Sunbelt Straussian Robert Jeffrey taught a course this summer on the 2008 elections. He was good enough to share his observations with friends and family. His conclusion, after spending 5 weeks studying the election, Palin would bring almost everything McCain needs bring new life and energy to his campaign. She would be a conservative VP with the best chance to unite, not divide, the base. Huckabee and Romney could not do this. Rob’s brother, Doug Jeffrey at Hillsdale college, met Palin last month and found her completely open and down to earth–not like a beuty queen or queenly in any sense–just a “real American.” Something Americans are hungry for. She’s also NOT a senator, but a governor like Huckabee and Romney. Too bad conservatives could not have united on one candidate, but it may work out better this way.
Palin is middle-America and a real woman! This is worth repeating over and over–and it is what has the left spitting nails.
I was with the Jeffrey brothers at the American Political Science Association convention in Boston when the Palin announcement was made. All 100 conservative Political Scientists seemed pleased; all 6,900 liberals were at best nonplussed, at worst, saying things like this, overheard by your writer at the Brookings Institution’s booth in the Exhibit Hall Saturday morning:
Unknown female speaking, and I paraphrase: “She’s going to hurt McCain because now he can’t use Obama’s inexperience.”
She’s neglecting a “special needs child.”
They can’t have vetted her thoroughly, and she’s a beauty queen. There’s probably all kinds of compromising videos of her all over the internet.” (Note: we’ve seen the “I may be broke but I’m not flat busted t-shirt”–pretty risque, eh? How do you get elected and re-elected to local government offices in a small town without everything coming out? Liberals do not live in the real America.)
“Wacked out right wingers won’t vote for her because she should be home with the children.” (Full disclosure, writer has run for office, gotten nearly 4,000 contributions from mostly right wingers and only heard the “you should be home with your 9 year old, not running for office” from two people–and yes, they were evangelical leaders–but that was nearly 10 years ago. One of these guys did say that he would support me after I won the primary since that would be a sign from God that it was ok for me to do this
— so you see, even the “wacked out right wingers” are open to the fact that they may not always be right. OTOH, Maureen Dowd and friends never seem to consider that possibility.
Before my stroll past the interesting conversation at the Brookings Institution Booth, I had a conversation with a conventional political scientist (expert on Congress) from Fordham, who told me that all his political scientist acquaintances were appalled at the nomination of Palin and thought it was a disaster. He did admit that they were all Democrats.