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Jacob Heilbrunn

Jacob Heilbrunn

Posted: November 25, 2010 10:42 AM

My greatest thanks go to Sen. John McCain for having chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate back in 2008. She truly is a gift that keeps giving. Her latest stunt--confusing North and South Korea--is further testimony to her unique contribution to American politics. Without her, it would all be so much more boring.

Palin keeps everyone on their toes. President Obama has to worry that this volatile politician might actually become the Republican candidate in 2012. If the economy remains in a tailspin, Palin can continue to argue that the experts lack expertise, and that it's time for a gal from Alaska to set America aright.

She's no less of a conundrum for the GOP. The Republican establishment is going into overdrive to stop Palin. For Mitt Romney and others she's a nightmare. But it may take nothing less than Republican political sorcery to stop her. The truth is that Palin's very ignorance serves as her vital badge of credibility with the right. The less she knows about foreign countries, the purer she appears. It's interesting, among other things, that Palin doesn't appear to have traveled abroad in the past few years. She doesn't want seasoning. She wants to be unseasoned.

Which is why I don't think that her latest gaffe will hurt her with conservatives. They'll blame the liberal media--even though the flub happened while appearing on Glenn Beck's show--for blowing it out of proportion. Anyway, conservatives, who have long viewed McCain with suspicion, should express their gratitude on Thanksgiving to McCain for impulsively selecting Palin. She is his true bequest, his legacy as a politician.

Finally, the rest of the world should be grateful as well. Foreign newspapers are tut-tutting over Palin's Korea misstep. That America can produce a character such as Palin allows them to wallow in their superiority to the USA. No one can say that America isn't a generous country. It showcases leaders such as Palin so that the rest of the world can laugh at it. Even, of all places, North Korea.