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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin Rocks Lebanon, Ohio

Sarah Palin is huge in Lebanon, Ohio, a small town in the Cincinnati area. She visited there on a recent rainy day and drew a large crowd of mostly women in rain ponchos according to Peter Bronson of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "SARAH, SARAH, SARAH," 7,000 of them chanted, waving signs that said "Read My Lipstick - Drill Now," and "Working Mom 4 Palin."(Best T-shirt: "Small-town Gun-toting Christian for McCain." That was a woman, too.)

Bronson says "the speeches were cut-and-paste leftovers." But, only the press seemed bored. When Palin said, "This is what America is all about - small-town America," the noise could be heard five blocks away.

Meanwhile, Obama refers to the McCain platform as "putting lipstick on a pig" while Biden says Palin is "a backward step for women." Those may not be the smartest comments in the world if the old adage of "every knock is a boost" means anything. It sounds like a bit of sour grapes as the polls are starting to swing in the direction of McPalin.

Rachel Hutzel, Warren County, Ohio prosecutor and mom, looks at Palin and sees her own career reflected. "A mother, a politician, a conservative - it's tremendous," Hutzel said. "I have had so many young mothers call and express their enthusiasm. I think the Democrats kind of think they have a lock on women in politics."

It looks like the Palin steamroller is having some success, especially among women voters. But, election day is fifty-two days away. Is she real or a novelty? It’s easy to make a lot of general statements initially after being added to the McCain ticket, but is there some substance behind them? For the momentum to continue, Palin will have to do more than just show up as a woman. She will have to come up with some concrete platform planks.

I like her. I think she is a breath of fresh air in a business usually associated with smoke filled rooms. McCain was McCain, until Sarah entered the scene. Like most Americans, she comes across as a real person: one who doesn’t carry a glossy Harvard degree and who may slip a double negative into a sentence occasionally.

One reader told me that she may be "Mrs. Smith goes to Washington." As I compare both campaigns at the present time, that doesn’t sound so bad.

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