Sunday, August 12, 2007


In the long hot summer of 2007, February 5, 2008 -- a day that will occur in the long cold winter -- may seem a long way away. But "Super Tuesday" is less than six months from now. On that February night, after primaries in many of the largest states (not to mention Arkansas!), we will know the name of the Republican presidential candidate.

Despite the media gush about Obama, we already know who the Democratic presidential candidate will be, and her name is Hillary Rodham Clinton. Right now, it also seems likely that she will (eventually) invite New Mexico governor -- and Hispanic -- Bill Richardson to be her running mate.

A Clinton-Richardson ticket will be very formidable. It will probably be well ahead in the polls as the parties head toward their summer conventions in Denver (Democrats) and Minneapolis (Republicans).

As people who visit this site know, I -- along with a growing number of other activists -- believe the Republican Party will follow tradition at its peril. We are not going to beat an exciting, dynamic ticket like Clinton-Richardson with two aging white gentlemen. In fact, we already have the "aging, white gentlemen" vote.

We also need votes -- a lot of them -- from other groups including Hispanics and female professionals (teachers, doctors, lawyers, businesswomen), as well as younger people.

To do that, we need to tear up the old Republican "playbook." We may have to throw a few of what the football people call "Hail Marys." That means we have to take chances, something the underdog must do to achieve any hope of victory.

Specifically, for the first time, we must have a ticke that generally reflects the electorate. The old "geographic balance" approach doesn't work anymore -- as we saw when Kerry-Edwards lost North Carolina in 2004 and Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee in 2000.

For months now, I've been one of several bloggers saying that the Republican ticket MUST include a female. In fact, in 2008, about 53% of the votes cast will be by women. In fact, women and minorities will cast about two-thirds of all votes in the next election.

When it comes to Republican females, there are two good possibilities out there: (1) Heather Wilson (I've written about her recently), congresswoman from the Albuquerque district of New Mexico; (2) Sarah Heath Palin, governor of Alaska.

Congresswoman Wilson is mentally tough, moderately conservative, a veteran, an Air Force Academy graduate, and a proven winner. Although she's an Anglo, she does well with Hispanic voters, a crucial bloc in 2008 -- and beyond. She deserves consideration by the Republican presidential nominee.

However, the very best female candidate we have -- and this won't suprise anyone -- is Sarah Heath Palin, the governor of Alaska. With an approval rating in the 90s, she's the most popular state official in the nation. She's a mother of four attractive children, a wife who's a model of commitment to her spouse, and a pillar of honesty in a state with more than its share of political corruption.

She's extremely knowledgable about several critical issues, including energy, the environment, and education. There's no doubt she'll be as passionate about observing the U.S. constitution as she is about following Alaska's state document. She advocates the form of Christianity that emphasizes doing rather than talking. She's a lifetime supporter of Second Amendment rights.

As her electability and approval ratings show, she knows how to communicate with voters. She has just enough of a populist streak that she's not afraid to take on the big corporations (Exxon-Mobil, BP, and Conoco-Phillips) that, in the past, have generally had their way in Alaska.

In the general election, Sarah will not be running for President but rather for Vice-President. Yet I see one of her main functions as taking on Hillary Clinton -- not so much attacking her, as confronting her.

Mrs. Clinton believes in Big Government and the "Nanny State." Mrs. Palin doesn't. The differences between them are that stark.

One of Mrs. Clinton's themes in the general election -- a point she's already highlighted -- will be that the Democrats value diversity and the Republicans don't. She's already pointed to her candidacy, along with those of Obama and Richardson, as reflecting a form of gender and ethnic variety not present in the GOP.

Remember, 92% of the American people say they would vote for a qualified woman running for President. It scares me to think about exactly which woman they may be thinking about.

If we Republicans go with the aging Caucasian males -- with people like a Fred Thompson who will run as a man already eligible for Social Security and Medicare -- we fall right into the trap Mrs. Clinton has so skillfully set.

I don't see Sarah Palin as our token female. I see her as a superb candidate -- and as a future President of the U.S. I also see her as part of the "Get Smart" era of Republican politics.

I have no idea what kind of cologne Sarah Palin wears. But like an increasing number of people I can detect the scent of victory when it wafts by.

Stephen R. Maloney
Palin for VP Coordinator

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