The Palin Factor

I fielded a phone call this morning from a political reporter with a major Texas newspaper who wanted to know my opinion regarding the so called “Palin Factor.” He wanted to know if I could point to “demonstrable” evidence that her choice by McCain was really making a difference in the campaign.

I told him I had talked to a friend in College Station this week who told me he was volunteering for the Republcian Party and he had not planned to do so, but for Sara, and he was not alone. I mentioned that Lubbock County Republican Chairman had contacted me from the Minneapolis during the RNC and told me that the day after Sara’s speech the phone in the party’s HQ was “ringing of the wall” with people who wanted to volunteer. Major donors have told me that were not giving to the party until they saw who McCain chose for his running mate…they liked the choice and gave money. I also pointed out that Sara drew 60,000 to an appearance in Florida last week, which is indicative of the kinds of crowds she is drawing, but the media is not reporting.

I just finished reading a biography of Sara Palin titled “Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment Upside Down” Kaylene Johnson which chronicles her rise to power in Alaska. The author points out that the more Alaskans got to know Sara the more they supported her and I think we see that happening today. In fact, her campaign for Governor of Alaska in 2006 the Republican Party refused to support her, she had a former Democratic Governor and a strong Independent as opponents. Hers was truly a grassroots campaign and she won and went on to governor so effectively she is one of the most popular Governors in America.

Is she having an impact? I think it is undeniable. Will it be enough for McCain to win? That remains to be seen, but his choice of Palin may actually be the margin of victory.

Palin Refuses to Wilt

The Sara Palin phenomenon continues to grow. Last night she took questions from the audience at her first townhall meeting with John McCain in Michigan and she rocked the audience. The more the public sees of this woman the more they like her and she is responsible for the whole GOP ticket improving its numbers. The generic ballot question of would you vote for Democrat or Republican was just a few weeks ago a lopsided win for the Democrats with a 15 point margin. Today they lead by just 3 points. Critics are now saying that Republicans in Congress might even pick up seats instead of loose them. Brent Bozell documents Charles Gibsons double standard in interviewing palin. Read that article here.

All of this is happening while an unprecidented attack on Sara Palin has taken place. This is no ordinary attack. It has been personal, mean, vicious and most often untrue. The Boston Globe has even noted this in an article that documents the biased coverage of Palin and points out that in spite of this, maybe becuase of it, her favorable to unfavorable ratio is a very robust 54%-27%. They point out that she beats Obama, McCain and Biden on the question of which candidate can most relate to me. She is obiously the new face and leader of the GOP igniting not only the base but bringing in independents as well. Read the Boston Globe artice by linking here.

Mandatory Kindergarten from Barak

Barak Obama has laid out a list of government programs that he is promising to put into place if he is elected president. He says he will give a tax cut for 95% of taxpayers in spite of the fact that 40% of Americans do not pay taxes. His worldview is that the governement is the solution to all of our problems. While he continues to promise a tax cut for everyone earning under $250,000 a year, he has yet to explain how he plans to pay for all the new programs and the only solution is to raise taxes. This is reminescent of Bill Clinton promising a tax cut for the middle class and instead rasing taxes on the middle class.

Not only will these programs cost Americans income they will also cost us freedom. A good example of this is Obama’s plan for “universal kindergarten.” In Texas, home schoolers have been opposing the efforts in the legislature for almost two decades to require kindergarten of every five year-0ld in the state. In 1989, the Texas Legislature reduced the compuslory attendance age from seven to six years of age and ever since the effort has been on to reduce the age to five. Never mind that 90% of five year-olds in Texas already are enrolled in kindergrten, but we believe parents ought to be the ones to make that decision. There is also a growing body of evidence that in doesn’t make the kind of difference that proponents claim.

Parents should have the right to make educational decisions for their children not the federal government!

A Pitbull with Lipstick

Sarah Palin hit a home run last night at the Republican National Convention. After five days of relentless and personal attacks on her and her family, the stakes were high. She was confident and connected with not only the delegates but also with America, as she laid out her personal story of being a small town “hockey-mom” who became mayor of her city and then governor of her state. In the process she took on the good ol’ boys and special interests and pushed through reforms.

She defended John McCain and drew attention to his record of reform and service to his country. She ridiculed Obama by drawing attention to his major weakness of having no record of any accomplishments and did so with humor, sarcasm and a smile.

She also promised to be an advocate for families with children with special needs if elected and acknowledged that her family had ups and downs like all families. She connected with people, not only because of her appearance and her poise, but also because the vast majority of Americans can relate to her and her family.

