Friday, August 31, 2007


NOTE: There are two columns -- the one below, and the one below that -- that I regard as important. I realize Senator Larry Craig has resigned, but I want to retract my initial condemantion of him. I rushed to judgment, and I was mistaken to do that. So, please take a look at both columns. Thanks. -- Steve

In the Palin Movement, one great thing after another continues to take place. TWO fine blog columns by David Anderson, a long-time admirer of Gov. Sarah Palin has two dynamite pieces in praise of her. You can find them at the following links:

One new recruit to the Palin Movement sent me an e-mail with the following message: "You guys really do have me excited about Palin now. (And those are some great pics ... it's now wonder she can boast an 84+% approval rating...)"

Steve says: Some Republicans with the national Party in DC don't quite know what to make of Sarah's appeal, which is a shame. They tend to spend much of their time trying to preserve the Republican "Good Ole Boys" network, channeling money and support to individuals who have been around long enough to raise their own campaign funds.

Frankly, if we don't put excellent candidates forward (and see David Anderson's list of such people in the comments section of his blog) who are rigorously honest and great communicators, our future will be a gloomy one.


I read a column by Michael Cobb Bowen, a Black conservative who blogs under the name "Cobb" (see his site on the blogroll). He posts under the name "Cobb: Strictly Old School."

Discussing Hurricane Katrina, he builds on a point made by economist Larry Kudlow: that the $125 billion-plus in federal dollars that have gone to New Orleans should have been distributed to the 300,000 people remaining in New Orleans. Each of the people would have received $425,000. A family of four would have received $1.7 million.

In other words, New Orleaneans would have had enough money to do whatever was in their best interests. Let me add: It's probable that a big chunk of the money would have gone to rebuilding businesses, charter schools, homes, and the like that would by now have have made The Big Easy into The Big Success Story.

How would the $425,000 each help with the major problem of getting people to return home? Guess.

My question is this: why isn't the national Republican Party begging and pleading with Cobb to run for the state senate -- or for Congress -- or, eventually, for President? Also, he's a computer whiz who could be showing the Party how to use the Internet to build support among minorities.

Also, on Cobb's blogroll there are 100-plus sites listed. Most of them are Black conservatives who blog. Why isn't some Republican (other than just little me, of course) contacting them to ask for their support -- and to provide whatever assistance they need?

Do I agree with Cobb on everything? No, I don't, which puts him in the same category as the other 300 million Americans who disagree with me on something or other.

However, with most of the national Democrats (from Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Pelosi to Mr. Murtha and Mr. Schumer), I don't agree with them on hardly anything. Ergo, let's see the Cobbs (and Michael Steeles) of the world become the subjects of serious discussion about how we're going to get them in the nation's highest offices.

The column below reprints Kazoo's thoughtful support of Gov. Sarah Heath Palin for the vice-presidency of our beloved country. Kazoo grew up near where I now live, and I grew up in the county where he now resides. As Kazoo suggests, Sarah's having the second spot makes eminent sense. I'd also like to direct you to Adam's site -- to see some wonderful pictures (courtesy of Alaskan Tricia Ward) of Sarah and her husband (Todd) with Alaska's teacher-of-the-year, Ina Boucher. Kazoo's excellent blog is at:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 (By "Kazoo")
Palin for Veep?

I recently came across the Draft Sarah Palin For Vice President blog via comments on a post on a friend's blog.Sarah Palin is the Governor of Alaska and while I'm not yet ready to throw all (2 1/4 ounces) of my blog's weight behind the Palin for VP movement, I think Palin would make a wise (though unfortunately unlikely) choice for Republican '08 Vice Persident. [Note from Steve: Palin backers include individuals who support nearly every one of the 10 presidential candidates who appeared in the first -- Reagan Library -- debate. The Palin Movement as a whole currently endorses no single individual for the presidency. FYI: Currently, a good number of Palin supporters are backing Gov. Mike Huckabee]

Quoting from an early entry on the Draft Palin blog:

"This blog is the result of about a month worth of research on potential Republican Vice-Presidential candidates for the 2008 election. ... I developed the following profile for the perfect VP candidate (using Rudy Giuliani as my presumptive presidential candidate):

1) A energetic, young, fresh face who will energize the electorate
2) Not connected to the current administration
3) Pro-Life
4) Pro-Gun
5) A woman or minority to counter Hillary or Obama and put to rest the idea that America only elects white males.

One of the first names I found that fit these qualifications was that of Sarah Palin, the recently elected Governor of Alaska. ...

After looking at every GOP governor, senator, and congressperson, I found that Palin had only become more appealing. From what I've read, she certainly is an "energetic, young, fresh face who [would] energize the electorate."

Frankly, I think she could even give Obama's charisma a run for its money.She also has a reputation for shaking up the political status quo,
knocking off incumbents and chasing down corruption (even when it was Republicans committing the corrupt acts.)" [End of Adam's comments quoted]

[Kazoo's observation] That fits in really well with '08 being billed as "change election" and Americans being tired of the "political establishment." She also passes the "extremely like-able" test with an 84% approval rating. And, I can't see anyone being able to effectively run attack ads against her. She would just come off as being too sympathetic. Not because they'd be attacking a woman; more like if someone were to run attack ads against Ned Flanders.

[Kazoo adds -- and notice his warming up considerably to Sarah] Actually, now that I've finished jotting down my thoughts I can't think of a better choice for '08 GOP VP. If nothing else, maybe the momentum behind trying to have her be the VP will show that Republicans really are OK with candidates that aren't just white males.

(Not that that stereotype actually doesn't hold water ... first woman SCOTUS justice? Appointed by Reagan. First African-American male Sec. of State? Appointed by G.W. Bush. First African-American female Sec. of State? by Bush. First Hispanic Attorney General? by Bush (but witch-hunted out by white (Democratic) males Schumer, Leahey, Biden, Kennedy and Finegold.))

Perhaps my one final (fleeting?) reservation is that she probably best pairs up with Guillani, and he's certainly not my first choice.

But since he is (admittedly) the most likely choice, Run Palin Run! [End of comments by Kazoo]

Comment from Steve Maloney: I have said that I will back the presidential (and vice-presidential) nominees for the Republican Party. If the Republican nominees lose in the 2008 presidential election (presumably to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton), I intend to begin working immediately to ensure that Sarah gets the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 to oppose -- and to defeat -- Mrs. Clinton. In Kazoo's piece, note how he starts out somewhat tentative about backing Sarah for V-P -- and ends up doing so enthusiastically. That's a process many Sarah supporters know well. I hope you'll join Kazoo in getting behind this remarkable woman.

