In their face

Palin takes on ‘Wash­ing­ton elite’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

ST. PAUL, Minn. | Her primetime mo­ment ar­rived, Repub­li­can pre­sump­tive vice-pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Sarah Palin in­tro­duced her­self to the na­tion Sept. 3 as a feisty small-town mayor turned gov­er­nor who was more qual­i­fied than Demo­crat Barack Obama to serve in the White House and more will­ing to chal­lenge “Wash­ing­ton’s elite.”

Mrs. Palin said she would ac­cept her his­toric nom­i­na­tion as the first woman on a Repub­li­can ticket and wasted no time chal­leng­ing crit­ics in the me­dia who have picked at her record, her fam­ily and her qual­i­fi­ca­tions since John McCain se­lected her on Aug. 29.

“Here’s a lit­tle news flash for all those re­porters and com­men­ta­tors: I’m not go­ing to Wash­ing­ton to seek their good opin­ion. I’m go­ing to Wash­ing­ton to serve the peo­ple of this coun­try,” she told the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion, draw­ing loud boos at the mere men­tion of the press.

She also showed she could punch with the po­lit­i­cal brawlers, be­lit­tling Mr. Obama’s cam­paign as a “jour­ney of per­sonal dis­cov­ery” and con­trast­ing her path from PTA mom and city coun­cil mem­ber to Mr. Obama’s start as a com­mu­nity or­ga­nizer in Chicago.

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘com­mu­nity or­ga­nizer,’ ex­cept that you have ac­tual re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” she said

Dur­ing her 40-minute ad­dress, Mrs. Palin moved com­fort­ably from sto­ry­telling hockey mom to red-meat po­lit­i­cal at­tacker. She flashed ten­der­ness when she blew a kiss to a for­mer pris­oner of war in the crowd, then drilled into the pol­icy de­tails high­light­ing the dan­gers of Rus­sian ag­gres­sion in an oil-de­pen­dent world. Ans when she fin­ished, leav­ing the crowd roar­ing on its feet, she com­fort­ably picked up her 5-month-old baby and stood with her fam­ily to soak in the mo­ment.

“Don’t you think I’ve made the right choice?” Mr. McCain said in a brief ap­pear­ance at the end of the night.

Mrs. Palin’s ad­dress was the pin­na­cle of a day in which Mr. McCain warmly em­braced Mrs. Palin’s 17-year-old preg­nant daugh­ter and her soon-to-be­hus­band be­fore cam­eras and the cam­paign said it would no longer an­swer ques­tions about her fam­ily life.

The cam­paign also be­gan to go on of­fense, with sur­ro­gates both be­fore and dur­ing the con­ven­tion night ac­tiv­i­ties say­ing the ques­tions about Mrs. Palin are un­fair.

“Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her chil­dren and be vice pres­i­dent. How dare they?” said for­mer New York Mayor Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani, who pre­sented a key speech in­tro­duc­ing Mrs. Palin. “When do they ever ask a man that ques­tion?”

Repub­li­can women called press re­ports about Mrs. Palin an “ou­tra­geous smear cam­paign,” and Mr. McCain’s cam­paign man­ager, Rick Davis, ac­cused re­porters of treat­ing Mrs. Palin badly be­cause they were an­gry that the McCain cam­paign had been able to keep her nom­i­na­tion a sur­prise.

“What I think is the press is re­ally dis­ap­pointed they couldn’t fig­ure out who it was in ad­vance,” he said.

The cam­paign also an­nounced a com­mer­cial stack­ing up the cre­den­tials of Mrs. Palin against those of Mr. Obama, call­ing her a re­former and him “the Se­nate’s ‘most lib­eral.’ “

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