Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Sarah in picture in Juneau, Alaska, followed by daughter Piper, as well as sister Molly and niece.

BULLETIN: THIS WEEK'S NEWSWEEK FEATURES GOV. SARAH PALIN IN ITS FEATURE STORY. YOU CAN FIND IT ONLINE AT: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21162322/site/newsweek/#storyContinued
(Tomorrow, I'll reprint the large chunk of the story about Sarah.) Is she vice-presidential material? Yes. Is she presidential material? Sooner than most people imagined.

"America's middle-class families have been invisible to the President." (Hillary Rodham Clinton in her "There she goes again" mode) Is it true? Not really, but it makes for "good campaign rhetoric" in the words of Barack Obama.

"She's [Mrs. Clinton] doing pretty well, but she's not really saying anything . . . She vacillates on the issues. . . . She doesn't speak from deep conviction She [has been] critical of her own husband's trade policies. " (Two political analysts on CNN, October 9, 2007)

In yesterday's column, I pointed out that the three leading Democratic candidates -- Clinton, Obama, and Edwards -- all say they can't promise that American troops will be out of Iraq by the end of their (hoped-for) first term.

That would mean an indeterminate number of U.S. soldiers would still be in Iraq in January, 2013.

Frankly, this is an amazing admission by the Democrats. We all remember Mrs. Clinton shouting -- in her classic "old Democrat" style that "This is George Bush's war." But why would that be so? Mrs. Clinton voted for the authorization of force in Iraq -- and she did it based on the exact same information President Bush had.

That information was provided by Clinton appointee George Tenent, a terrible choice as head of the CIA.

For Mrs. Clinton to blame Geroge Bush for the War is thoroughly irresponsible. Apparently, it's something she believes must be done if she is to win the Democratic nomination. Her statement is one that al-Qaeda, which has become almost a Democratic interest group, will love. It's also a comment that will chip away at the morale of U.S. soldiers, who are under the impression (a correct one) that they're fighting America's war.

William Jefferson Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton went into government with a plan that involved: (1) Becoming the first husband-and-wife presidential team; (2) Accumulating a small fortune.

They've certainly accomplished half of point 1 -- and all of point 2. When the Clintons went to Washington in January, 1993, they had a net worth of $700,000, a relatively modest figure for a presidential couple.

However, in the most recent Federal Electoral Commission report, the Clintons had moved up in the world. The FEC requires financial disclosures within a broad range of assets. Hillary Clinton declared a net worth of between $10 million and $50 million. Those aren't Rockefeller, Kennedy, or Heinz-Kerry numbers, but they're still impressive numbers.

Let's contrast the Clinton family's dramatic rise in wealth to that of Gov. Sarah Palin's family. During my own strong support of Gov. Palin, I've considered the point that her family's lack of wealth could work against her in a campaign either for the presidency or vice-presidency. When Mrs. Palin went to Kuwait to visit Alaskan soldiers, she wore a "Juneau [,Alaska]" tee shirt -- not an expensive Hillary-like pants suit outfit.

When it comes to getting rich -- a consideration driving many political figures -- Sarah and Hillary are from different planets.

Consider what Sarah replied in response to an Anchorage Daily News question question about the need some political figures (especially those in Alaska) feel to cut ethical corners.

She said:"Right. Well, that's why I think we need more real and normal and hardworking and blue-collar Alaskans to want to run for office and serve in these positions that are making decisions. Again, I will personalize this. I am not from that other world. My dad as a school teacher wasn't a mover and shaker developer making big bucks in the state of Alaska off of property development. My husband [a commercial fisherman and oil field worker] isn't that way. I am not raising my kids to be that way.... If you want to be in public service, it is being willing to serve Alaskans for the right reasons. It is having to have a servant's heart when you come into these positions. It's not to get rich."

Somehow, it's impossible to see Mrs. Clinton saying such words -- or celebrating a political figure having "a servant's heart."

Sarah Palin's oldest child, Track, is now in the Army, training at Ft. Benning for a military career in the infantry. It's almost a certainty he will serve in Afghanistan or Iraq, or both.

I submit that the prospect a Chelsea Clinton would join the military is about the same as the chance she would join the KKK. Or perhaps about the same as the chance she would have attended a DC public school.

My point: The Palin family is grounded in the American middle-class experience -- and the Clinton family is not.
Sarah's husband is a real working man, someone who truly earns his living "in the sweat of his brow." His children, and Sarah's, go to public school.

Mrs. Clinton's husband has a career as a high-priced speaker and ex-President. Her daughter went to a $30,000 per year public school -- before she went to a much-more-expensive private university.

Yet we have Mrs. Clinton running for office as a champion of the middle-class that she departed from many years ago.

She's also running as someone who withdraw the troops from "George Bush's war." However, we learn that the withdrawal, if there is one, will occur many years down the road.

The situation leaves us with a profound question: Why on earth should anyone vote for Mrs. Clinton when there are potential candidates like Sarah Heath Palin? What exactly has Mrs. Clinton done that rivals the accomplishments of Mrs. Palin.

Stephen R. Maloney
Ambridge, PA

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