Alaska governor Sarah Palin was announced as Sen. John McCain‘s running mate in the U.S. presidential election back on August 29. It’s been three weeks now, I’ve got so much to say about her, and I’m just getting around to putting my thoughts down in black and white.
Like most people around the country, I initially thought, “who the heck is Sarah Palin?” I had actually heard Glenn Beck talk about her a few months back, but that was it. So I spent that weekend searching the internet, looking for interviews and downloading videos. And the more I found out about her, the more I understood why McCain chose her. Sarah Palin is just what this country needs.
I’m not the only American who feels like they can identify with Palin. She’s a regular American citizen, just like the rest of us. She’s got a typical family of 7. She enjoys a good hockey game. She got involved in local politics in the PTA and on the Wasilla city council because she wanted to make a difference. She even knows how to field-dress a moose. Her husband, Todd, a snow machine racer, worked for BP in the oil fields of Alaska for 18 years. He’s a member of the United Steelworkers Union. And he’s a commercial fisherman. Definitely not a typical political family. Their lives as a normal Amercan couple, earning a living and trying to make a good life for their kids, gives them the ideal perspective to know what it takes to make life better for average Americans.
Since Palin is the least known among the four Americans in the presidential race, she’s getting a lot of press. Likewise, she’s taking up a lot of my own time and effort in finding out whatever I can about the candidates.
2006 Alaska Gubernatorial Debate
During my personal research into Sarah Palin’s political life, I found the video of the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial debate, from KTOO-TV in Juneau. If you haven’t watched that yet, you must. It shows Palin talking about her position on a number of issues, in a setting that is nothing like our national presidential campaign. The debate itself has a sense of innocence and purity to it, so much so that you just know that you’re getting a gimpse into Palin’s heart. You’re seeing what she truly believes, unfiltered by any major political party or campaign.
There are two key issues in Palin’s political life that stand above all others, one of which was made very clear in the aforementioned debate. Sarah Palin is pro-life. And to be clear, she’s not just against abortion, she’s pro-life. There is a huge difference.
Here is an excerpt of an exchange between the moderators and Sarah Palin:
“Would you support a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion?”
“I would. It’s no secret that I am pro-life and I don’t hide that nor am I’m not ashamed of that. Yes, a proposal like that, I would stand by it.”
“If a woman were raped and got pregnant because of the rape, would that be an instance where you would allow for an abortion?”
“I don’t think it would be up to me individually?”
“Would it be against the law?”
“In the case of the life of the mother being in jeopardy, that is the acceptable exception and I think I’ve gone on record on that.”
“And if the woman had been raped and didn’t want the child, would you allow her to have the abortion in that instance?”
“With my respect for the sanctity of life, and my belief in the potential of life, I know that this aspect of the abortion issue is very sensitive and it’s a very private matter also, but personally, I would choose life.”
“If your daugther were pregnant or your son was involved in a pregnancy before marriage, what would be your reaction and advice to him or her?”
“Again, I would choose life.”
“If your daughter had been raped, would that be something you would feel…”
“Again, I would choose life.”
I’m not even going to attempt to summarize her stance on life. The fact that she used the phrase “choose life” three times should tell you something.
Drill Baby, Drill
The second issue that stands large is the idea of drilling for oil in ANWR. I’ve always felt that we need to drill more in our own country, especially at ANWR, but I must admit that I’ve never really known how Alaskans feel about that. Now I know. Not only are Alaskans okay with the idea, they are strongly in favor of it. Their position is “we have the oil, allow us to supply the country.”
CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo went to Alaska and interviewed Palin on Monday, August 25, four days before she was announced as McCain’s running mate. This is another video that you must see. In the interview, Palin makes it clear that Alaskans are in favor of drilling, because they know that it can be done safely and ethically. It can be done while protecting the carabou. And it can be done without threatening nature. Watch the video. If it’s up to Sarah Palin and Alaskans, they say, “drill baby, drill.”
