Some­thing about Sarah: Much-needed cat­a­lyst

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

It’s so much fun read­ing the news­pa­pers th­ese days. The Sarah surge con­tin­ues to dom­i­nate all the po­lit­i­cal news, while the Palin-McCain — er, McCain-Palin — ticket is forg­ing ahead in the polls.

But let’s be fair. Even though Sen. John McCain is now rid­ing Gov. Sarah Palin’s skirt tails, he was the one who made the bril­liant de­ci­sion to put her on the ticket. And the louder the left screams, the bet­ter Sarah seems to do. So much bet­ter that for the first time the In­trade pay-to-play pre­dic­tion mar­ket — which long has had Barack Obama winning by 20 to 25 points in Novem­ber — now shows a McCain lead. Un­be­liev­able.

And look at all th­ese head­lines. The Wash­ing­ton Post has “Palin En­er­giz­ing Women From All Walks of Life.” In par­tic­u­lar, white women with chil­dren at home give Mrs. Palin a fa­vor­able rat­ing of 80 per­cent.

Then there’s this lead story in the Wall Street Jour­nal: “Palin Lifts McCain’s Sup­port.“ A WSJNBC poll now has the pres­i­den­tial race even, and it’s the Palin ef­fect that ex­plains the shift.

One in four Hil­lary Clin­ton vot­ers now say the Palin pick makes them more likely to vote for Mr. McCain. And tra­di­tional Repub­li­can states like Ge­or­gia, Mon­tana, North Carolina and Alaska — which Mr. Obama thought he’d fight for — are now safely back in the McCain camp.

A Bloomberg news ar­ti­cle is ti­tled, “McCain Poll Surge, Fundrais­ing Give Democrats Elec­tion Jit­ters.” It talks about how Democrats now worry they’ll lose the elec­tion. Rep. Arthur Davis, the Alabama Demo­crat who was Mr. Obama’s Har­vard Law class­mate, says the GOP just had its best week in four years.

And Obama & Co. are com­pletely flum­moxed as to what to do about the Palin phe­nom­e­non. The nor­mally un­flap­pable Sen. Obama ac­tu­ally said, “You can put lip­stick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.” Whew. That one will add sev­eral points to the McCainPalin col­umn. “Holy Sow!” reads the New York Post head­line, ham­mer­ing home the mis­take.

Even Camille Paglia, a strong Obama sup­porter, is wax­ing rhap­sodic over Sarah Palin. Ms. Paglia calls her “a new style of mus­cu­lar Amer­i­can fem­i­nism”; a “brash am­bas­sador from Amer­ica’s pi­o­neer past”; an “op­ti­mistic prag­ma­tist like Ron­ald Rea­gan.” Fol­low­ing Mrs. Palin’s GOP con­ven­tion speech, I com­pared the gov­er­nor to a West­ern pi­o­neer ver­sion of Mar­garet Thatcher. I’m glad to see Ms. Paglia pick up on that.

A story by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in The Wall Street Jour­nal is ti­tled, “Yes, Palin Did Stop that Bridge.” The se­na­tor says Mrs. Palin may once have sup­ported the in­fa­mous Bridge to Nowhere, but she then killed it.

And let’s not get into the flipflop ar­gu­ment. Messrs. Obama and McCain both have flipflopped this year. And any­way, who cares if you flip-flop if you land in the right place? Mr. DeMint notes that Mrs. Palin cut nearly 10 per­cent of Alaska’s bud­get. And he should have re­minded folks that Mr. Obama voted for the pork-bar­rel farm bill — chock full of earmarks and waste — and then voted again to over­turn Pres­i­dent Bush’s veto of the bill.

A USA To­day head­line says “Palin Did Not Ban Books in Wasilla as Mayor.” Af­ter in­ter­view­ing a bunch of lo­cal folks, the au­thor sim­ply could not con­firm the charge made by left-wing blog­gers.

In “The Hunt for Sarah Oc­to­ber,” the Wall Street Jour­nal’s John Fund writes about a 30lawyer S.W.A.T. team of Obama Democrats de­scend­ing on Alaska in search of dirt re­lated to “Palin’s troop­er­gate.” They found noth­ing that hasn’t al­ready aired about Mrs. Palin‘s al­co­holic ex-broth­erin-law who Tasered his step­son.

Over in the Jour­nal’s Po­lit­i­cal Di­ary, Steve Moore says GOP House mem­bers back from va­ca­tion are ac­tu­ally talk­ing about pick­ing up seats in Novem­ber, with a re­cent USA To­day poll putting GOP mem­bers up four points on the ques­tion: Who do you sup­port, the Repub­li­can or the Demo­crat for Congress in your district?

Even the fi­nan­cial pages are looking bet­ter. Oil is about to drop un­der $100 a bar­rel. Gold is plung­ing. And the green­back con­tin­ues to rally in true King Dol­lar fash­ion. Is there a Sarah Palin ef­fect here, too?

On the cam­paign trail, Mrs. Palin says, “We’re go­ing to drill now to make this na­tion en­ergy in­de­pen­dent.” And she adds that she’s “ready to help John McCain bring tax re­lief to all Amer­i­cans.” That’s the dis­ci­plined Sarah on mes­sage. She sig­naled this in St. Paul when she said the dif­fer­ence be­tween a hockey mom and a pit bull is lip­stick. Mr. Obama picked up on the dark side of that metaphor. But Mrs. Palin’s re­ally say­ing: Don’t tread on me. Don’t try to in­tim­i­date me. I am a strong, tough mom who is de­ter­mined to suc­ceed in pol­i­tics.

That’s just what she’s do­ing.

Lawrence Kud­low is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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