Some ad­vice for the vice pres­i­den­tial can­di­date

But Mrs. Palin has some skills that can pro­tect her against the in­evitable at­tacks. She is a nat­u­ral per­former — the TV cam­era loves the woman. She is also a plain­spo­ken Amer­i­can who con­nects emo­tion­ally with the folks. There­fore, she can set her own agen

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Bill O’Reilly

Anew Fox News/Opin­ion Dy­nam­ics poll says that 50 per­cent of Amer­i­cans be­lieve John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin was the most ef­fec­tive pick in the cam­paign; 40 per­cent say Barack Obama’s se­lec­tion of Joe Bi­den was the smarter choice. That con­firms the pre­vail­ing wis­dom that Gov. Palin is dra­mat­i­cally help­ing Mr. McCain’s chances of be­com­ing pres­i­dent.

Go­ing for­ward, Mrs. Palin must con­sol­i­date her ini­tial gains, and it will not be easy. First of all, the tabloid press is all over Alaska looking for dirt on Mrs. Palin, and you can bet they’ll come up with some­thing. No hu­man be­ing is per­fect. And then there’s the main­stream me­dia, which took a beat­ing two weeks ago af­ter try­ing to marginal­ize Mrs. Palin as some kind of coun­try bump­kin, a re­li­gious fa­natic not fit to serve. The per­sonal at­tacks against Mrs. Palin and her fam­ily an­gered mil­lions of Amer­i­cans and, al­most in- stantly, made the gov­er­nor a folk hero in some cir­cles.

Of course, that in­fu­ri­ated the es­tab­lish­ment press, which doesn’t like get­ting pounded in the court of pub­lic opin­ion. So you can take it to the bank that many left-lean­ing me­dia mem­bers are ly­ing in wait.

But Mrs. Palin has some skills that can pro­tect her against the in­evitable at­tacks. She is a nat­u­ral per­former — the TV cam­era loves the woman. She is also a plain­spo­ken Amer­i­can who con­nects emo­tion­ally with the folks. There­fore, she can set her own agenda. As Ron­ald Rea­gan once did, she can go di­rectly to the peo­ple and around the press.

If I were ad­vis­ing Mrs. Palin, I would have had her de­fend Mr. Obama in the lip­stick/pig in­ci­dent. If Mrs. Palin would have stated that she doesn’t be­lieve the se­na­tor would com­pare her to a pig, it would have been a com­pas­sion­ate ges­ture. Folks love com­pas­sion. Giv­ing Mr. Obama the ben­e­fit of the doubt in the pig deal would have meant more votes in the barn­yard, and also would have made it harder for the Obama cam­paign to lash her in the fu­ture.

In ad­di­tion, I would tell Sarah to be Sarah: feisty, down to earth and funny. Don’t try to be Henry Kissinger. Just demon­strate a grasp of the is­sues and a determination to look out for the folks. The key phrase for Mrs. Palin should be: “Here’s what we want to do.” Then, us­ing sim­ple terms, state that.

Right now, Amer­i­can vot­ers want to be re­as­sured that their jobs are safe and that some crazy ter­ror­ist won’t blow up their neigh­bor­hood. Mrs. Palin has suc­cess­fully dealt with eco­nomic is­sues in Alaska. On na­tional se­cu­rity she has no record. But I’m sure there are things she wants to do in or­der to keep her five chil­dren safe. Just state them.

The elite me­dia have lit­tle in com­mon with everyday Amer­i­cans, and Mrs. Palin should laugh off their at­tempts to de­mean her. She can best cap­i­tal­ize on her in­cred­i­bly fast start by sim­ply keep­ing it sim­ple. Nice goes a long way in life. And in pol­i­tics.

Bill O’Reilly is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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