Timothy Egan, an important Seattle-area newsman, says the following about Sarah: "The good news for Republicans is that the most popular fresh face is one of theirs — Gov. Sarah Palin, who looks like Tina Fey of “Saturday Night Live” fame. A marathon runner and commercial fisherwoman — whose kids are named Track, Bristol, Willow and Piper — Governor Palin knocked out an encrusted incumbent in the primary last year. She supports a new ethics bill designed to bring light to the long winter of Alaska politics."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds." --Samuel Adams

This column, originally one about "President Hillary Rodham Clinton" (yikes) will change on Saturday and Sunday. I was one of the first bloggers to call for the resignation of Senator Larry Craig. He has resigned effective September 30 of this year, but now I believe my initial comments were hasty -- and, frankly, uninformed. I had assumed was some evidence of verbal solicitation or groping of the undercover policeman. In fact, there was NO SUCH EVIDENCE. The policeman was totally out-of-bounds in making pop-psychology assumptions about Craig's character. I rushed to judgment, and my readers have a right to expect more. (Note: The policeman said he didn't care about Craig's supposed "sexual preference," itself a loaded and arguably homophobic term). What what exactly were the police doing in the men's room? It now looks like entrapment to me. ) If you'd like to read the ENTIRE transcript of the exchange between Sen. Craig and the policeman, you won't hear it on the MSM. You can, however, find it by going to the following site (managed by a gay conservaive activist in Ottawa, Canda: I urge you to read the transcript. You may well end up agreeing with "Fred" from Ottawa, who says, "No crime occurred here." As for straight Steve in Ambridge, PA (i.e., me), I agree that no crime occurred, but I also agree with Senator Craig's decision to resign -- mainly because of his misguided guilty plea. The story of Larry Craig may die, but it shouldn't, because it appears to be a major miscarriage of justice.

Welcome to all supporters of the Republican Party -- and supporters of any the five candidates discussed below. At the present time, I'm not endorsing any specific individual for the presidency (hoping only that HE will be a Republican). Like many others, I'm strongly encouraging consideration of Alaska Gov. Sarah Heath Palin for the second-spot on the Republican ticket.

As a favor to Gov. Romney, I'm not charging him $10,000 for my "Romneyites Unite" slogan. (Romney supporters, note the bottom of this column.)

In another piece, I recently mentioned my commitment to vote for the candidate nominated in 2008 by the Republican Party -- something that will happen "de facto" about February 5 (Super Tuesday of next year. Some people with a penchant for fantasy believe that all Republicans have to do is to nominate Mitt Romney, or Mike Huckabee, or Rudy Giuliani, or Fred Thompson, or John McCain (whose ship is listing badly these days), and we will cruise to an easy victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In fact, the most reliable opinion surveys (Pew Research, Gallup, Stan Greenburg) show just the opposite, not only in their "snapshot" (day-by-day) forms but -- most ominously -- in their trend lines. I don't find many (read: ANY) expert analysts, conservatives or liberals, who disagree with me. We are also poised to take a major skunking in Congress, losing several Senate seats.

Granted, some folks (my GWB word for the day) may look at me as the boy crying "Wolf." However, the last time I "cried wolf" was in the election of 2006 when, you may recall, a wolf came and ate the Republican Party. A bigger, hungrier, meaner wolf could very well be licking his chops in November, 2008.

Why so much emphasis on Sarah Heath Palin, the wildly popular Republican Governor of Alaska, as a choice for the vice-presidential nomination on the Republican ticket? (Her approval rating of 90% is one GWB or any other elected official would pronounce "to-die-for.")

To explain the critical question "why," Let's look at the five distinguished Republican gentlemen I noted above: Huckabee, Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, and McCain. There's zero evidence any of them running on their own they can defeat Mrs. Clinton. Outside their immediate families, not many people believe victory is in the cards. Let's face it: Just because an individual -- say, you -- likes a candidate or even adores him doesn't guarantee more than one vote, yours.

Politically, Mrs. Palin -- the choice of all those intrepid souls on my blogroll -- resembles what in football terminology is called a "wedge-buster." That's the individual on the kickoff or punt team that races downfield to break up group of blockers (the "wedge") that's safeguarding the kick-returner.

There is a wedge -- one based on bad decisions and missed opportunities in the past -- walling off the Republican Party from a host of critically important voting groups: women professionals (teachers, journalists, nurses, doctors, lawyers, businesswomen), Blacks, Hispanics, young people (34 and under), non-white evangelicals, union members, and moderate-to-liberal Roman Catholics.

People in those groups probably make up 200-million plus of the 300-million Americans. (The Census Bureau has said there are now 100 million legal minorities in the U.S., the largest group being Hispanics --45 million -- with Blacks fairly close behind).

Gov. Sarah Palin can help us break through the political wedge and get to these groups. She would have appeal to all of the above segments, especially women professionals and younger people. Naming her to the vice-presidential ticket would be indicating something that would surprise a lot of voters: that we aren't just a bunch of aging white Caucasians offering the same programs as the Democrats but with slightly less funding.

If we become the Party of the "angry, old white guys," Heaven help us. We're headed in that direction, and we need to change course in a hurry. (As an occasionally cantankerous older white guy, I believe I can say that.)

As a communications major in college, Sarah Palin knows talk is cheap. Best of all, she doesn't blather on with abstractions about family values.

In fact, as a committed wife and the mother of four children, she LIVES those values. As a person who revealed ethics violations by noted Alaska Republican politicans, she's going way beyond pious platitudes about honesty being "the best policy." In terms of her character and fidelity to God and family this woman is bullet-proof.

If you're interested in learning more about Sarah, please read any of the following, including the several essays by nationally recognized columnists, including Fred Barnes of FOX News and The Weekly Standard.

You can indicate your support for Sarah for V-P by leaving a comment either on my blog, or on Adam's at You can also send an e-mail to me at: Thanks for your interest. (Short and accurate biographical information) (outstanding piece on Sarah by Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard and FOX News analyst) (SJ Reidhead (Cindy), Article by the "Queen of the Blogosphere" on the Character and Potential of Sarah Palin) (Essay by editor emeritus Tom Koenigger on Alaska and its remarkable Governor) (Essay by conservative columnist Dimitri Vassilaros in praise of the GOP's "Beacon of Hope") (A piece by the newest blogger for Palin -- signed up yesterday -- with a discussion of why he's doing so)

It might take 30-35 minutes to read and digest all the above pieces. It will be time well spent, because Sarah is at least a step ahead of nearly ever elected official in our nation.

