McCain`s choice of Alaska Gov.
Sarah Palin to be his co-pilot was the biggest
gamble in presidential history. As of now, it is paying
The sensational selection in Dayton, Ohio, stepped
all over the big story from Denver—Barack
Obama`s powerful address to 85,000 cheering folks in
Mile High Stadium, and 35 million nationally, a speech
that vaulted him from a 2-point deficit early in the
week to an 8-point margin. Barack had never before
reached 49 percent against McCain.
As the Democrats were being rudely stepped on,
Palin ignited an explosion of enthusiasm among
gun owners and
Right to Lifers not seen in decades.
By passing over his friends
Joe Lieberman and
Tom Ridge, and picking Palin, McCain has given
himself a fighting chance of winning the White House
that, before Friday morning, seemed to be slipping away.
bristling reaction on the left testifies to
Democratic fears that the choice of Palin could indeed
be a game-changer in 2008.
None of them has ever started or run a business as
Palin did. None of them has run a
giant state like Alaska, which is larger than
California and Texas put together. And though Alaska is
not populous, Gov. Palin has as many constituents as
Nancy Pelosi or
She has no foreign policy experience, we are told.
And though Alaska`s neighbors are
Russia, the point is valid. But from the day she
takes office, Palin will get daily briefings and sit on
the National Security Council with the president and
secretaries of state,
treasury and defense.
She will be up to speed in her first year.
And her experience as governor of Alaska, dealing
with the oil industry and pipeline agreements with
Canada, certainly compares favorably with that of Barack
Obama, a community organizer who dealt in the mommy
issues of food stamps and rent subsidies.
Where Obama has
poodled along with the Daley Machine, Palin routed
the Republican establishment, challenging and ousting a
sitting GOP governor before defeating a former
Democratic governor to become the first female and
youngest governor in state history.
For his boldness in choosing Palin, McCain deserves
enormous credit. He has made an extraordinary gesture to
conservatives and the party base, offering his old
antagonists a partner`s share in his presidency. And his
decision is likely to be rewarded with a massive and
enthusiastic turnout for the McCain-Palin ticket. Rarely
has this writer encountered such an outburst of
enthusiasm on the right.
In choosing Palin, McCain may also have changed the
course of history as much as Ike did with his choice of
Richard Nixon and
Ronald Reagan did with his choice of
George H.W. Bush. For should this ticket win, Palin
will eclipse every other Republican as heir apparent to
the presidency and will have her own power base among
Lifers, Evangelicals, gun folks and conservatives—wholly
independent of President McCain.
A traditional conservative on social issues, Palin
has become, overnight, the most priceless political
asset the movement has. Look for the
neocons to move with all deliberate speed to take
her into their camp by pressing upon her advisers and
staff, and steering her into the AEI-Weekly Standard-War
Indeed, if McCain defeats Barack, 2012 could see
women on both national tickets, and given McCain`s age
and the possibility he intends to serve a single term,
women at the top of both—Sarah vs.
The arrival of Palin on the national scene, with her
youth, charisma and vitality, probably also portends a
changing of the guard in Washington.
With Republicans having zero chance of capturing
either House, and but a slim chance of avoiding losses
in both, a Vice President Palin, with her reputation as
a rebel and reformer, would surely inspire similar
revolts in the Republican caucuses.
Thomas Jefferson said, from time to time, a
little rebellion in the political world is as necessary
as storms in the physical.
The Palin nomination could backfire, but it is hard
to see how. She has passed her first test, her
introduction to the nation, with wit and grace. And the
Obama-Biden ticket, having already alienated millions of
women with the disrespecting of Hillary, is unlikely to
start attacking another woman whose sole offense is that
she had just been given the chance to break the glass
ceiling at the national level.
Her nomination, which will bring the Republican right
home, also frees up McCain to appeal to moderates and
liberals, which has long been his stock in trade.
With his selection of Sarah Palin, John McCain has
not only shaken up this election, he may have helped
shape the future of the United States—and much for the
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
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Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its
Empire and the West Lost the World,
Paul Craig Roberts.