Sarah Palin delivered an out of the park speech last night. And John McCain can be proud of his selection and ignore the personal and political attacks the media and the Obama campaign have smeared her with over the last week.
Palin introduced herself to voters by giving a speech that was thoughtfully delivered; she demonstrated compassion, integrity, a sense of humor, and the ability to go on offense against Barack Obama and Joe Biden. She stated last night that the only difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom is lipstick. The obvious inference is she is both.
Sarah Palin showed America she is real. She's not a power hungry Washington insider looking to do the business of some special interest group. She's a working mom raising a family with problems and concerns just like the rest of us. As she stated, she isn't poll and focus group tested. She is who she is.
Despite what people tell pollsters (and what the Democrats are afraid of), in the subconscious mind, voting for a particular candidate over another is really about personality and likability. And this gal is very likable. For whatever a vice-presidential selection is worth in terms of adding value to motivate voters to support the candidacy of the presidential nominee, John McCain has served himself well.
My Democrat friend Elan Barnehama writes in his column that Palin simply, "...repeated...Republican talking points that want to turn her few accomplishments into a career. Her speech was simply conventional. What we really need to know is what are her beliefs and how will she act on them." I'm not sure where Elan has been the last week but here is what I know about Sarah Palin and her beliefs:
She has been an aggressive government reformer having taken on the good old boys and corrupt politicians in Alaska - including several Republicans.
She is not an elitist, having rejected many perks of office normally provided to the governor (private jet, private driver, and personal chef).
She supports expanded oil drilling as a measure to reduce our dependence on mid-east oil.
She has worked for lower taxes and smaller government and will continue to do so.
She will be an advocate for women's rights and children with special needs.
She has been a successful manager of her town as mayor, and a state as governor. In the latter position she oversees a multi-billion dollar budget and manages tens of thousands of state employees. And let's not forget, she was once the president of the PTA - a job that is probably a lot like herding cats - not an easy task.
What we know about Barack Obama on the other hand is he has managed nothing. He's been a state legislator and U.S. Senator. As Rudy Giuliani pointed out last night, he voted "present" over a hundred times when he was a state legislator, and can't point to a single significant piece of legislation as an accomplishment while in the U.S. Senate. If Obama wants change, why doesn't he start by changing himself by doing something more notable than giving an eloquent speech?
On the issue of "change," Mrs. Palin stated, "In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change." Well stated.
I liked what I saw in Sarah Palin last night and I have confidence in her abilities.
And while I don't know what my Democrat friends are looking for other than "change," we'll get change no matter what come January as the presidency of George W. Bush thankfully comes to an end. But as Rudy Giuliani pointed out, "change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy." We need change from someone who can deliver. And as Sarah Palin eloquently pointed out, the person who can make that change is John McCain. Because he has delivered before. And he will deliver again.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of www.IrreverentView.com. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: Chris@411Communications.net.