In the next 4-5 days, I'm going to be asking Mitt Romney supporters to back Sarah. I don't know how many of them will -- somewhere between none and a few, perhaps -- but I'll make the best case I can. Do I believe Mitt Romney is a Christian? Well, he says he is, and that's good enough for me, since the ultimate issues of faith are between an individual and his or her God. Heck, my brother (not a Mormon) went to BYU, and that should count for something.
ROMNEYITES UNITE (behind Sarah).

Hey, What About a V-P (Sarah Palin) That American Voters Would Actually Like and Admire?

Because of our efforts on behalf of Gov. Palin, I get a lot of visitors from Alaska, many from obvious places like Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Wasilla (Sarah's hometown) but today I got a new one, Kasigluk. I looked it up in Wikipedia, and it's near the Bering Sea and has 543 residents (2000 census) in two villages, Akiuk and Akula. The population is 96.5% Native Alaskan, and the main source of power is from wind. .Welcome, Kasiglukians. As with all Alaskans, I feel very close to you and your remarkable Governor.

One of my favorite Mike Huckabee quotes (leaving aside John Edwards at the beauty salon): "Life doesn't end at birth."

Another blog I'm strongly recommending is Tennessee for Huckabee, with this link: . Today, he reprints a fine Michael Medved column, one that makes a strong case for current GOP candidates as a whole lot better than those in the past. Read it and see if you don't agree. Here's a comment I made to tn4huck, whom I'm doing my "hot pursuit" number on in an effort to get him to sign up as a "Palin Fan."
And here's another one walking through the gates into the Palin camp: " Kazoo read Adam Brickley's ( original essay on The Case for Sarah, and it made eminent sense to him. I urge you to read his piece. I believe that by Feb. 5, 2008, Super Tuesday, we may just have our 777 Bloggers for Sarah. If we "only" have 599, however, I'll still be ready to claim victory.

I don't see Michael Medved's columns as often as I should. Generally, I love the guy. He's absolutely right -- this year's Republican candidates offer more diversity and better records of accomplishment than we generally get.

I wrote a column about three weeks ago going through the Republican choices for V-P over more than 50 years. Frankly, it's a sorry lot.

Nixon? Twice V-P, resigned later as President, although not before his own V-P, Agnew, resigned in a bribery scandal. Dan Quayle? Well, Sen. Quayle was a nice man, but he came across as dumb as a doorknob. Dick Cheney? Again, a good man (with a great wife and daughters), but he has a serious health problem and no plans to run for the presidency or any other office.

Presidential candidates (Republicans and Democrats) often seem to make their V-P choices out of a hat. When they're chosen to carry a particular state, the ticket ends up losing it, as happened with Nixon-Agnew and Maryland in 1968.

After the 1972 election, one of Nixon's top aides asked why he had kept Agnew on the ticket. The President replied, "No one in his right mind would want to assasinate me."

Most of us sitting at home watching FOX or CNN assume the presidential nominee goes through some calculating -- and even agonizing -- choice for a VP who is "thoroughly vetted." That just doesn't happen.

Yes, we do want to "push" somebody like Sarah Palin, an absolutely terrific candidate, on the presidential nominee. Why? Because we don't need another Spiro T. Agnew or even a Dan Quayle.

If worse comes to worse and Mrs. Clinton gets elected, we want someone there -- preferably a female -- who would be a ferocious competitor in 2012. We don't want someone who can carry one state. We want someone who will eventually carry the nation.

On the issues: as my earlier column (which will expand a little and become tomorrow's column) says: There are a lot of "conservative" candidates standing foursquare for the Family and children who don't practice what they preach. They tell us the lies they think we long to hear.

When it comes to have a large and loving family, Sarah Palin isn't relying on slogans. In fact, she goes home everyday to just such a situation. When it comes to political corruption, she doesn't just say she's "agin" it, but rather exposes the wrong-doers. Ironic as it seems to say it, she's putting her home state -- by far the largest one geographically -- on the map.

Gee, what if we had a candidate who truly was wonderful? Short answer: we do.

Stephen R. Maloney

Constitutional Bans on Gay Marriage or Abortion? Don't Hold Your Breath

I've added a new blog, one that's run by Treva and that you can find at: Treva isn't ready yet to sign up to back Sarah Palin, but her blog is very good, and I urge you to visit. Treva and I may disagree on this-or-that, but she shows a great instinct for practical politics and understands that it's a lot more fun to win than to lose. Triva also has many pictures of her strikingly attractive children, whom she homeschools (and introduces to her favorite candidate, Mike Huckabee.)

In this column, I'm going to discuss my distaste for "conservative" (or supposedly conservative) candidates who talk about "constitutional amendments" defining marriage or "outlawing" abortion. There's a better chance of us cashing in on the million dollar offers we get from spammers in Nigeria (why is it always Nigeria?) than for a constitutional amendment outlawing gay unions or abortion. It is not going to happen!

I believe there are several politicians -- Larry Craig and Mark Foley, you many cover your ears -- who claim to be "pro-life" or "pro-traditional-marriage" who are actually neither. You can find them by determining how quick they are to support constitutional amendments that have zero chance of passing. Such people feel that evangelical Protestants and traditional Catholics are easily deceived -- making us convenient targets for family values rhetoric.

If an elected official claims to support policies that will never see the light of day as actual legislation in either chamber of Congress, it's a good idea to look into what HE (and they're almost always "hes") is up to.

In the succeeding paragraphs, I'm going to advocate "truth-in-politics" when it comes to the slim-and-none chances for certain constitutional amendments.

The last significant vote on a constitutional ban on abortion (The Human Life Amendment) came in 1983 with legislation presented by Republican Senator Hatch of Utah and Democratic Senator Eagleton of Missouri. It got 49 votes -- many more than it could get today -- and was not anywhere receiving enough votes for cloture (let alone for passage, where it required 67 votes to get through as an amendment to the Constitution).

Despite suggestions otherwise by presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, and Mitt Romney, a constitutional amendment banning abortion has NO CHANCE of getting through the Senate. It also has no chance of getting through the House, where it would take two-thirds of that body for passage (about 290 votes).

