Batten down the hatches Sarah!

The game has changed. In an election of McCain vs. Obama, the race was all about Obama. Not anymore.

Win or lose, picking Sarah Palin will go down as the greatest single thing McCain has done for his own campaign, as well as for the conservative movement. Conservatives are rallying like never before to her presence on the ticket.

She’s a fiscal conservative who favors tax cuts and has actually used a veto pen. She’s a born-again Christian, pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun…she hunts, she fishes, baits her own hook, has five kids and doesn’t look like a member of the NOW gang. What’s not to like? Indeed, that, plus a record of conservative reform and demonstrated political skills on the stump and I’d say we’ve got ourselves a star. And at age 44, one with a potentially long future at that.

While attending the convention, one of my fellow delegates remarked that his young daughter, after seeing her speak, said that she was glad McCain picked a “regular” woman, and not one of those “angry women” – presumably teen-speak for an angry feminist.

She’s a conservative reformer with a smile, which makes it harder to morph her into a snarling Grinch, as the media prefers to do with conservatives.

For McCain, this was a pick that made sense in so many ways.

• First, up until his picking Palin, conservatives were focused not on him, but on their opposition to Obama’s liberal issue positions and their hopes for conservative nominees to the federal bench.

• Picking a pro-choice running mate would have divided the Republicans at worst (and guaranteed a loss this November), or left conservatives voting, but not working for McCain at best.

• McCain had been gaining support among conservatives with promises to pick judicial nominees in the mold of Antonin Scalia and John Roberts. Had he picked a pro-choice running mate, that promise would have had no credence with conservatives. The Palin pick gives them more confidence in that promise.

• Palin also helps McCain wrest some of the “change” mantle from Obama – a designation Obama has pretty much bet his entire campaign on.

• Finally, her presence in the race diminishes the novelty of Obama’s candidacy.
Politically, she’s a threat to liberal dominance of the so-called “gender gap”, which has women supporting Democrats over Republicans in past elections by an average of five to ten points. Palin does nothing if not improve that take, and there’s no chance she loses any of McCain’s share among male voters, (that whole “guy’s gal” thing).

In other words, she’s a dagger aimed right at the heart of the liberal political base, and they know it. And they’ll do everything they can to take her down. Dozens of liberal political operatives have descended on Alaska looking to uncover (or invent) any dirt they possibly can on Governor Palin.

Their first line was to attack her experience…until they remembered Obama’s experience. They attacked her for being pro-life. They attacked her for having a child with Down syndrome. They lamented her seventeen year old daughter for her decision to get married in light of her pregnancy. They have attacked her for supporting the Second Amendment. And now they are attacking her religious beliefs as a born-again Christian, (she’s a radical!).

The liberal media attacks have been so overboard that even MSNBC had to take two of its leading anchors off of election coverage. (How over the top do you have to be to get canned by MSNBC?)

The irony of the media’s withering attacks on Palin between the day she was announced and the day of her acceptance speech is that they assured she would have a tremendous (if curious) prime-time audience to speak to. Worse yet for liberals, the American people liked what they saw, (her approval numbers are higher than either McCain’s or Obama’s)

The other risk to liberals? Much like Clarence Thomas did for blacks, Sarah Palin proves to other women that you don’t need liberals, liberalism or government to make it in life. That being the case, the left has a greater interest in destroying her than any other Presidential or Vice-Presidential pick in history.

Baton down the hatches, Sarah. We haven’t seen anything yet.

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