Mitt Romney was my choice as John McCain's running mate. His economic expertise and executive administrative experience, it would appear, would have been quite useful at a time of such perilous economic uncertainty. In trying to reconcile McCain's passing over of Romney, it occurred to me that the person chosen as the GOP running mate was considerably more effective and a great deal more popular as governor of her state than Romney had been in Massachusetts.
Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's rise to the national ticket offers an inspirational choice for women voters and has reinvigorated a McCain team that once appeared lackluster to many conservatives. Her revolutionary reshaping of Alaska's deeply corrupt political culture as governor is proof positive of her excellence as an administrator and leader.
Equally noteworthy, however, is that Palin has undergone intensive character assassination at the hands of the liberal blogosphere and other media in recent weeks. The attacks have often gone above and beyond the politically acceptable level of questioning her judgment and stretched into the mean-spirited and nasty realm of labeling her a Christian extremist and a fool. She is neither of these things, just as Democratic nominee Barack Obama is neither a Muslim nor an anti-war extremist, as similarly polemic and needless forces on the right have charged.
Leading this charge into the cesspool of political filth on the left was the ever-inflammatory atheist Bill Maher, who, among other things, has labeled Palin a "moron," "bimbo," "Jesus freak," and likened her faith to believing in "witch doctors." This is the same Maher who has repeatedly denigrated President Bush's faith as religious fanaticism and equated his praying on important national matters to asking his imaginary friend for help. Indeed, the ad hominem animus directed from the left toward Palin has been sustained and increasingly vitriolic.
Democrats, long the self-anointed champions of the poor, underrepresented, and disenfranchised, have been quick to denigrate Palin's quietly middle-class background and experiences as inapplicable to national political leadership. Feminists, too, have been eager to venomously attack Palin on the grounds that she is not a true supporter of women's right because she is a conservative. Liberals, it would be appear, seem only willing to match their anti-rich, pro-minority rhetoric with action when a Democrat stands to benefit. Palin, as a strong defender of the institution of traditional marriage, faith and not murdering children once conceived, represents everything these liberal critics view as anathema to their permissively progressive agenda. Hence the barbarous invectives.
Nevertheless, a strong case remains for Palin's effective leadership and refreshingly reformist approach. At a time when most Americans cry out in unanimity for a change in national political leaders, with our economy floundering, and with Congressional and White House approval ratings at historically low levels, Palin offers a record of effective governance characterized by pragmatic tax cuts and benefits, streamlining of government and relentless rooting out of corruption.
A foreign policy authority she isn't - and which former governor running for national office besides Ronald Reagan has been? - but Palin has actually successfully run a governmental enterprise, as opposed to Joe Biden and her common-sense approach to reform and economic stewardship that has worked so well in Alaska is something a nation starved for domestic-policy solutions ought to be hopeful for. Palin's past championing of government support for disabled chldren and their families, which she has enthusiastically promised to continue in a McCain White House, offers an inspiringly uplifting message to every American. And when she speaks she sounds less like a polished world-traveling Ivy-league educated elite unable to grasp the plights of the middle class and more like an authentic and tough-minded leader whose words you can trust will be followed with measurable action, as she's proven to be true in Alaska.
With our nation needing to engage more with our growing domestic problems than ever, and with the efficient expenditure of our tax dollars of so much concern to Americans, a fresh approach to assessing what Washington doesn't do well, who is skimming off the top, and which pork-barrel pieces of legislation ought to be vetoed, is something that a career Washington outsider with a strong track record of courageous political reform could indeed offer.
And you will not hear the liberal media say this, but Palin's being pick as a woman for VP on the GOP ticket - a party not traditionally known for its championing of women's advancement - has the same historic and inspiring ramifications as Obama's pick to be president by his party.
Palin is a Sam's Club Republican: eager to use the levers of government to support economic opportunities for the middle class but mindful that a self-reliance often born of family and faith has served our nation well in the past and will do so in the future.
With McCain's chances to win in a month lessened by horrific volatility on Wall Street, Sarah Palin has emerged from Main Street with a traditional values-driven and reformist message quickly dismissed by elites on the left and in the media. The moderate American voter, however, should be listening.