Monday, July 27, 2009

Conservatives: Get Behind Sarah Palin

Some conservatives -- not many, but some -- have "problems" with Sarah Palin, mainly because she's a blend of conservatism, libertarianism, and populism. Those conservatives need to get over it, because Sarah Palin can be for Republicans the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan.

Yesterday in her remarks, Gov. Palin cited the Alaska Constitution, which is a populist document she's sworn to uphold. Among other things, it says that the resources in Alaska belong to the people of that state -- not the oil companies, not Wall Street firms, not the most affluent Alaskans.

Some conservatives, not many, are horrified by that notion. I've heard people say that Sarah was mean to the oil companies, which in Alaska and elsewhere, have a history of heavy-handedness, arrogance, and bribery. (I worked for two oil companies, Phillips and Gulf, both of which had engaged in handing over bribe money to politicians.)

Six-out-ten Americans identify themselves as NOT conservatives. What are we going to do to get their votes (not to mention the many conservatives who voted for Obama)? If our answer is "nothing," then we have lost our minds.

On immigration, the notion that Hispanics voted against McCain because he was a supporter of the McCain-Kennedy bill is ridiculous. I wish it were true, but there is no evidence Hispanics believed Obama was anything but pro-amnesty.

Overall, McCain was a much more conservative candidate than Obama and Palin was a much more conservative candidate than Biden. We can determine that by looking at McCain's American Conservative Union vote analysis, up around 75--80%, and then looking at Obama's, down around zero (as was Biden's).

In the election of 2008 and to a lesser degree in 2006, Hispanics punished candidates, almost all Republicans, whom they perceived as anti-Mexican or anti-Hispanic. Hispanics are the largest minority group in America, and to win national elections, we must get more votes from them.

Our outreach to Hispanic Americans has been pathetic. When a strong CubanAmerican candidate surfaced in Florida, Marco Rubio, the head of the Republican Senatorial Committee (John Cornyn) rushed out to support Rubio's opponent (Charlie Crist). Crist would be replacing the one Hispanic Republican in the Senate (Mel Martinez).

There is no greater challenge facing Sarah Palin than the need to reach out and gain a significant percentage of Hispanic votes. She must never adopt positions that are perceived (by Hispanics) as anti-Hispanic.

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