Monday, September 1, 2008

Gerard Baker on Sarah Palin

Click over to Real Clear Politics to read the whole thing, but here are a few - as they say - money quotes:

Political history

Obama: Elected to statewide office only after a disastrous first run for a congressional seat and after his Republican opponent was exposed in a sexual scandal. Won seat eventually in contest against a candidate who didn't even live in the state.

Palin: Elected to statewide office by challenging a long-serving Republican incumbent governor despite intense opposition from the party.


Obama: A very attractive speaker whose celebrity has been compared to that of Britney Spears and who sends thrills up Chris Matthews' leg

Palin: A very attractive woman, much better-looking than Britney Spears who speaks rather well too. She sends thrills up the leg of Rush Limbaugh (and me).

Executive experience

Obama: Makes executive decisions every day that affect the lives of his campaign staff and a vast crowd of traveling journalists

Palin:Makes executive decisions every day that affect the lives of 500,000 people in her state, and that impact crucial issues of national economic interest such as the supply and cost of energy to the United States.

Religious influences

Obama: Regards people who "cling" to religion and guns as "bitter" . Spent 20 years being mentored and led spiritually by a man who proclaimed "God damn America" from his pulpit. Mysteriously, this mentor completely disappeared from public sight about four months ago.

Palin: Head of her high school Fellowship of Christian Athletes and for many years a member of the Assemblies of God congregation whose preachers have never been known to accuse the United States of deliberately spreading the AIDS virus. They remain in full public sight and can be seen every Sunday in churches across Alaska. A proud gun owner who has been known to cling only to the carcasses of dead caribou felled by her own aim.

At the risk of sounding as if I am now "playing for the other team" (I still like boys, don't worry, Paulie!), I have to admit that, like Baker and Limbaugh, I've got thrills running up my leg, too. Six months ago, I began following the life and career of Sarah Palin as an avid reader of political blogs. The more I learned of her, the more I began to like her. Then came her interviews with Glenn Beck, Larry Kudlow and Maria Bartiromo, during which she displayed such a genuine love of country, pervasive wit and intelligence (especially pertaining to the energy issue vis-a-vis national security) and real likability, that I was completely smitten. Sarah had me from "Hey let's drill in ANWR!"

And another factor: While a highly accomplished female, Sarah remains a warm, respectful and down-to-earth human being, resistant to the "Ice-Princess" persona that so many of today's women seem to view as a necessary ingredient to success. I say this as a working woman who has had both male and female bosses. I don't know why so many talented members of my sex feel the need to resort to bitchiness and hostility when it comes to corporate life, but I have witnessed it time and time again. Not only is it unnecessary when one is totally competent, it is utterly distasteful. In another post, I plan to opine on the unfortunate phenomenon of male-bashing, taken on by Kathleen Parker in her book, Save the Males.

For now, I just want to bask in the joy of having Sarah Palin as a role-model and the Republican nominee for Vice-President in an election that has suddenly become much more exciting and dare I say, hopeful.

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