothing about this woman. But she was in tears listening to her articulate the views she had.” Since the pick, Muffett said, he’s gotten “dozens of e-mails and the phones have been ringing off the hook” from other social conservatives who had assumed McCain would spurn them.
“They were taunting me, saying ‘McCain’s going to disappoint you,’” he said of the sentiment before the pick.
Sportsmen are also overjoyed at the addition of one of their own, and can’t get enough of video and pictures showing Palin firing a weapon.
“She’s one of us,” wrote Michael Bane, a prominent Colorado-based gun enthusiast who has a show on the Outdoor Channel, on his blog. “FINALLY, we can get 100 percent behind the Republican ticket … change we can believe in!”
“You know I’ve had my problems with McCain, but he has reached out a hand to us both at the NRA Annual Meeting [earlier this year] and with the amazing selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate,” Bane added.
And then there is the contrast: “While [Barack Obama] wants to ban AR-15s, Palin shoots AR-15s, and apparently pretty well.”
“Every shooter, every hunter, every gun owner, every competitor needs to understand that it is time to, in the words of Bruce Willis, ‘cowboy the ‘f…’ up.’ ”
Chris Cox, the top political aide at the NRA, suggested that his job just got a whole lot easier, not just with a pro-gun Republican Sen. Joe Biden — who is anathema to the Second Amendment communitybut a Democratic number two — Delaware
“We’ll be able to have some fun contrasting not just McCain and Obama, but Biden and Palin,” said Cox, whose organization is giving “I’m a Bitter Gun Owner and I Vote!” signs and T-shirts to its members. “She’s great on our issues and [Biden’s] been terrible for 35 years.”
Her image as a pistol-packin’ mama could prove especially key in the hunter-filled Rust Belt, said Paul Erhardt, a longtime political strategist who specializes on gun issues.
“Palin could play strong in the sporting states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, depending on how they use her,” he said. “Most pundits will underestimate her appeal in these key areas because they don’t know her and they are unfamiliar with the sporting scene. But among sportsmen, authenticity counts and Palin’s got that and then some.”
The sense of rejuvenation is not just limited to party activists, though. Conservative elites, among the most disdainful of McCain, are also coming around.
, long a McCain skeptic, said after the announcement Friday that he’d support Palin.
And he’s not alone.
“I’ve talked to two prominent social conservative leaders in the past 24 hours who told me they had previously not planned to attend the convention, but were now coming to Minneapolis after the Palin pick,” wrote, a Christian conservative leader who has tangled with McCain, in an e-mail. “One scrambled to find a hotel room and is coming tomorrow; the other rearranged his schedule and is flying in Wednesday. I got a call this afternoon from an evangelical business leader who told me he was contacting the McCain campaign and offering to host a fundraiser with his friends for McCain (sans the candidate) before the Thursday deadline [when McCain shifts to the public financing system]. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a veep pick energize the grass roots like this.”
“Palin=Guns, Babies, Jesus,” he wrote in an e-mail. “Contrast that to Obama’s bitter clingers. Obama just lost blue-collar, white Democratic voters in Pennsylvania and other states.” And, he said, the line that the pick was aimed at picking off Democratic women who backed Hillary Rodham Clinton doesn’t get it right.
“[The] choice is to shore up the conservative, pro-drilling base,” he said. “This is an aggressive, on-offense pick, not a defensive pick.”
Rush Limbaugh, who exulted on the air this week, summed up the response he’s gotten from his loyal listeners: “Home f***ing run.”