Monday, January 5, 2009
Sarah Palin: A Good Listener
Sarah among the people she loves -- and who love her
I wrote the following to Karen Allen, who's head of one of my favorite organizations: http://annieoakleypac.org. She and I were talking about the fact that some Sarah Supporters believe she's more conservative than she actually is.
Karen, the issue you and I are discussing is perhaps the most important one facing those of us who back Sarah Palin: It's: How do we attract more voters?
Frankly, some of them will be pro-life. Others will be on the fence, and some will be pro-choice, such as Elaine Lafferty, the former Ms. editor who wrote the piece on Sarah (whom she supporterd) that described Gov. P. as a "feminist" (correct) and a "brainiac" (also correct). The head of the LA Chapter of NOW, Shelley Mandel, famously endorsed Sarah at a rally in Carson, CA.
We must welcome such people into our movement, and we must seek out more of them. We can't just hand every large state (CA, NY, PA, OH, MI, MA) to Obama. We can't prevail with UT, ID, AL, and MS alone. Above all, we can't ask Gov. Palin to run a race that she cannot win.
One of my favorite professional football coaches has said, "In pro football, there are NO MORAL VICTORIES." I believe the same is true of high-level politics. If a candidates doesn't believe he or she can win -- and doesn't have a credible plan to do so -- then someone else should run.
In the campaign, Sen. McCain's staff basically pulled out of Michigan, the kind of state Republicans must win. Gov. Palin opposed that move. She recognized that McCain was waving a white flag.
She also understood that people in Michigan (and we could add Ohio and Pennsylvania) are HER people. They aren't the "fat cats" of the GOP past, but rather autoworkers and ordinary Americans from all walks fo life.
In the heavily unionized PA county where I live (Beaver County), Democrats outnumber Republicans by two-to-one. However, McCain-Palin carried the county by 4,000 votes. We need to understand why this county ended up loving and admiring Sarah Palin.
We have a government "of, by, and for the people." It's not the obligation of political leaders to give the people marching orders. That reverses the process the Founding Fathers had in mind.
The most imporant tool any political leader has -- and Gov. Palin possesses it in abundance -- is the ability to LISTEN. We need to believe that she will respond to what she hears.