Whatever reservations I have about Sarah Palin’s qualifications are largely muted by the fact that I like her. Palin has endured a torrent of abuse from the left and from some erstwhile republican elitists and through it all, she has remained cheerful, positive and optimistic.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Ask Sarah Palin what she has found most surprising about her campaign experience and she replies, with more than a touch of humility, “the enthusiasm.” She’s got a point.
Wending my way through the traffic and crowds around the Palin event in this small river city on Thursday morning, I began to wonder if the whole state hadn’t shown up. Walking the cold half-hour from the nearest parking space, I passed mobs of disappointed voters who had already been turned away for lack of space. Inside the city’s Show Me Center, thousands of roaring, stomping, sign-waving Palin fans were practically hanging from the rafters. It felt like, well . . . an Obama rally.
And there you have the paradox of Sarah Palin. The press has brutalized the Alaska governor, playing gotcha with her record, digging through her family life. The liberal intelligentsia has declared her unfit for office, a rube, a right-wing maniac. The conservative intelligentsia has accused her of being a lightweight, of “anti-intellectualism.” Polls suggest a significant number of voters believe she is not up for the job.
Yet her supporters idolize her — all the more because of the criticism. Mrs. Palin has, for millions of Americans, become a symbol of a reformist average Jane, a working mom, ready to take on the Washington they detest. Talking to Missourians before the event, I heard little mention of flashpoint issues like her religious views, or her experience. I was instead repeatedly, and vociferously, informed that a Vice President Palin would “fix that place” and “shape up the GOP.” I also heard a lot about how she would accomplish all this because she was a “real” person.
The governor is one of those politicians with the gift of connecting with her audience, a trait that surely has helped with her quick political rise. “I’m so glad you’re here!” she said as I walked in to the holding room, with such warmth I wondered if she might actually mean it. As in her staged events, she comes across in person as confident. Read the rest…