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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just Call Me The Palin Boy

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Like many I didn't really know that much about Alaska governor Sarah Palin before the recent buzz about her as a possible running mate for John McCain but I think I may be falling in love just a little bit. And this latest may turn my feelings from mere infatuation into the real thing:

June 23, 2008, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today urged members of Congress to enact legislation that would allow oil and gas development in a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and key members of Congress, Governor Palin stressed the need to enact an energy policy that includes oil and gas production from domestic sources, since failure to enact a sound energy policy is having real-life consequences. The Governor reminded members of Congress that the footprint of development would be less than 2,000 acres. She also assured members that any development would be conducted in a responsible and environmentally safe manner.

The timing of this letter is interesting. With Palin's name being thrown around more and more as a possible McCain VP choice, coming out strongly for drilling in ANWR when McCain is still opposed (but may be moving in the pro-drilling direction) shows either a bit of guts or a possible coordination with the McCain campaign, helping McCain move closer to the pro-drilling side.
Stop The ACLU highlights her biography which certainly makes her sound like my kind of girl.
Palin, 44, would add youth to the GOP ticket. As governor she has shown a willingness to veto some of the state’s large capital projects, no small plus for fiscal conservatives. But it’s her personal biography, which excites social conservatives, and reformist background that might most appeal to McCain.

She’s stridently anti-abortion, and recently brought to term her fifth child — who she knew would have Down syndrome. A hunter, fisher and family woman with a rapid professional rise, Palin is a natural for Republican framing.

In 1982, Palin led her underdog high school basketball team to the state championship, earning the nickname “Sarah Barracuda.” Two years later she won the beauty pageant in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska — and was also named “Miss Congeniality.” By her early thirties, she was the mayor of Wasilla.

In 2003, as ethics commissioner on the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she risked her rising political star by resigning her position in protest of ethical misconduct within the state’s Republican leadership as well as then-Gov. Frank Murkowski’s acceptance of that impropriety. Though this briefly made her an outcast within the party, within a year several state Republican heavyweights were reprimanded for the conduct she’d decried.

Her reputation with the party thus redeemed, Palin defeated Murkowski in the 2006 Republican primary on the way to being elected governor.

As governor, she’s continued challenging the state’s powers that be, even winning tax increases on oil companies’ profits. Her approval rating has soared as high as 90 percent, making her one of America’s most popular governors.

“Palin is becoming a star in the conservative movement, a fiscal conservative in a state that is looking like a boondoggle for pork barrel spending,” said Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who specializes in women’s politics.

“She’s young, vibrant, fresh and now, and a new mother of five. She should be in the top tier,” Conway continued. “If the Republican Party wants to wrestle itself free from the perception that it is royalist and not open to putting new talent on the bench, this would be the real opportunity.”

Palin's presence on the McCain ticket could prove very helpful in a number of ways. For conservatives she would certainly make voting for McCain more palatable. She would appeal to many of the former Hillary voters who remain pained by Hillary's loss. She would make the McCain ticket "historic" by giving the US its first female VP. She highlights the GOP as being a "big tent" party and stifles talk about the GOP as being a party of old White guys.

In the negative column is the fact that she is from Alaska, a state likely to go to McCain anyway. But a VP candidate's electoral pull is often overblown anyway, very rarely being directly responsible for winning any particular state and the good feeling she could infuse into McCain's run might boost his margin in close states, which wouldn't mean she'd win them for him, but make him more appealing and help him pull numbers where he needs them.

Also in the negatives is the fact that she has only been governor for about two years, a little more than Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, but not much. But considering the thinness of Obama's resume this is probably less of a problem than it would be in other elections.

All in all Sarah Palin has much to offer. I think I just might be a Palin Boy.

AllahPundit at Hot Air is also impressed

Rhymes With Right is also smitten

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