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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not a messiah, not even from Harvard, but the one (lower-case) we've been waiting for

Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard have both been Palin prophets, both online and as television pundits. Now they have up a pair of punchy, persuasive online pieces worth your while: Barnes' Providential Palin and Kristol's Let Palin Be Palin.

Barnes clearly gets the big picture:

Republicans desperately need younger leaders. To paraphrase Democrats, the torch must be passed to a new generation. There are a number of impressive young leaders in Congress — Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, to name three in the House — but they've been leapfrogged: If McCain loses, Palin will be the hope of the future. If he wins, she'll actually be the future.

Meanwhile, Kristol is focused on the near-term, but with equal clarity:

... The campaign may be tempted to overreact when one rash sentence or foolish comment by Palin from 10 or 15 years ago is dragged up by Democratic opposition research and magnified by a credulous and complicit media.

The McCain campaign will have to keep its cool. It will have to provide facts and context, and to hit back where appropriate. But it cannot become obsessed with playing defense. It should allow Palin to deal with the charges directly and resist the temptation to try to shield her from the media. Palin is potentially a huge asset to McCain. He took the gamble — wisely, we think — of putting her on the ticket. McCain's choice of Palin was McCain being McCain. Now his campaign will have to let Palin be Palin.

Plus, I'm tickled by this week's cover:

Cover of the upcoming 'Weekly Standard'

In my case, at least, the answer is: "Yes, she's who I've been waiting for, at least since the Fred Thompson campaign failed to launch."

Posted by Beldar at 05:36 AM in 2008 Election, McCain, Palin, Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Not a messiah, not even from Harvard, but the one (lower-case) we've been waiting for and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) stan made the following comment | Aug 30, 2008 7:41:22 AM | Permalink


I wanted to point out that the MSM is calling Palin a complete unknown. If a woman with her background as an outsider had climbed her way to the governorship of her state as a Democrat, the MSM would have featured her story so often that everyone would already know her.

(2) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 30, 2008 8:00:20 AM | Permalink

Stan: You're right. And one of Fred Barnes' lines is pretty acute (boldface mine):

McCain gets enormous credit for naming a conservative woman to his ticket. But it was Palin herself, rather than the boldness of McCain, that instantly galvanized conservatives. Palin's reform credentials, her social and economic conservatism, and her personal story had become well known to conservatives. This was a surprise to me.

It was only sort of a surprise to me — more has trickled out, spread on the net and by word of mouth, than I thought. There were hints, for example, in the Pajamas Media poll, but one presumes that's an internet-addicted and well-informed group of wonks responding. Clearly, though, there was already a critical mass ready to cheer. And the numbers are going to grow rapidly.

As I've been blogging yesterday and today, I've had the TV on either Fox or CNN. Both have continually run no-sound video clips in windows as they've discussed the Palin nomination, and they're absolutely compelling: Palin in cargo pants and tee-shirt mingling with troops. Palin respectfully but fearlessly firing off a full-auto burst from an M-16. Palin hauling up a net full of Pacific salmon. Palin speaking to legislators or the press in Alaska. Snapshot of Palin as beauty queen, basketball player, hunter. Palin with her five children and handsome husband. Every one of these images looks, and is, real.

Somewhere, Ronald Reagan is watching this and just beaming. I know he is.

(3) Jim made the following comment | Aug 30, 2008 2:41:02 PM | Permalink

My introduction to Gov Palin was on your site.

Beldar, you are a god.

So, by how much will McCain/Palin win in November?

(4) Dan S made the following comment | Aug 31, 2008 7:34:35 AM | Permalink

Great job, Beldar. I heard her name first elsewhere, but you've done journeyman work in fleshing out my knowledge of her, and it's clear you made your blog the goto site for Palin info in the process. If the grumpy old man pulls this out, he's going to owe your work more than he will ever realize. It provided the seedcorn to those "wonks" you mention.

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