But what a constitutional amendment stating that marriage is between a man and a woman -- period? The last vote on that matter was in 2004, when Republicans controlled both Houses. In the Senate, it also got 49 affirmative votes (a popular number) and 50 in the negative.

Proposed amendments banning abortion still peek up their heads in the Congress, but they never even make it out of committees. They are DOA.

Again, an imaginary ban on states recognizing gay marriage has ZERO chance of passing, particularly with the number of seats Democrats added in 2006 -- and the additional ones they're poised to get in 2008.

What are elected officials who propose constitutional amendments on abortion and gay marriage doing? Frankly, they're pandering to the group whom they perceive as social conservatives. They're suggesting something is possible when it's not. They're "blowing smoke" at us.

I don't know where Senators Vitter and Craig are standing on such matters nowadays. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if they're still trying to sell the same politics of illusion. They'll probably do so just as long as their constituents are willing to put up with them -- which, one hopes, will not be too long.

Stephen R. Maloney
Ambridge, PA

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Christian "Conservatives": Rhetoric or Reality?

I was one of the first bloggers to call for the resignation of Senator Larry Craig. He probably will resign, but now I wonder if I was too hasty. I assumed there was some verbal solicitation or groping of the undercover policeman, and apparently there was none. It may be more a case of physical clumsiness and bad judgment in pleading guilty. The policeman was totally out-of-bounds in making assumptions about Craig's character. I may have rushed to judgment. (Note: The policeman said he didn't care about Craig's supposed "sexual preference," itself a loaded and suspect term, but what were the police doing in the men's room? It now looks like entrapment to me. ) -- Stephen R. Maloney

After the piece below about the bogus "social conservatives' (Craig, Vitter, and Foley), I will point in several links to pieces that give a good insight in who Gov. Sarah Palin is and what she's acccomplished. Will be up at 9 p.m. EDT.

I can't tell you how distressing this whole matter of Senator Larry Craig of Idaho (see the column below) is to me. No, I don't want him boiled in oil or drawn and quartered or made to wear a Scarlet Letter. Frankly, I just want him to go -- to resign.

In his thoughtless actions -- and now in the lies he feels compelled to utter to save his sorry skins -- he disgraces himself, his family, and worst of all, the Republican Party. The Democrats accuse us of hypocrisy, and people like Craig (and many others) give them the ammunition. They soil us.

He has been what we generally call "a tireless advocate for traditional marriage and ethical behavior." And he didn't mean a word of it. He was appealing to "social issue voters," most of whom are sincere in their beliefs, but he perceived rightly that such people are easily deceived.

In my discussions with Larry Perrault, which I've enjoyed a good deal, even though we both occasionally exasperate each, I've explained that I'm increasingly suspicious of "social values" politicians. They push our buttons to get elected, and in a practical sense they accomplish nothing.

Specifically, I want candidates to stop identifying themselves with slogans. It's fine to be, for example, "pro-life" as long as that isn't some meaningless and cynical designation a candidate uses to appeal to Christian evangelicals and traditional Catholics. I'm not exactly impressed by candidates who propose constitutional amendments that have absolutely no chance of passing.

Mitt Romney is being criticized for flip-flopping once again on the issue of abortion in adopting his current position that abortion should be an issue settled by the states. I have no idea of Romney's real feelings on abortion, but he is right about the states' responsibility. There will be no consittutional amendment on this issue in our lifetimes. As was the case pre-Roe v. Wade, this is question for the 50 states, period. It's a lot easier to exert influence at the state level than at the federal.

Reportedly, Senator David Vitter of Louisiana had said -- before it was revealed he was a customer of the so-called "DC Madam" -- that the most important issue facing Americawas . . . gay marriage. That at a time when we're facing the dilemma of the Iraq War and the approaching disaster of $100 trillion in unfunded liability for entitlement programs, among many others.

Senator Vitter emphasized the gay marriage matter because he believed -- and probably still believes -- the voters of Louisiana are stupid people. Is he right? We shall find out. Gay marriage or civil unions or whatever it's called is an absolutely trivial matter. It's one of those famous "wedge issues" that deserves about one minute any sane person's time. If Bob and Andy and Sue and Debbie want to "tie the knot," we should wish them all a long and happy life and then go on to more important things.

If Senator Vitter and Senator Craig, as well as some other "distinguished" elected officials, had concentrated more on doing real work on behalf of the nation we'd all be better off. Instead, they pandered to . . . us. All government officials hereby have my permission never to pander to me. I prefer that they talk honestly, even when I don't completely "like" what they have to say.

As a group, we Christian conservatives have to look into our own hearts. We have to ask what we want from candidates: rhetoric or some semblance of reality. If we desire the Mark Foleys, David Vitters, and Larry Craigs, who are willing to scratch us where it itches and nothing more, then God help us.

(I'd love to get some comments -- any comments -- on this short post, but I fear the response will be silence. We've been hoodwinked, my friends, and it doesn't feel good at all.)

Stephen R. Maloney

Ambridge, PA

I've spent much of the week trying to get Mike Huckabee supporters involved in the campaign to get Gov. Sarah Palin on the Republican national ticket. The thing that impresses me most about her, as I told KTUU-TV in Anchorage, is that she is a very loving wife and mother. The second thing is her absolute honesty -- something that has isolated her from the state Republican Party, including its chairman whom she cited for ethics violations. What a wonderful role model for every girl and woman in this country!

Many Huckabee supporters have "signed up" as supporters of Gov. Palin for the vice-presidency, and others are close to doing the same. In their actions, they're helping to rebuild the foundation of the Republican Party, something that will take years -- perhaps many years -- to complete.

I have spent 1,000 hours so far working on Gov. Palin's behalf. I don't regret one minute of that time. I'm doing it mainly for my children and grandchildren -- and for yours. It's hard work, because she not nearly as well known as she deserves.

Join me. Join us. Join her. This is a remarkable woman and, at some point in 2012 or 2016, she will be the President of the United States. Let's just make sure she's THE FIRST female President and not the second.

To all elected officials: Saying the right words is fine as far as it goes. Doing the right things is better. .

