Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sarah's Secret

Why They Love Her
& What May Be Missing


In many ways, Patty Dixon explains the appeal of Sarah Palin in the Ozarks beyond the obvious ideological match.

Dixon, a middle-aged Nixa wife and mother of a daughter, who sat in line over night at Borders bookstore, explained that she'd be willing to bet on Palin -- flaws and all -- over other pols, because she's, well . . . ordinary.

Dixon relishes the unlikely rise of a woman who is living the dream: An ambitious thirst for a public career balanced with full family obligations. Oh, and the killer looks don't hurt either.

In her speech before thousands at College of the Ozarks Wednesday night, Palin herself touted her ordinary beginnings, "born far from Washington and Wall Street."

In chatting with Palin supporters, over and over they pointed to her personal story before mentioning any of her policy positions. That's what separates Sarah.

She wasn't Ivy League material. She took five years to finish a 4-year degree. She began modestly as a city councilwoman. She built a big family. She took on the boys club, rose to prominence quickly. Maybe too quickly. So what if she flubbed the Katie Couric interview? It's normal to be nervous. Do we really want the best interviewer? Look at where the speechifying Barack Obama has gotten us. And of course, being female is a plus.

This was the repeated reply from the Palinistas, mostly middle-aged women who believe the former Alaska Governor is not only a real-time example of what their daughters can accomplish, but what they would have liked to, if they had "the barracuda's" hunger, spunk and timing.

Palin has the sizzle and some natural talent that adds the spark.

A striking woman who speaks plainly, carries an accent that sounds comfortable in the Midwest and delivers raw political blows against anything establishment with a wink and a nod translates into big crowds.

"Only dead fish go with the flow," Palin said to cheers.

But as she builds a growing movement, seizes on her popularity and contemplates a 2012 presidential run, she's also undeniably in the middle of a rehabilitation tour.

Her message at College of the Ozarks, a speech closed to the media, was essentially three-pronged: 1) An attack on the mainstream media that she believed has maligned her and her family. 2) A defense of her decision to quit her Governorship mid-term parlayed into her anti-establishment message of carrying the torch of service without a title. 3) A blistering critique of the current administration's policies from big government spending to "apologizing" to foreign countries.

The rant against the "lame-stream" media was expected. At least five times, Palin pounded the press for "spinning my record."

She stressed she wasn't whining, but then blamed unsustainable attacks from her political opponents for pushing her out of the Governorship.

"Calling the audible has worked for my state," said Palin, in a sentence that some might interpret as saying Alaska's in better shape now that she's gone.

Palin's 50-minute speech was dubbed as a talk about citizenship and patriotism, but it undoubtedly ventured into politics.

She seemed to rouse the Keeter gymnasium with a call to action, but specific policy positions were glaringly absent.

She blamed the economic crisis on "misplaced government interference," but offered no alternative to the massive economic stimulus package. She called the doubling of the deficit "irresponsible and immoral," but steered clear of details on how to reign it in. She mocked "Washington leadership" for apologizing to foreign countries and then proclaimed "we need to be proud to be Americans," as if the current administration is not.

Palin is not a candidate yet and her supporters will argue, convincingly perhaps, that it's too early for hard and firm positions.

There is something real and compelling about Palin's story, but substance is what tripped her up during the 2008 campaign and it's what will continue to be under the magnifying glass going forward.

Ironically, she may end up with the same problem Obama had to combat.

Sure, she can deliver a heck of a speech and fill an auditorium. But then what?

Dixon, a genuine woman who acknowledged she enjoyed our spirited discussion on Palin, even stopped short of saying the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee is qualified for the top spot.

For her, it's more a visceral feeling from the gut.

"She's human and that's what we like," she said.


Gary said...

Hey pal, just who are YOU to say Sarah Palin isn't "Ivy League material?"

You do realize this woman paid her own way through college, unlike the so-called educated moron we have in the WH currently, right?

And what makes you think Palinistas don't know her policy positions? Her positions on most everything are very well known to those that have been following her career.

Oh, and if you read excerpts from her Hong Kong speech, you'd know a LOT of specifics.

Maybe you don't realize it, but speakers do tend to tailor their speeches to the audience.

