There is a strong notion out there that I do not like Sarah Palin. That actually is not true. There are many of her supporters who I have come to clash with a routine basis and I think the cult of personality that grew up around Sarah Palin became insane and unstable. But I have always liked Sarah Palin and her husband.
At one point I very much wanted Palin to run. In fact, for the longest time I would have preferred to lose with Sarah Palin fighting for liberty than win with one of the candidates pushing a Republican brand of creeping socialism. But it became clear to me she was not running. And as it became clearer and my platform at RedState and elsewhere rose and I said this, more and more of her fans piled on.
There is a lot of news out there tonight and suddenly the twitterverse and media have moved on. Nonetheless, I want to toss out a few thoughts on her.
In 2008, many of us were unenthused by John McCain. We voted for him because of Sarah Palin. Here at RedState, after the campaign and the piling on of Palin by Nichole Wallace and others started, we formed Operation Leper. I went on Glenn Beck’s radio show and pledged to root out the McCain campaign leakers.
At one point, an extremely prominent radio show host called me and asked me to take Steve Schmidt off the list because he was innocent of the infraction and was getting all sorts of heat. I took him off, but later put him back on when it became clear he was, along with Wallace, a source. I remember one night last year visiting with Nichole Wallace (who I’ve since gotten to know and realize she’s actually very nice) and someone who asked her why she’d left politics to become a writer. She looked over at me and said it was because of me. Well, really because of the loyalty of so many who thought Sarah Palin had been mistreated by the McCain campaign.
Sarah Palin deserved better than what she got. She took a lot of bullets for Team McCain, and while we may be right or wrong, it seemed that long after McCain surrendered, Sarah Palin kept fighting.
Her verbal positioning of death panels, who Obama palled around with, etc. really gave a lot of us lines to use and rally too as we opposed the administration.
Back in 2010, my friend Nikki Haley called and told me Governor Palin was going to endorse her. She asked me to cover over and be on the steps of the South Carolina State Capitol with them. In the picture above, I’d just gotten a text from my mom that all her friends were calling her because I was on TV with someone who looked like Sarah Palin. Governor Palin replied, “Tell ’em you’re with Tina Fey.”
But for Sarah Palin, we might not have Governor Haley. We might not have Governor Perry either. Sarah Palin rallied conservatives in Texas for Rick Perry against the entire Republican establishment who’d lined up to oppose him. Her early support really helped him.
Governor Palin became a champion of many who otherwise might not have gotten a voice. We did not always agree. But I never stopped liking her.
I’m not sure what the good Lord has in mind for Sarah Palin and her family now, but I do wish them all the best. And I suspect we have not seen the last of Sarah Palin on the campaign trail, fighting it out for the good guys. I’m sure we won’t always be on the same side of an endorsement, but we’re all fighting for a better country, a brighter future, and that shining city on the hill.