The following are important pieces about Sarah Palin, her life, her views, and her character. (Short and accurate biographical) (outstanding piece on Sarah by Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard and FOX News analyst) (SJ Reidhead (Cindy), Article by the "Queen of the Blogosphere" on the Character and Potential of Sarah Palin) (Essay by editor emeritus Tom Koenigger on Alaska and its remarkable Governor) (Essay by conservative columnist Dimitri Vassilaros in praise of the GOP's "Beacon of Hope")

It might take a half-hour to read all these pieces. It will be time well spent, because Sarah is at least a step ahead of nearly ever elected official in our nation.

Two Great Candidates (Huckabee & Palin) and An Awful One (Larry Craig)

Please don't skip over the material at the bottom of this post dealing with disgraced Republican Senator Larry Craig's pleading guilty to lewd conduct in a Minneapolis restroom. It's depressing, but it's important to face reality.

Note to supporters of MIKE HUCKABEE and other candidates, the best way to learn about Sarah Palin is to read some of the national articles praising her, all of them listed on my blogroll (Fred Barnes' "The Most Popular Governor" in The Weekly Standard, White House Correspondent Les Kinsolving in WorldNetDaily, Dimitri Vassilaros in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review), SJ Reidhead on BlogCritics, and Tom Koenniger in The Columbian). The Wikipedia article on Sarah (type in her name) is short but accurate. If you're interested in blog sites backing Sarah, look at:, (an Alaska site),, as well as pro-Huckabee sites such as, and Please join us in our efforts to get the most electable woman on the GOP ticket. If you're interested, leave a comment or send me an e-mail at

A big welcome to the newest Palin Fan (and a strong supporter of Mike Huckabee), a guy named "Nuke" who does Nuke's News & Views at:

In my comments section for yesterday's column, you'll notice NY Catholic Mom saying that Sarah should hold her political fire until Mike Huckabee has served two terms and Sarah's kids "are grown." Three of the kids are pretty well grown by now, including a boy who will soon be 19. The following in blue is my response:

Dear Catholic Mom: Sarah seems to have done a wonderful job (along with her husband, Todd) with her kids to this point. From the polls, it looks likely (though not inevitable) that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the next President of the U.S. The push to get Sarah on the ticket is an effort to forestall that from happening.

If Mike Huckabee or any Republican presidential candidate doesn't have an absolutely dynamite running mate, then the only time he will spend in the White House will be on a visitor's pass. Yesterday, a blogger for Huckabee noted that "It's time for Mike to take some risks." He said a mouthful.

People who believe Mrs. Clinton will be easy to beat are in denial, ignoring her tremendous financial and political resources, as well as her strong appeal to several large voting blocs. In generic polls (do you prefer a Republican or a Democrat for President?) the Democrat wins by 52-39%.

In her first Senate race in New York, Mrs. Clinton ran against a popular young congressman, Rick Lazio. Despite being called a carpetbagger and every other name in the book, she won 55 percent to 43 percent, which in New York qualifies as a landslide.

New York is a much more diverse state than most people think. It has a rich ethnic and racial blend. One surprise is that the state has a huge number of farms, and dozens of small and medium-sized cities, as well as many villages.

If Mrs. Clinton wins in 2008, her opponent in 2012 might very well be Gov. Sarah Palin. Poll data (I can provide if you'd like to see it) shows the Democrats doing very well among Catholic voters. That data has been generated by Rasmussen and Pew, two highly respected survey firms.

The Republican Party has also done poorly for nearly 30 years with women professionals (teachers, doctors, lawyers, businesswomen, nurses) for 30 years, and that gap is widening. The current thinking among most experts is that the Republican Party will get skunked in most important races, including the one for the Presidency.

It wouldn't benefit Mike to choose a male Caucasian (a Fred Thompson or Newt Gingrich) with very limited appeal to voters generally, as the Republican Party has done over and over and over again since the Eisenhower era. If the Republican Party has stars -- and Mike truly is one -- then it is time to present them to the voters.

Gov. Palin has more executive experience than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards -- combined. That executive experience comes from two terms as Mayor of Alaska's fastest growing town (Wasilla) and as governor of a state that's crucial to America's energy future. She also serves as chairman of energy resources for the Republican Governors' Association.

In a Republican Party (see the material below on Sen. Craig) beset by corruption and sexual misconduct, Sarah Palin is a model of ethical behavior. In her tenure on the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission, she blew the whistle on ethical misconduct by the head of the state's Repubican Party and on Alaska's Attorney-General.

The Republican Party has only two women -- a shamefully low number -- who could run effectively on the national ticket. They are Congresswoman (and Air Force veteran) Heather Wilson of NM and Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. I don't think the message we want to send to women interested in public service is that they had best ally themselves with the Democrats.

Surveys demonstrate that 92% of Americans are ready to vote for a qualified woman for President. Gee, what woman might that be? Apparently, Republican women make up most of the 8% who are not ready to vote for a woman for the highest office. That is just plain sad, and hopefully candidates like Sarah will rectify the situation.

As you can see, a great deal of thought has preceded the many thousands of hours people have spent on Sarah's behalf. IT IS NOT A CASUAL SUGGESTION.

(Note: A good chunk of the statistics I cite are drawn from a figure who's young but has almost achieved sainthood in the conservative movement, Patrick Hynes. You can find the material in his article, "Identity Group Conservatism," at the following link:

steve maloney

MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 28) - Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is a conservative Republican who has voted against gay marriage and opposes hate crimes legislation that would extend special protections to gay and lesbian crime victims.

Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, confirmed on Monday that he pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of disorderly conduct after he was arrested at an airport. In the wake of Craig's guilty plea on misdemeanor charges stemming from complaints of lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis airport, his political future is in question. The three-term senator, who has represented Idaho in Congress for more than a quarter-century, is up for re-election next year. He hasn't said if he will run for a fourth term in 2008 and was expected to announce his plans this fall. A spokesman, Sidney Smith, was uncertain late Monday if Craig's guilty plea would affect his re-election plans.

Steve says: Affect his re-election plans? What re-election plans? This pitiful guy is political dead meat. I am sick of people, especially those who masquerade as "conservative Republicans," engaging in sexual misconduct. It's disheartening to see Republicans (Rep. Mark Foley, Sen. David Vitter, and Randall Tobias (Hollywood-Madam-customer) appealing to the "Republican base" with demagoguery and pandering -- and then engaging in the basest of behavior. In dealing with the "base," their motto is let them eat rhetoric.

