When John McCain introduced Sarah Palin at the Republican convention, it was an exercise in contrasts. As the brusk stiff warrior, whose smiles seem to be as much grimaces of pain as expressions of joy (a persona born of old war wounds and a infamous temperament), was replaced on stage by a vibrant enthusiastic woman, the difference was like going from dusk back to daytime. The electorate seemed to have all the enthusiasm and energy of a funeral procession before she was chosen. As the left was going hog wild over their “historic candidate,” the conservatives were looking for something to cheer about. In Sarah they found it.
Sarah Palin Gets A Standing Ovation Before She Even Speaks
She electrified the crowd that night and sent fear into the heart of the left. Vice presidential candidates were not supposed to carry the presidential candidate, but this was obviously not an ordinary VP pick. As the elated crowds left the convention floor, the media and the left wing political apparatus went into high gear with one thing in mind – destroy Sarah.
Throughout the summer, huge crowds followed the messiah around and sang his hosannas. When McCain spoke people came, but the crowds were dull and the energy low, but not when Sarah showed up. Wherever she went, the atmosphere came alive. Her crowds matched the messiahs in both numbers and enthusiasm. He was the aloof and untouchable media darling, she was a gun-toting firebrand who knew what real work was. If Obama had a picture of someone in his head when he complained about the guns and God crowd, it would have looked a lot like Sarah Palin.
Everywhere she went the crowds followed
The fact is, before she entered the campaign, McCain was an underdog of underdogs. Carrying an 800-pound gorilla called Bush on his back, and facing a Democratic candidate with unparalleled enthusiasm from the party faithful, the race seemed lost before it began. After Sarah joined the team, his polls rose and even put him ahead. Never in the history of politics had a VP pick been such a game changer. Never in modern history had one candidate’s choice for VP been so reviled by the opposing party and the press alike.
A partial explanation of the mad dog response to Sarah Palin may be found in Obama’s total lack of qualifications. The fact that he was so under-qualified and totally lacking in experience meant that his supporters had to keep the spotlight off of him. Added to that was that the enthusiasm for Sarah meant she was the main threat, not McCain. The natural strategy, then, was to make her the center of debate as a smoke screen to hide their candidate behind. The media would make sure that Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience was not the issue but Palin’s was. The Democrats and their Media cohorts would collaborate to make the race about the VP pick of the opposing party, thus avoiding the spotlight being shown on their candidate’s losing record and radical past. His gaffes would be hidden behind hers (whether real or hyped as such). They would concentrate nearly exclusively on her to protect him. This, of course, explains some of the media’s Palin-bashing craze, but not all.
Everywhere in the press, she was decried as a nobody, a lightweight, and dumb. That she didn’t have the resume to be president was the tagline they were selling. A woman that had risen from soccer mom, to mayor, to chairing the Alaska Oil and Conservation Commission, to being the youngest and one of the most successful governors in Alaskan history was a lightweight and dumb? A person with a resume that made the Democratic presidential candidate look like a hayseed farmer in comparison wasn’t experienced enough? The fact was, her resume was thick and her accomplishments were many. Her main sin, it seemed, was having charisma and a following that seemed to be on the precipice of toppling the Democratic messiah. If Sarah had one weakness, it was the fact she had no experience with the snake pit that was national politics, something she would soon find rectified.
Quickly, she was the victim of unprecedented, vile, and sick personal attacks. It was suggested that her son Trig should have been aborted; commentators and a late night host suggested her daughters were sluts; and on CNN it was even suggested Sarah herself should be gang raped by a group of black guys. She was viciously attacked, and her children were put to open ridicule. Her every little misstep was amplified and blown up as emblematic of her intelligence while her opponent’s gaffes, much greater in number, were ignored.
Where was the simple line of decency the press was normally not inclined to cross? What about the unwritten rule that candidates’ children were off limits? It seemed that Sarah Palin was an unprecedented candidate, and to the media, that meant she deserved unprecedented treatment.
In fact, even when she triumphed, like in her debates with Biden, the press made it look like Biden was brilliant. Time after time, her points were on target, her interpretation of the constitution correct, and time after time, Biden blew it, but the mainstream media acted as if she was the one failing. When the Democratic Juggernaut that was the Obama candidacy began to dominate the polls, the press blamed Sarah for dragging McCain down. It seems an unwritten directive had come down that no chance to blame and humiliate Sarah Palin was to be passed up.
The fact is, the only reason the 2008 campaign was even a race at all is because Palin was on the ticket. McCain steadfastly refused to engage Obama’s drug-infused, radical past and his total lack of experience. As the financial crisis loomed, he passed on hanging the subprime mess on the necks of the Democrats (which, since they originated with Fanny and Freddie, was something they richly deserved). In one debate, he seemed to almost concede the election when he chided has followers not to fear Obama. Unwilling to fight with all the weapons he had at his disposal, all the while carrying the Bush legacy on his back, the campaign became a train wreck. It seemed as though he did not really want to win. As it turned out, it was to be one of the worst-run campaigns in modern history. A campaign trying to fight hope and change by making its presidential candidate appear tired and weary. If McCain ever had a chance against the Democratic juggernaut, it was because of Sarah, not in spite of her. When the election results were in, there were no surprises.
Most vice presidential nominees fade away after the election is lost. Who remembers the running mates of Goldwater, Mondale or Dole? Usually the losing VP pick fades back into the woodwork unless they regain notoriety on their own. Of course, Sarah Palin was not your normal vice presidential candidate, and the press was about to let Sarah go back to national obscurity. Apparently they wanted to make sure she would never threaten them again.
When Sarah Palin went back to being Governor of Alaska, the left wing media followed. The constant harassment she and her family experienced during the campaign continued unabated. Reporters camped out at her doorstep; a journalist bought the house next door just to be able to dig up dirt; and a never-ending list of frivolous lawsuits were filed against her as Governor. It seemed that the Democrats and their mainstream media allies recognized that Sarah Palin would become their worst nightmare if they did not totally destroy her first. Unfortunately for them, they had underestimated the lady from Wasilla.
Unconventional and unpredictable, Palin decided it was time to fight back. If they would not leave her family and her state alone, than she would throw down the gloves and take the fight to them. She resigned as Governor to be able to go to war full time. True to her nature, she would go on to fight a political guerrilla war against the establishment and what she called “the lamestream media”.
She added strength and membership to a newly formed movement called the Tea Party, she took on speaking engagements, and she endorsed candidates. She also became a bigger thorn than ever in the Democrats’ side. 2010 was a Republican year, and in many ways it was Sarah Palin’s year too. Every candidate she endorsed rose in the polls, and most won!
Today her popularity among grass roots Republicans is as strong as ever, as is her opposition by most of the media, the Democrats, and even the Republican good-ole-boy network. Her speech at CPAC brought the house down and showed the world why she is a power to be reckoned with. Today her endorsement is one of the most coveted among conservative candidates. The primary candidates she is endorsing are going from obscurity to front runner, often on the power of her endorsement alone!
Speech to CPAC
Today the hate for her among the left is still going strong. The Democratic party faithful get deranged and spew the nonsensical Sarah talking points of their leadership at the mention of her name. The media still disparages her every move. (Something they did to Reagan too, but less effectively.) Despite all of this, she still matters. Her impact on the elections of 2012 is already assured by the primary victory of Debby Fischer and the rising star of Ted Cruz, both because Sarah Palin saw in them something she liked. The history of 2012 is still being written, but if initial results are any indication, Sarah Palin is likely to have another banner year. The vice presidential candidate that came out of nowhere and changed everything still matters.