07/28/2010 11:19 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Rachel Maddow Becoming Big Time Political Player

You know Rachel Maddow is becoming a big time player when the big shots at Fox News (Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck) start mentioning her on their programs. It shows she is making an impact when they feel the need to address her statements even as they try to diminish her (Beck by attempting to block out her face and O'Reilly by calling her madam and asking her what planet she lives on.)

The great thing is that Rachel answers them right back on her MSNBC show. And usually cleans their clocks. It is hard to argue against truth and logic.

No one can disagree that the revelation shown to the public by Maddow's interview of Tea Party backed GOP Kentucky Senate nominee Rand Paul (exposing his extremist Libertarian views on private restaurants being allowed to practice segregation) hurt his and the Tea Party's image. He quickly cancelled his "Meet the Press" appearance and has been overly cautious with the media since.

Massachusetts Senator Brown must realize her influence and appeal because he recently implied that Rachel would be running against him in the next election which was totally false and she repudiated (or should I say refudiated?) his claims.

Ms. Maddow also brought attention to the proposed Ugandan law where homosexuals could be killed just for being gay and the role of American Christian missionaries in the promotion of intolerance towards GLBT people. Because of her reporting, many Christian leaders such as Rev. Rick Warren felt the need to condemn the law. As Rachel has explained many times, she is presenting gay issues not because she is an out lesbian but because they are human rights issues. In any case, it is great to have a voice for gays on prime time cable.

She has in the past year become to the left what Glenn Beck was to the right.

Just as Beck was successful in putting pressure on the administration to fire so-called radical Van Jones, Rachel has brought to light corruption and fraud by Sen. Ensign (R-Nevada), Gov. Sanford (R-South Carolina), and Rep. Wamp (R-Tennessee) through her C-Street series.

Madam Maddow is also making a name for herself on NBC by spiking the ratings every time she appears on "Meet the Press." Let's hope the executives are taking note. The way she does her homework and exposes "phonies" reminds me a lot of the late Tim Russert.

Rachel's latest appearance on "Real Time With Bill Maher" created quite a stir with an audience reception that left Maher and the other guests feeling as if they were competing with a rock star. In her usual modest way she laughed and said she had a lot of family in the crowd. The "family" hung on her every word and cheered her as she took on former Republican Majority Leader Senator Bill Frist.

Another time I saw a video clip of an announcement at Smith College, an all-girls school in Northampton, Massachusetts that Rachel would be their commencement speaker. The students erupted in joy. She did not disappoint when delivering her inspiring speech.

Whenever there is an article or video featuring Rachel Maddow on the Huffington Post there are tens of thousands of comments rivaling the attention caused by posts on Sarah Palin and the feedback is usually positive (as compared to negative for Ms. Palin).

What is it about Rachel Maddow that evokes such passion and excitement?

Maybe it's because she is exciting and passionate herself, as well as highly intelligent, well informed, and courageous who, like Glenn Beck, knows how to use satire and light heartedness to get her point across. It seems that no matter what the subject matter or the attitude of whomever she is interviewing, she never loses her cool. And she has been confronted and tested a lot. Although she stays calm she also shows her passion and steadfastness. She is unflappable.

She does have opinions that mostly favor liberal or leftist viewpoints but that is what makes her appealing. As conservatives and right-wingers continually try to give the L word a bad name, she wears it proudly and makes liberal bold again. Even when she guest stars on shows like Letterman or Leno and wears her nerdy glasses and casual outfits, she is still cool. She makes smart and geeky in fashion.

In other words, Rachel Maddow is an original. On these late night shows she often displays her ability as an excellent bar tender. Rachel, you can make a cocktail for me anytime even though I am not a drinker. Here's a toast to you. I salute you.