The media pundits were shocked with her performance and were reduced to commenting that someone had written her speech for her – as if speechwriters had not written all of the speeches delivered by others that evening and at the Democratic convention as well! The attack on her by the left is reminiscent of the efforts to destroy other conservatives like Clarence Thomas, and she will continue to receive those attacks because she is a great threat to them. She will likely continue to be underestimated by her opponents, and they do so at their own peril.

Palin Stirs Up Presidential Race

McCain made the campaign much more interesting when he picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. I’ve had several people tell me they are now thinking about voting for McCain when had they had once said they would never do it. These people are conservatives who are sick and tired of being told one thing by the Republicans and being delivered another.

So what do they like about Palin? She is a conservative on virtually every issue (Wikipedia gives a lot of background on her and her career), and for a conservative this is very refreshing. It is now being reported that she plans to home school at least one of her children. She ran for city council and then mayor of her small town of about 7,000 and kept her promise to cut the mayor’s salary and cut taxes by 40%. She earned her credentials as a reformer by taking on the chairman of the Alaska Republican Party concerning corruption and blew the whistle on him and the Republican Attorney General. They both resigned, and the chairman was fined a record $12,000 for wrongdoing.

She ran against an incumbent Republican governor on a pledge to clean up government and beat him in the primary – which is almost unheard of in Alaska. She then went on to beat a former Democratic governor in the general election. She has been governor of Alaska about the same length of time that Obama has been in the U.S. Senate. While he has been running for president almost the whole time, she has developed a record in Alaska. Here are some of the things she’s accomplished:

Governor Palin successfully passed the Alaska Gasoline Inducement Act to develop Alaska’s energy supply for the benefit of all Americans. “Her first major achievement as governor was lopsided passage by the legislature of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, which is designed to attract pipeline proposals this summer. The state is offering $500 million in incentives, but the developer must meet strict requirements. The oil companies have said they won’t join the competition.” (Fred Barnes, “The Most Popular Governor,” The Weekly Standard, 7/16/07)

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has pushed through a gas pipeline project to bring new supply and price relief to the lower 48. “As congressional Democrats dither on a vote for oil drilling, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has pushed through a gas pipeline project to bring new supply and price relief to the lower 48. On Aug. 1, the same day the call for a vote on drilling began on the House floor, the Alaska state Senate approved a package of measures to license a new natural gas pipeline. House Bill 3001 lets Palin award the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act license to TransCanada Alaska, a pipeline builder that cast a winning bid of five. The legislature had been trying for 30 years to authorize something like this and, up until now, had blown it. Palin got it through. Getting it off the ground, the state says, will be the biggest construction project in U.S. history. Palin considers the $26 billion project her biggest accomplishment as governor.”(Editorial, “Palin’s Gas Pipeline Isn’t Hot Air,” Investor’s Business Daily, 8/18/08)

Governor Palin has taken on wasteful spending in Alaska – using her veto pen often. “And by the way, Palin is a conservative who only last month vetoed 13 percent of the state’s proposed budget for capital projects. The cuts, the Anchorage Daily News said, ‘may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history.’ … Palin’s tough spending cuts drew criticism from Republican legislators whose pet projects were vetoed.”(Fred Barnes, “The Most Popular Governor,” The Weekly Standard, 7/16/07)

In February 2008, Governor Palin had Alaska join the multi-state amicus brief in support of the Second Amendment right.”Governor Sarah Palin announced the State of Alaska will join the multi-state amicus brief authored by the State of Texas in support of the Second Amendment right of individual Americans to bear arms. On Tuesday, February 5, 2008, Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg notified Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott that Alaska would sign on to the brief. The Texas amicus brief in the case Washington, D.C. v. Heller will be filed by February 11, 2008. Governor Palin, a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association, has long been a champion of the constitutional right to bear arms, as well as a proponent of gun safety programs for Alaska’s youth.” (Office Of Governor Sarah Palin, “State Of Alaska Joins Texas Amicus Brief,” Press Release, 2/8/08)

Yesterday, left wing bloggers were promoting a rumor that the Down’s Syndrome baby that Sarah Palin delivered only a few months ago was actually the child of her oldest daughter. In response to that and reporters about to go public with the news of her 17 year-old daughter’s pregnancy, the Palin’s issued a statement of support for their daughter and her decision to marry the baby’s father and keep the child. In spite of that, support for Palin seems to be strong and appears to be energizing the base of the Republican Party.