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Steyn on Palin

from the Corner on National Review Online

by Mark Steyn

First, Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, “all-American”, but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I’m not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin’ Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who’s done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of “community organizer” and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.

Second, it can’t be in Senator Obama’s interest for the punditocracy to spends its time arguing about whether the Republicans’ vice-presidential pick is “even more” inexperienced than the Democrats’ presidential one.

Third, real people don’t define “experience” as appearing on unwatched Sunday-morning talk shows every week for 35 years and having been around long enough to have got both the War on Terror and the Cold War wrong. (On the first point, at the Gun Owners of New Hampshire dinner in the 2000 campaign, I remember Orrin Hatch telling me sadly that he was stunned to discover how few Granite State voters knew who he was.) Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are more or less the same age, but Governor Palin has run a state and a town and a commercial fishing operation, whereas (to reprise a famous line on the Rev Jackson) Senator Obama ain’t run nothin’ but his mouth. She’s done the stuff he’s merely a poseur about. Post-partisan? She took on her own party’s corrupt political culture directly while Obama was sucking up to Wright and Ayers and being just another get-along Chicago machine pol (see his campaign’s thuggish attempt to throttle Stanley Kurtz and Milt Rosenberg on WGN the other night).

Fourth, Governor Palin has what the British Labour Party politician Denis Healy likes to call a “hinterland” – a life beyond politics. Whenever Senator Obama attempts anything non-political (such as bowling), he comes over like a visiting dignitary to a foreign country getting shanghaied into some impenetrable local folk ritual. Sarah Palin isn’t just on the right side of the issues intellectually. She won’t need the usual stage-managed “hunting” trip to reassure gun owners: she’s lived the Second Amendment all her life. Likewise, on abortion, we’re often told it’s easy to be against it in principle but what if you were a woman facing a difficult birth or a handicapped child? Been there, done that.

Fifth, she complicates all the laziest Democrat pieties. Energy? Unlike Biden and Obama, she’s been to ANWR and, like most Alaskans, supports drilling there.

tips to Douglass Ott

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Running Away

On the drive to Indiana I heard a radio commentator state that a survey found that 8% of white voters will vote against Obama ONLY because he is black and 20% of black voters will vote for Obama ONLY because is black.

I am suspect of such polls, because they say so little. Does this mean that black voters are more racist than white voters? How did the polls isolate the race factor from other factors such as policy? Would the same 8% have voted against Hillary because she was a woman? I suspect that these ‘racist’ oriented voters would have voted for the same party regardless of the race of the candidate.

Likewise I do not understand how a Hillary supporter will now vote for McCain JUST because he now has a woman on the ticket. Palin is about as politically opposite from Hillary as you can get.

Perhaps the critically important middle third that has a mixed bag of viewpoints will make the switch. These people are likely economically conservative and personally liberal. They acknowledge that evil must be fought but may disagree on how. They realize that power must be restrained whether it is in the hands of the government or the private sector. They are pro choice but it is not the litmus test issue it is for many on the left.

Personally I do not think that disaffected Hillary voters are going towards Palin and McCain; I think they are running away from Obama. I also think a lot of Obama’s supporters were running away from Hillary.

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Which One Is the Candidate of Change?

Just thinking:

Obama has selected a 32 year veteran from the Senate who could hardly place as a Democratic presidential candidate, who outdoes Obama on gaffes and has a bad history on foreign policy decisions and…

McCain picks a young mother of five who has been a mayor and a Governor of Alaska with an impressive record.

Now tell me which one is the candidate of change?

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Intrade Can Be Wrong- Hooray!

Last week before I took my daughter to college at Indiana, Romney was the favored VP pick for McCain with 75% odds at Intrade. When I returned yesterday, Tim Pawlenty had risen to the likely pick with 75% odds.

At 10:00 AM this morning, an hour before the announcement Sarah Palin was the favored pick with 92% odds. She was not even on the list on Intrade the night before.

The McCain camp did an incredible job keeping the selection confidential. Unlike most, I knew a little about her, and I was very impressed. She is a great choice.

To my readers I confess that I was very wrong in my blind assumption of Intrade’s infallibility. I could not be more happy that I was wrong.

I am also happy that McCain has undone Intrade. I hope their presidential favorite also proves equally wrong.