One year ago today, most people in America were introduced to someone they had never heard of before when John McCain chose then-governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. Many were caught off guard, including, at least temporarily, the Obama-Biden campaign. Since then, of course, most people who follow politics know what has become of Gov. Palin.
I think that she is now in a good position to advocate for better policies than are getting out of DC these days. When she announced her resignation in July, I wasn't sure at the time that resigning was a good idea, but I think the total disappearance of the ankle-biting trolls who were happily coordinating to file frivolous ethic charge after frivolous ethic charge has been a boon for her. Of course, it's also helped that some of the ankle-biters' masks have slipped, mostly courtesy people such as Robert Stacy McCain and Dan Riehl. IMO, the future looks brighter for Sarah Palin now than it did, say, two months ago.
But that's not what I wanted to write about today.
You see, I knew of Sarah Palin before August 29, 2008. And I wanted her to get the VP nod from John McCain. (I certainly didn't want her to deal with the inordinate amount of vitriol, hatred, and flat-out lying directed at her, but, silly me, I did not anticipate that happening when I was sitting at my desk one year ago today. But that's a subject for a different post.) So one year ago today, I was excited, for the first time in a while, about the future of conservatism. (The administration at the time was doing its part to weaken fiscal conservatism, as we all know at this point.)
Though I had heard the name Sarah Palin originally in 2006, when she knocked off incumbent governor Frank Murkowski in the AK gubernatorial primary (which, at least from my vantage point in Texas, was a good thing, due to what I was hearing down here about corruption in Gov. Murkowski's administration), what really introduced me to Gov. Palin, a couple of years later, was a blog called "Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President", by Adam Brickley.
See, I was resigned to having John McCain, whom I perceived as a moderate (and still do, pretty much) as the Republican presidential candidate, and since that didn't excite me very much, I was spending a little bit of time researching potential vice-presidential candidates. One of the first sites I encountered was Adam's. I knew nothing of Sarah Palin at that time, so my first thought, of course, was "Who???" Luckily, Adam had taken the time to list reasons why she was deserving of the VP nod, as well as to list her positions on the issues.
Well, this Sarah Palin seemed like my kind of conservative, but I am generally not convinced by one person's opinion. So, I did a little more looking into her, and I found a video of her appearing with Glenn Beck in June of last year:
Sarah Palin, from her own statements, appeared to me to know more about energy policy than anyone else involved in the presidential race. And in a summer where most of America was paying over $4 a gallon for gasoline, that was an important plus. Between that, the fact that she was a fiscal conservative, and the other potential VP candidates' positions with which I disagreed, I became convinced that she was the right candidate for this race.
And so I found myself on the night of August 28, 2008, sitting in front of a computer, partially to comment at various sites about the parts of Barack Obama's acceptance speech with which I disagreed, and partially to monitor this thread at Adam Brickley's site. There was lots of speculation, mostly fueled by a commenter named "Drew", who, it turned out, was sent by the McCain campaign to give out information just a little at a time. Because of Drew, I went to sleep that night knowing that Gov. Palin was going to be the pick.
And so I, with many others, was sitting again in front of my computer to see her speech at Sen. McCain's event in Dayton the next day. I was excited about what a Sarah Palin could do for our country.
Some other time, perhaps, I will most likely go into the year since then, and what the McCain campaign did right with Sarah Palin, and what everyone got wrong. But in looking at the issues and the challenges, and how she has faced them, I remain confident that Sarah Palin needs to play a large role in the future of conservatism in this country, for the sake of our country's future.
Oh, and it was Gov. Palin's speech in Dayton that said that today, August 29, was her anniversary. So, I hope she and Todd are having a good one. I hope they're spending it far from the din of the haters.