Sen. Larry Craig should resign, and should do it today. Sinful and disgusting behavior by such people is an arrow in the heart of our many decent candidates, including people like MIke Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, Heather Wilson, and Diana Lynn Irey. The "narrative" people like Craig construct is one that says Republican elected officials are corrupt hypocrites. The fact that there were problems with the way Craig conducted himself should not come as a major surprise (for decades there have been rumors that Craig is gay, although married). As William F. Buckley, Jr. said many years ago: "Self-control is the most exhilarating of pleasures." Too bad that people like Foley and Craig don't heed that admonition.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Draft Palin Effort Intensifying: "New Faces, New Places"

Tomorrow's (Tuesday's) column? I'm on a roll with Sarah, so I'll stick with her and why presidential candidates, including Mike, should look at her as a political goldmine. I always wondered who the "wee hours" visitors were. Leave me your blog address (or your e-mail) and you'll hear from me soon. Note the following: Juneau, Alaska story Aug. 27: "New stores and the expansion of others are consuming the capital city’s available labor, shrinking the city’s unemployment rate and making it rough for smaller businesses to find workers."

I read the above, and I thought, "Gee, Sarah even solved the universal problem of unemployment!"

"God so loved the world," but I'm only at the point where I like it.

Note to supporters of MIKE HUCKABEE and other candidates, the best way to learn about Sarah Palin is to read some of the national articles praising her, all of them listed on my blogroll (Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard, Whie House Correspondent Les Kinsolving in WorldNetDaily, Dimitri Vassilaros in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review), SJ Reidhead on BlogCritics, and Tom Koenniger in The Columbian). The Wikipedia article on Sarah (type in her name) is short but accurate. If you're interested in blog sites backing Sarah, look at:, (an Alaska site),, as well as pro-Huckabee sites such as, and Please join us in our efforts to get the most electable woman on the GOP ticket.

A big welcome to the newest Palin Fan (and a strong supporter of Mike Huckabee), a guy named "Nuke" who does Nuke's News & Views at:


I'm asking Adam Brickley (, founder of the Draft Palin Movement, to put on the mailing list two individuals: Larry Perrault and Douglas Gibbs. In the case of the latter, Doug hosts the popular Political Pistachio radio program (, and he and his wife ("Mrs. Pistachio") were kind enough to have me on with them a few weeks ago. Doug can't endorse specific candidates right now, as he is seeking to have various individuals (including Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin) on his show. So, at this point he clearly should remain neutral.

Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, when this column is brought to your attention, please seriously consider appearing on Doug's outstanding radio show.

As for Larry Perrault, he and I have exchanged many blog comments and e-mails. At times, we exasperate one another, but Larry clearly is a splendid guy (a Houstonian) who thinks the world of Mike Huckabee.

As regards Sarah Palin, he sent me the following comment: "If Huckabee were nominated and saw fit to select Sarah Palin to fill out the ticket, I'd be delighted." That's good enough for me. I urge you to visit Larry's site at:

By the way, Larry has MS. His body may have failed him, but his heart, soul, and love for his family and his country remain very much intact.

As many of you know, I have a high regard for Mike Huckabee (as I do for some other candidates), and would be proud to support him if he wins the nomination. I believe strongly that Mike should meet soon with Sarah Palin, privately at first if that approach suits both of them.

Sarah has said she doesn't know a great deal about Mike, and his campaign should rectify that situation quickly. At this point, Sarah probably can do more for ANY of the candidates than they can do for her. As the most popular state official in our country, she can be very helpful in advising how candidates can generate wide public support.

At the least, Mike's building a strong personal and political relationship with Sarah and her supporters would help his campaign greatly if he named her as "exactly the kind of person" he would seriously consider for the nation's second-highest office. Our goal is for the Republican nominee to name his prospective running mate no later than Febuary 6, 2008, the day after the "Super Tuesday" primaries.

Late last week, Bill McAllister of KTUU-TV asked me if the Draft Palin Movement had established initial contacts with Republican presidential candidates (plural), and I said honestly that we had initiated such outreach. We want to know exactly where the candidates, including Mike Huckabee, stand on having a qualified woman on the ticket. The candidates increasingly are aware of the strong support Sarah has from people of the stature of Fred Barnes, Les Kinsolving, Tom Koennniger, and SJ Reidhead, among others, as well as from many of the most dedicated and influential members of the blogosphere.

National figures associated with the presidential campaigns have expressed an interest in meeting with Sarah Palin. The next moves are up to the candidates.

Frankly, the election of 2008 is so important to our nation that presidential candidates should avoid the usual coyness when it comes to a vice-presidential selection. We urge them not to fall back into considering mainly aging male Caucasians. It's time to select someone whose political future is unlimited and whose appeal to voters is obvious.

Whatever candidate selects Sarah as a running mate should be aware that she would refuse to be some sort of gender token or "attack dog." She's an individual of nont only of high intelligence but also of basic decency. She's a healer, not a divider.

The presidential nominee will make the final decisions on policy issues, but Sarah should be a respected advisor, especially on issues related to the family, energy, education, the environment, Second Amendment rights, and the overall value of life. She has translated her stands on such issues into approval ratings that show almost universal support, not just from Republicans, but also from Democrats and Independents.

It's clearly time for new faces from new places. In our view, the best new face is that of Sarah Palin, and the new place should be the geographically distant -- but critically important -- state of Alaska.

Stephen R. Maloney, Ambridge, PA
National Coordinating Team Palin 4 VP

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Are the Political Pollsters Telling You the Truth?

"The undecided vote for Democratic candidates seems to be creeping up." (Steve Centenni on FOX Sunday, talking about the decline support for John Edwards and the increase in the number of people who declare themselves as "undecided.") -- See the comments below about undecided voters.

I wrote the following (the unitalicized part) to a friend regarding my obsession for political statistics, particularly as revealed by poll data. Polling is a little like the biblical line about "see[ing] through a glass [meaning "mirror" in the KJV of the Bible] darkly." To change the metaphor, polling is like a somewhat blurry snapshot, one that's taken ultimately a day or two before an event such as an election. Every hour thereafter, the picture changes slightly but doesn't get reflected in the polls because surveying has ended. So, prepare to stay up late to find out the true results.

It's amazing how many people have connections to Pennsylvania. Bill McAllister of KTUU-TV has links to Johnstown, home of (ugh) John Murtha. In PA politics, there is something called the "T," which refers to the fact that nearly every county other than Allegheny and Philadelphia vote Republican in statewide elections. The "T" reflects the final "shape" of the statewide vote.

