Friday, August 29, 2008

Congratulations, Gov. Palin

John McCain's decision to ask Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to run for vice president was inspired -- and inspiring.

Palin's speech today was better than those of us who don't know her could have hoped. She is articulate, telegenic and genuine.

For those conservatives who've been sluggish about supporting McCain, Palin's selection not only reassured, it reinvigorated the Republican base. (It was always a liberal fairy tale that values voters would sulk and stay home, but now the base is motivated to give money.)

Palin is raising five children and yet works, as Governor, no less. Her husband stays home to help with the kids and housework. Feminists should love this working mom, but they will deride Palin because she rejects the feminist litmus test on abortion.

It's easy to talk the conservative talk. Palin walks it, as well. Her youngest son, not even a year old, was born with Downs Syndrome. Palin knew this in advance; prenatal tests now reveal the presence of Downs Syndrome in the first trimester. But she did not abort him. And she said that when she looks at him, she sees "perfection." Palin's commitment to honoring the dignity of every human being, even the unborn, is particularly striking, given that the number of Downs babies is dropping because the majority now get aborted.

Her speech sparkled with all sorts of symbolism. Her candidacy was announced on her 20th anniversary -- which helped her keep a promise to her husband (high school sweetheart) that she'd give him a surprise. All her children were present except her eldest son. He enlisted in the Army on the anniversary of 9/11 and will deploy to Iraq on 9/11. Even the setting was telling. Whereas Obama gave his speech in the rock star venue of Mile High Stadium, Palin announced in the heartland of Dayton, Ohio.

She is strong on the second amendment and is an avid sportsman and athlete. She has fought against government waste -- as Governor of Alaska, she said "no thanks" to the "Bridge to Nowhere" -- and she has fought for lower taxes. She has battled corruption.

Obama last night promised to give every child the same education he and Michelle were fortunate to receive. Princeton, Columbia and Harvard Law -- imagine the tax hike to pay for that promise. And he pledged to recruit an army of teachers. This former law professor appears ignorant of the fact that local school districts -- not the federal government -- hire teachers. Obama's utopian world view cannot be constrained by constitutional doctrines like federalism.

And then there's Palin, a PTA mom who has personally run local and state government, the entities charged with education in our federal system. She's balanced a budget for a household with five kids. She's balanced the budget of an entire state.

Her attitude toward public service is refreshing, as well. This mother of five entered local politics via the P.T. A. -- again, to cut government waste and to reduce taxes. She emphasized the importance of bringing "a servant's heart" to public office. That stands in stark contrast to Obama-Biden, who have made a career of running for president

For Obama, the presidency is the culmination of ambition, the cherry on the top of a carefully orchestrated career. For Palin, the vice presidency is simply an act of submission to a calling.

No comments: