Politics

A Reply to Mona Charen’s “Why Sarah Palin Shouldn’t Run”

In a National Review Online column on November 19, Mona Charen provided an explanation of why she believes Sarah Palin shouldn’t run for President. She argued that after the 2008 campaign, Palin “quit her job as governor after two and a half years…and seemed to chase money and empty celebrity.” She asserted that “Palin seems consumed and obsessed” by the media, labeled Palin’s new TLC show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, a “cheesy entrant in the reality-show genre,” and took issue with the fact that Sarah and Todd sit in the Dancing with the Stars audience “cheering on their unwed-mother daughter.” She opined that Palin’s “endorsement of Christine O’Donnell was irresponsible and damaging” and suggested that “She would be terrific as a talk-show host — the new Oprah.”

First and foremost, let’s address one of Charen’s opening points as to why Palin should sit 2012 out. She stated, “Americans will be looking for sober competence, managerial skill, and maturity — not sizzle and flash.” Perhaps a walk down policy lane is in order.

As Governor, Sarah Palin actualized AGIA, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, the largest private sector infrastructure project in North American history. Palin’s administration opened up drilling for oil and gas at Point Thomson for the first time in several decades. As Governor, Palin reduced earmark requests for Alaska by 80%, established Alaska’s Petroleum Integrity Office to oversee safe energy development, placed the state checkbook online, and reduced spending for Fiscal Year 2010 by over one billion dollars from Governor Murkowski’s Fiscal Year 2007 budget. Palin signed ACES, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share bill, into law, incentivizing development and ensuring that Alaskans would receive a “clear and equitable” share of oil profits. She cut costs by selling a private jet purchased by the previous governor and saying “no thank you” to the Executive Mansion’s personal chef. She has served as Chairperson of the AK Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and Vice Chair of the National Governors Association Natural Resource Committee. Prior to her time as Governor, Palin served as Mayor of Wasilla, AK, and city council member in Wasilla. She has also been involved in running a commercial fishing business with her husband Todd.

“Sober competence, managerial skill, and maturity,” indeed.

Charen asserted that Palin’s statement to Barbara Walters that she believes she could defeat President Obama “has dimmed hopes cherished by sensible Republicans that she might decide against a run for the White House in 2012.” Well, it’s not the first time I haven’t fallen into the “sensible” VIP league of the Washington elite. On that note, let’s shift on over to Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Dancing with the Stars, and all that drives the GOP highbrows wild.

Sarah Palin has done something that no-one since President Reagan has been bold enough to do: just be herself. Sure, she’s a prominent political figure. Yes, she was a 2008 Vice Presidential candidate. But she’s also a mom, a wife, a hunter, a fisherwoman, and a plain old American just like you and me. In her new TLC show, Palin’s not afraid to show you how proud she is of the beauty of her state, a state which is so often discarded as unimportant – despite extensive energy and national security clout –  by the likes of New York and California elites. She’s not afraid to speak in her folksy accent, to invite you inside her very regular American home, to let you watch her accept the challenge to climb Mt. McKinley, and do the dirty work of wiping slime off of newly-caught halibut.

Simply put, she’s not afraid to just be Sarah Palin. And in our phony, snobby, chameleon-happy political world, that is priceless.

Kudos to Sarah Palin for cheering on her daughter, who has had the commonsense wisdom to express, “They’re going to criticize me no matter what I do, so I might as well dance.” Kudos to Palin for placing principles over party by endorsing the only conservative choice in the Delaware Senate race this 2010 election season, Christine O’Donnell. Palin seems to understand that a Republican “gain” by a closet lefty isn’t a gain at all.

Also, when faced with frivolous, baseless ethics charges made by political operatives, which was costing her state millions of dollars and her staff thousands of hours to refute, kudos to Palin for having done the right thing. That’s right, she resigned. And it wasn’t to preserve her political future. It was to ensure that the Governor’s office could get back to what was important – the day-to-day work of protecting Alaska and its citizens.

As a parting thought, let’s revisit a segment from radio host and bestselling author Mark R. Levin’s November ninth monologue: [In] 1976 … Ronald Reagan was running against Gerald Ford. There were conservatives all over the country who were lining up behind Gerald Ford. ‘Reagan’s too extreme, Reagan is a B actor, Reagan is this, Reagan is that, he can’t win, he can’t win.’”

Sound familiar?

Regardless of what her future plans may be, Sarah Palin is certainly qualified to step up to the plate in 2012 if she so chooses – Facebook posts, mountain climbing, and dancing daughter included.

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