The vote in Pittsburgh and Philly goes in a very lopsided way to Democrats (80% in Pgh., more than that in Philly). In 2004, the networks announced at 8 p.m. (polls close then) that Kerry had won 61 to 39 percent. By 2 a.m., the vote was 51-49 Kerry.

Jay Costa on the superb Horserace Blog (pure Internet) announced that Kerry had won PA by less than Bush had won Ohio, which was not yet "declared" by most of the networks, who were responding to Kerry campaign requests NOT to declare. The next morning Kerry conceded Ohio to Bush, and the election was over.

I hope Jay Costa (something of an Illinois version of Adam Brickley) does his wonderful blog in the next election. He is/was a graduate student in statistics at the University of Chicago. Jay almost went ballistic during the day when the exit polls were supposedly showing that Kerry had won the election.

He pointed out -- and I don't believe I'd ever heard it before -- that Democrats vote earlier than Republicans, partly because some of them (like my beloved folks in Pittsburgh and Philly) are not employed and have lots of time to cast ballots. That's the kind of stuff Karl Rove knows by heart. In short, it's probably a good idea to doubt the early exit polls.

One thing you''ll hear a lot about polls is the difference between registered voters and "likely" voters. Historically, the Gallup Poll has a lot to do with this distinction. Registered voters often don't . . . vote. If you get a driver's license in PA (and other states) you're registered. You may have a lot of interest in driving but none in voting. (Remember the famous old lady who said, "Vote? I never vote. It only encourages them."

On the "likely" voters, they're generally people who have voted in the past. However, in most elections, only 60% to 75% of likely voters will in fact . . . vote. Republicans tend to do better with "likely" voters because GOP stalwarts vote more frequently than Democrats. Gallup has tended to skew its totals slightly more to Republicans because of their tendency to vote more often.

In 2004, Gallup came under heavy criticism from Democrats for the practice mentioned. In a panicky response, it changed its statistical template so as to pare down the "skew" toward Republicans. That completely screwed up the poll data.

If you have a good memory, you may recall polls that said undecided voters were "breaking" for Kerry by a ratio of eight-to-one. One problem: that never happened. If anything, undecided voters (at least the relative few who voted) "broke" for Bush, who won the popular vote comfortably.

You'll hear a great deal about "undecided" voters. In fact, these are often people who remain undecided unto eternity. Apparently, the reason they stay "undecided" is that many of them are mostly uninterested in the election. Thus, undecided is a euphemism for bored-by-the-whole-thing. They're not really the kingmakers they appear to be.

In the days before the election, Gallup showed Kerry doing well in Florida, a state that went handily to Bush. Perhaps because of that, Kerry skipped re-visiting Florida -- he sent John Edwards -- and made a couple more trips to Cleveland.

Gallup also said in the last days before the election that Kerry was ahead by four points in Ohio and Bush ahead by four in Pennsylvania! My comment then was, "Perhaps they got the states mixed up?" (As expected, Kerry won Pennsylvania and Bush won Ohio.)

In Florida, Jay Costa showed on election eve that Bush was doing well in areas that has grown in population, while Kerry was winning in areas either with no growth or with population declines. If Kerry could have ramped up his support somewhat in Florida, he might have won that state and the election.

My Internet friend Larry Perrault, a fervent and articulate backer of Mike Huckabee, insists that the MSM (and the pollsters) are manipulating public opinion, and I always tend to disagree (slightly) with him.

What happens in very early polls, such the current ones, is that the surveyers are really reflecting name recognition. Larry's candidate, Mike Huckabee, doesn't have good name recognition -- especially outside the early primary states. So, the surveys are showing Mike with relatively low numbers. When the results get published, that tends to keep Mike's numbers down. (

For a less-well-known candidate like Mike, there's no easy answer to this dilemma
. One partial answer is for Mike's supporters to continue what Larry calls "the clamor." That refers to the noise (advocacy) on the blogs, where Mike has many talented, committed advocates. If someone like Mike can move up slightly in the national polls, that could establish a level of recognition (and momentum) that would drive up his numbers even more. In short, some good numbers can lead to even better numbers.

I find all this stuff fascinating. On the key issue of whether polls ever intentionally "slant" their findings: I can't answer that question with certainty. However, I'm one of the people who have serious questions about the Zogby Poll, run by the brother of the president of the Arab-American Association. The Zogbys don't do a good job disguising their preference for Democratic candidates. Zogby also does Internet polls (as opposed to face-to-face or telephone), which seem to be chronically unreliable.

Here I've gone and written an entire column without mentioning Governor Sarah Heath Palin, Alaska's favorite daughter and my favorite candidate.

Stephen R. Maloney, Ambridge, PA

I'll be writing this week about John Edwards' decline in the polls (down to 8%), as well as the same thing happening to John McCain (down to 7%). The latter is losing support and a significant portion of it seems to be going to Rudy Giuliani. Fred Thompson may be looking hard at the "numbers" to determine if there's a plausible scenario where he could win the nomination. (I don't believe such a scenario exists.) I'm also going to write about the question of abortion. Mitt Romney appears to be adjusting his views (surprise!) on abortion by saying that the issue should be returned to the states. Surprisingly, pro-lifer Sam Brownback agrees with him up to a point. Many pro-life people seem to believe that overturning Roe v. Wade will somehow outlaw abortion (in most of its forms?). They are wrong. In the unlikely event Roe is overturned -- which it will not be if a Democrat is elected -- it would return the issue to the states. That's something Romney and Brownback (and we can throw in Giuiliani) do agree would happen. Brownback wants to go further and propose a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion (in all cases? in many cases?). The chances of such an amendment passing Congress by a big margin (and getting approval from the vast majority of states) seems very, very unlikely (read: impossible). Some red states (Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and perhaps some others (Arizona?) would oppose an amendment banning abortion in all cases, including rape, incest, and life of the mother.) At some point this week, I'll jump into this bear-pit.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


NOTE: In the next month, we in the Sarah Palin Crusade will be working hard to add to our growing list of people supporting Sarah for V-P. To sign up, either leave a comment or send an e-mail to She is fresh, and everyone else is tired. When we get 20 new Palin backers, we will hold a lottery and the winner gets to buy Adam dinner!

When Alexander the Great lay dying while still in his 20s, he had conquered all the known world. As his key lieutenants gathered around him, they asked whom he wanted his kingdom to go to. In his last words, Alexander said, "To the . . . strongest."

