A few interesting reactions...
So Palin was an upstart in every possible way when she challenged Frank Murkowski, the former Senator and entrenched Republican Governor who, among other things, appointed his daughter Lisa to succeed him in the Senate. Palin was opposed by the entire Republican establishment in Alaska, including Senator Ted Stevens--after whom the Anchorage airport is named--and Congressman Don Young. Notwithstanding the hostility of her party's elder statesmen, Palin defeated Murkowski in the primary. She then faced the popular former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles in the general election. In what would have been considered an extraordinary upset just a few months earlier, Palin trounced Knowles, despite reported efforts by her own party's leaders to defeat her. As Governor, she has enjoyed approval ratings in the 80s.
And Mark Steyn is back!
Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, "all-American", but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I'm not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin' Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who's done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of "community organizer" and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.
Palin is the most libertarian Republican that’s been on a major ticket for a long time. This ideological storyline should appeal to many Western voters.
Pro-choice Republican Amy Holmes reacts:
Today, I saw a concerted effort by the media to marginalize her as a far right winger, out of touch with moderate and pro-choice women. This is unfair to her, and to all of us who respect her admirable decision to carry to term a child diagnosed in utero with Down's Syndrome. It's been noted here that 90 percent of parents who receive the news that their child will be born with this disability choose to terminate. Governor Palin put her principles into practice. And as a pro-choicer, I can say with sincerity that I admire her act of character and love.
For me, the biggest selling point is that she went after her own party when she saw that they were corrupt. She took on two of the worst big-spending Republicans in Congress, Ted Stevens and Don Young, even though it was against all odds and a risk to her promising political career. A lot of us who watched her primary against Frank Murkowski and her fight against the "Bridge to Nowhere" were saying: "she'd make a great national politician someday..." We just didn't think it would be this soon.
What else should you know about Palin, other than the fact that she's a fearless reformer?
She hunts, fishes, ice-fishes, ran a commercial fishing company, owns a float plane, is a lifetime member of the NRA, runs, was the point guard on a state-champion basketball team and the runner-up for Miss Alaska, and when she was in Texas for a speech in April and her water broke with kid number five, she delivered her speech and then got on the plane so the kid could be born in Alaska.
I hope they send her husband out on the campaign trail too. He's a commercial fisherman, a North Slope oil worker, and a four-time winner of the 2,000-mile "Iron Dog" snowmobile race. (All while being a Mr. Mom.)
It's like John McCain picked a family from the Deadliest Catch.
Their oldest son is headed to Iraq in two weeks. (John McCain already has two sons over there.)