And so that there is no misunderstanding, I’m not talking at all about gas prices here. High gas prices in America are just a small symptom of a much larger problem, a problem that is actually quite simple to understand. In 1970, we Americans imported 24% of the oil we use. This year, we’re importing 70% at a cost of $700 billion! We have to get that under control. We must work toward energy independence. There are many other sources for energy (coal, natural gas, wind, etc). But our current economy depends on oil, so we must drill more of our own. Imagine how much different things would be if that $700 billion were spent right here in America, employing American workers. Even if it were proven that it would cost us more to do it ourselves, at least we’d know that all the money is staying right here in America. Then we control it. Then our president doesn’t have to fly to the middle east and ask some foreign leader, “please lower your prices.” Drill baby, drill.
On Wednesday, September 3, I saw for the first time Sarah Palin speak live. She addressed the Republican National Convention to accept her nomination as our vice presidential candidate. I often watch politicians speak, but I don’t recall the last time I had tears in my eyes. My sister in Everett, WA was watching it too. We sent each other text messages, talking about how inspired we were, and how historic an event this was that we were witnessing.
There’s just something about Sarah Palin that makes her seem like my neighbor right here in my home town. She talks like me and acts like me. She talks about the things that are important to her, the same things that are important to me. And I just know that no matter what issues may come her way, she’d respond the same way I would.
It’s amazing what kinds of things matter to us. On Monday, September 1, Sarah Palin announced that her 17-year-old daughter Bristol is pregnant, is planning to marry the father, and will keep the baby. The birth of a child is a miracle, and I’m very happy for Bristol and her family. But for some reason, this story took on a sensational aspect. Reporters were asking if John McCain knew about this before he asked Palin to be his running mate. What difference does that make? Who gives a crap if he knew or not? Are you going to think any more or less of him if the answer is “yes” or “no”? Are you going to base your vote in November on whether or not he knew? I just don’t get it.
Historically, there has been a level of respect and privacy offered to the children of politicians. Not the case here. David Letterman said, “The president running this country, I want that person to at one point, at least have had a 5 minute conversation with her teenage kids about birth control.” What a moron! I’ve been a fan of David Letterman for a couple of decades, and I’ve never been so disappointed in a TV personality. Letterman needs to shut his ignorant trap. He obviously knows nothing about being the parent of a teenager.
Based on everything I’ve heard and seen about Todd and Sarah Palin, I am so confident that their daugther Bristol and her boyfriend will have nothing but the best of support as they go through this pregnancy and experience God’s love through the miracle of birth.
The Sexist Question
ABC News reporter Charlie Gibson interviewed Palin on Friday, September 12. During the interview, he asked, “Is it sexist for people to ask how can somebody manage a family of seven and the vice presidency? Is that a sexist question to ask?” Palin answered the specific question, on whether or not it’s sexist. She also said that she could do it. After all, how would you expect her to answer that question?
Then Gibson asked it, “…every woman with young children struggles with this question, should I, how can I, will I be able to. And I’m curious to hear you talk just about how you’ve internalized that.” Didn’t they just agree that it was sexist to ask? Shouldn’t Gibson not ask then? I have not yet heard anyone ask Barack Obama how he thinks he’ll be able to manage a family of four with two young daughters while being president.
I depend on reporters and news organizations to help get relevant information for me, so that I can make an informed choice. And this is crap. What a waste of my time. I’m supposed to allow her family of 7 to factor into my vote? ABC doesn’t get it.
Then Gibson asked, “Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?” It was obvious that he was trying to catch her in a situation where she didn’t know something that she should have. And it was obvious that she didn’t know what that was. After hearing Gibson explain, and after hearing more about it after the interview, I must admit that I’ve never even heard the term “Bush Doctrine”, and I consider myself well-informed on political issues. Again, what a waste of my time. Scratch ABC News from my list of sources for reliable political information.
On Thursday, September 18, John McCain and Sarah Palin took their campaign through Green Bay, stopping at the Resch Center. On Wednesday, I got tickets at the office of the Republic Party of Brown County, left work early on Thursday, and went to the rally with my uncle Bob, my daughter Casey and her friend. It was a great event. There was a lot of excitement in the air, and again, I had tears in my eyes. John McCain and Sarah Palin know what it takes to make this country good. They’ve got a good plan and good ideas for the economy, energy, border security, immigration, health care, and the Iraq war. They are both pro-life, which means so much more than just being against abortion.
Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin are exactly who this country needs in the White House, at a critical time in this country’s history. I don’t usually try to influence readers of this blog. But today, I’m asking that you join me in putting McCain and Palin in the White House.