Adam Brickley is a 20-year-old college student who lives in Colorado Springs and goes to the University of Colorado campus there ity. Of great significance, he started the Draft Sarah Palin movement. He's a living exemplar of another famous statement by Alexander about the main rule of life: "The weak give what they must, the strong take what they wish." Generally mild in manner, Adam is one of the strong.

Some people, even a journalist as good as Bill McAllister of KTUU-TV in Anchorage, look askance at a 20-year-old. How can anyone at such a “tender” age launch a Movement that’s taking on national implications? Surely, they think, he must be a minor figure in the effort. Not so.

I’ve run into some extremely smart political operatives who were very young, such as Dale Perry of the University of Georgia, as well as Lynette Steine, Earle Johnson, and Knott Rice, all young Georgians who played critical roles in the early Gingrich campaign. Adam is the best of the best. (See his blog at:

I’ve called him “the young Karl Rove,” which frankly is a compliment to Karl Rove. In a sense, however, it may be better to look at Adam as a political version of Tony Conigliaro. Those with long memories will remember “Tony C” as an outfielder on the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

Because of a terrible eye injury, Tony didn’t break Babe Ruth’s record. But he accomplished something neither Barry Bonds, nor Hank Aaron ever did. Before he reached his 21st birthday, Conigliaro hit 100 home runs. No other baseball player has ever come close to that achievement.

As an 18-year-old, Conigliaro was already a home-run-hitting-machine. He was what we now call a super-star at an age when most young men are wondering what kind of corsage to buy their date for the prom.

But didn’t some baseball types of the age ask what an 18-year-old was doing in the major leagues? Wouldn’t he have benefited from spending several years in the minors, as baseball players – even very good ones – usually do? Wouldn’t he gain some valuable experience with the minor-league Red Sox in Pawtucket rather than the major-league team in Boston? Might he not inspire jealousy among some of his teammates who had paid their dues in the minor leagues? What about sitting him firmly on the bench, where he would be less of job threat to aging veterans?

Of course, the questions are ridiculous. Tony Conigliaro earned his spot with the “Big Boys” of baseball by hitting an incredible number of home runs. He might have been very young, but he was already a great athlete. He didn't need any seasoning. He learned on the job, and he obviously was a very quick learner.

The same is true of Adam Brickley. His remarkable accomplishments with the Draft Palin effort make him a budding mega-star in politics. He knows how to organize coalitions, which is the political analogue to a baseball player who knows how to hit home runs and win games.

When Bill Gates was Adam’s age, he was dropping out of Harvard (and NOBODY drops out of Harvard) and beginning to develop what soon became Microsoft. When Tiger Woods was Adam’s age, he was preparing to become the youngest player ever to win a major tournament.
When Alexander the Great was Adam's age, well, you know about "The Great."

What I’m asking individuals is to evaluate Adam on merit, not on age and on any supposed lack of experience. In fact, that’s also what we’re asking people to do with Sarah Palin, who is more than twice Adam’s age.

A person Adam and I both respect almost to the point of idolatry is Fred Barnes of FOX News and The Weekly Standard. Fred says that, for a variety of reasons, Sarah is not ready – YET – for the vice presidency. He notes that she needs to spend more time meeting the movers and shakers in the Washington Beltway.

Frankly,Adam and I believe that some of the experience Sarah would get in the Beltway is precisely the kind she doesn’t need. She can avoid meeting all the big-time lobbyists in the $2,000 suits who reside on K Street and hand out cash to their political servants. She can pass on kissing up to the blowhards who rule the roosts in the House and Senate. Yes, there are a few good men (and women) in DC, but one key reason for sending Sarah there is to clear out the riff-raff, which is just what she's doing in her home state.

Sarah became governor of Alaska with roughly zero support from the state's Republican establishment, including the state chairman, whom she accused (rightly) of ethics violations. In what probably was a first for politicians in her state, she went into office beholden to none of the Kingmakers or influence-buyers.

Gee, could she do the same kind of thing in Washington, DC – go in as a reformist-outsider free of the Beltway tentacles? Could she and the President go directly to the American people with sound, common sense proposals to resolve issues like Iraq and immigration? That's exactly what she's doing as governor.

If she follows Fred Barnes’s advice and cuddles up with the political potentates and media egomaniacs in DC, then she would be just as tarnished as everybody else. Playing the Washington game is a case of the fly seeking to dominate the fly paper.

Adam and I and others have tried hard, but it’s so difficult to get this across to people like Fred Barnes this point: The reason our elected officials can’t “clean up the mess in DC” is that they ARE the mess. They accept the unacceptable – such as taking long vacations in times of national crisis and building Bridges to Nowhere. Washington is the place that’s earned its reputation for turning idealists into cynics. Trust us: Washington needs her more than she needs it.

Sarah has said that her life in Alaska is “reality” – with her making the beds, preparing peanut butter sandwiches for her daughter Piper, and then rushing off to be governor. "In Alaska, it's easy to keep it real," as she says.

Yes, Alaska is different. It lacks the pomposity and rigid ideologies that have a paralyzing effect at times in the "lower-48." It's a place where residents don't stand on ceremony -- and where most people genuinely like one another. The rest of the nation could benefit from some "northern exposure."

Six months ago, Adam Brickley saw Sarah Palin as a woman embedded in reality. He viewed her as a special kind of elected official. He observed that she had become the most popular elected official in the country FOR SEVERAL GOOD REASONS.

For one thing, she was honest while many others were at least mildly corrupt. Another was that she wasn’t under the thumb of the traditional movers and shakers in Alaska politics – particularly the oil companies and their suppliers. What’s more, she was a conservative with a heart, one who had a real respect for the people she governed. She also talked constantly about her need to abide by Alaska's state constitution.

Adam also saw that Alaska’s relatively small population was a non-issue. Look at it this way: Dick Cheney, a relatively unpopular politician is from a state, Wyoming, with three electoral votes. Sarah Palin, a wildly popular elected official, is also from a state with three electoral votes.

As a 20-year-old, Adam Brickley has a long time to live in America. I have no doubt he will have a tremendous political career. He’s proving that people of any age, if they have intelligence and drive, can change the world. He’s demonstrating that the kind of country we live in depends on getting people with the seeds of greatness into high office.

Adam, take a bow! You and I expect a lot from Sarah Palin, but we both know she expects even more of herself. For both of you I'd say this: when the going gets tough, think of Tony Conigliaro -- and keep in mind Alexander's axioms.

Stephen R. Maloney