Past that, she has given plenty of red meat interviews discussing pretty much everything in the last few weeks.

Also, she has written numerous position papers, which she publishes on her Facebook page.

Before you laugh, these positions are regularly quoted in Investor's Business Daily and the London Financial Times. Plus every blogger on earth posts them for their readers.

Not to mention that she has over one million registered supporters who follow her every post.

Judging by the traffic there, which is constant, 24/7, her Facebook page may be one of the most dynamic forums on the internet.

For the record, I was introduced to Palin via a story about her in the Weekly Standard (Fred Barnes) not long after she became Governor. I've been a fan ever since. This is an amazing woman. Her accomplishments as Governor are very impressive. Well above any one else out there.

Anyone who has read her book knows what her policies are. This stuff isn't rocket science.

Is she ready to be POTUS, of course she is. She was the most qualified out of the 4 people on the presidential tickets in the last election.

BTW, do you even know that the "flubbed" interview with that hack at CBS was highly edited? How about the fact that the Perky One was coached by Obama's almost Vice President Sam Nunn before the interview? Nunn reportedly wrote many of Miss Last Place's questions for her. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

I bet you don't even know the extent Barack Obama had a hand in the events that went on in Alaska leading up to her resignation. A brilliant move that saved her state's tax payers millions.

You see as soon as that Chicago street thug learned that Sarah was McCain's pick, he had his campaign chief-of-staff, Pete Rouse, went into full attack mode. Rouse, who is now a WH adviser, is an Alaskan. He and Obama engineered the bogus "troopergate" (or as Sarah calls it "tazergate") witch hunt.

As payoff, Obama gave Alaska state senator Kim Elton a make work job at the Interior Department. Chicago thug politics at it's finest.

Rouse then coordinated with the Alaska Mafia, a small group of hate bloggers, loons, and democrat/communist lawmakers who then, in turn, recruited people to file continuous law suits and ethics complaints against Sarah.

Typical Chicago thug politics.

Saul Alinsky would have been proud that his best disciple, Obama, learned his "rules" so well.

Of course, these thugs were stealing millions of tax payer dollars, which is what it cost the state to investigate these frivolous charges, all of which have been thrown out.

That project backfired on Obama though. Now that she is free from the responsibilities of her day job, she has plenty of time to devote to taking him down. And as you see, she's building an army of supporters to help her!

Instead of writing snark, you need to go learn some more about Sarah Palin. Her supporters know about her. That's why we support her.

And snarky reporters aren't going to change people's minds. Once you are part of Sarah's army, you are in. Not since Ronald Reagan has such a strong, bold leader graced our presence. And people know it.

Thank you for your time.

a3strand said...

I would disagree with the assessment that Palin's appeal is "mostly middle aged woman." She has a great deal of support from men of all ages and young people- young women especially.
Palin's support is truly grassroots.
We admire her for being an "ordinary" wife and mother who took on the local and state establishment to rise to a national profile. She did not do this with the help of the national media but by her facebook posts and shaking hands with people in the seemingly unimportant small town America. Yeah it's true politicians show up at small town fairs during election years but then it's back to Washington to hang with the kind of folks that they identify with.
We identify with Sarah because she identifys with us.
We are tired of the experts, the insiders, the elite deciding what is best for folks in Fargo or Kingman or Harrisburg.
I admire Sarah for chosing to meet the people rather than to "meet the press."
We personally admire Palin for recognizing the wisdom that exsists in an Iowa corn field, or a mine in Nevada or in a assembly plant in Detroit, or that assembles everynight around a dinner table. I admire her for understanding that all power and wisdom does not originate in Washington (or Hollywood -God forbid) or that there is a real world outside the hallowed halls of the Ivy Legue schools.
David, you have said that you believe Sarah will never be the GOP nominee in 2012. You may be right. But conventional wisdom would not have bet that a ragtag bunch of farmers and merchants could have taken on the strongest military power in the world and form a new nation that would one day become the most powerful and prosperous nation on earth.
Funny what ordinary people can do when they don't listen to the experts who insist on what they can't do.

Caleb Harris said...

David may I remind you that plenty of political reporters such as yourself counted Reagan for dead after 1976, and what happened? Snide remarks and labels like Palinistas just prove that you don't get it and alas never will....