When Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska, I wrote that she seemed to have lost what many of us admired about her: her nerve.
Now with publication of her book “Going Rogue: An American Life,” Palin has come out swinging, reminding us of everything we like about her.
That favorable reaction is only enhanced by the media’s attacks on her. The New York Times’ faux conservative columnist David Brooks called her a “joke.”
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Brooks said, “The idea that this potential talk show host is considered seriously for the Republican nomination, believe me, it will never happen. Republican primary voters are just not going to elect a talk show host.”
That kind of condescension only underscores the fact that, in contrast to candidate Barack Obama, Palin has real accomplishments to show for herself. As a mayor, Palin cut property taxes 40 percent and reduced her own salary. Just before being appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in 2003, Palin led an ethics probe of the commission’s chairman, Randy Ruedrich, who was also the state GOP chairman. Facing conflict-of interest allegations, Ruedrich admitted ethics violations and resigned.
As governor, Palin ultimately opposed a federal earmark for the $400 million so-called bridge to nowhere. She used her veto power to cut nearly $2 billion from the state budget. She was successful in enacting ethics reform legislation. While pushing to develop more energy resources, she increased taxes on oil production, saying the companies had bribed legislators to keep taxes low. That enabled her to deliver a rebate of $1,200 to each state resident.
In contrast, Obama had virtually no accomplishments beyond getting himself elected. Although he often talked about his work as a community organizer, he never achieved his one goal of eliminating asbestos from a single housing project in Chicago. But the swooning mainstream media never pointed that out. For a year, the media ignored the fact that Obama’s pastor and mentor was a bigot.
Although Palin has no foreign policy experience, neither did Ronald Reagan. Yet most now recognize him as one of the great presidents for being instrumental in ending the Cold War.
Like Reagan, Palin projects optimism, pride in America, and determination to reform the government and vanquish our enemies — exactly the opposite of our current apologist-in-chief.
In retrospect, Palin’s underwhelming performance before the withering stares of Katie Couric and Charles Gibson seems of little consequence. Although her decision to resign as governor remains troubling, it is understandable in view of the millions of dollars in legal fees she faced as a result of bogus ethics complaints.
As book reviewer Michiko Kakutani wrote in the New York Times, “The self-portrait created in these pages recalls the early profiles of Ms. Palin that appeared just after her debut on the national stage: a self-reliant frontierswoman who knows how to field dress a moose; a feisty gal with lots of moxie and pep; a former beauty queen with a George W. Bush-like aptitude for mangling the English language.”
In fact, the book was written with a collaborator. If Bush were as articulate as Palin, he would have been a far more successful president.
In the end, people make their decisions on how to vote based in large part on character. They want to know whether the candidate is the genuine article. In the case of the gun-toting, diaper-changing former governor, there is no doubt she is.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
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