I first heard about Sarah Palin after she became governor of Alaska in 2006, and began cutting the budget and gaining the ire of the political class in Alaska. When McCain chose her to be his running mate in 2008, a conservative site I was commenting on at the time lit up like a Christmas tree.
In fall of 2008 just before the election Dan McLaughlin did a series titled, The Integrity Gap, on the candi- dates on both tickets. The first part, published on October 2, was about Governor Palin and was an overview of her record from PTA mom to governor.
One of the most basic ways in which a candidate can demonstrate the integrity voters are looking for is to build a record of standing up to corruption and waste – and doing so even when it appears in his or her own party, or on the part of his or her own allies or backers. This is not just a matter of honesty and prudence, but of toughness and courage….Governor Sarah Palin, in her short career, has fought many battles against her own party’s entrenched interests; Senator Barack Obama, in a career of similar length and scope, has consistently looked the other way, and worse. Sen. Obama simply lacks the courage and the record of accomplishment of Gov. Palin.
The series may be over four years old, but if you’re not familiar with her record before she became nationally known, it provides excellent background on Governor Palin. The second part of The Integrity Gap was on Barack Obama. This part was even more extensive, and it also remains valuable. Dan introduced it by writing:
In Part I of this series on the “Integrity Gap” between the two national tickets, I looked at Governor Sarah Palin’s record of integrity in public office – her battles against corruption and wasteful spending, even by the powers controlling her own party in her home state of Alaska – even when she was putting her career at risk. As I explained, integrity is not just about honesty – it’s also about one of the crucial presidential character traits, toughness. Palin has proven that she doesn’t back down no matter who she has to take on.
Over the last four years, as Gov. Palin has continued to be attacked, accused, and hounded, we’ve seen her integrity and toughness not only survive under harsh criticism, but also be accompanied by an optimism that doesn’t give up.
Yesterday it was announced that she had chosen not to renew her contract with FOX News. This afternoon Stephen Bannon published: Palin: ‘We Haven’t Yet Begun to Fight!’—Exclusive Interview with Breitbart News. This is how the interview ended.
The problem is that some on the Right are now skittish because of the lost 2012 election. They shouldn’t be. Conservatism didn’t lose. A moderate Republican candidate lost after he was perceived to alienate working class Reagan Democrat and Independent voters who didn’t turn out for him as much as they did for the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008. Granted, those same voters also didn’t turn out for Obama as strongly either. We had an election defined by a biased media plus millions of voters who sat it out in disgust. As long as we allow the media and GOP establishment to tell us who our nominees must be, we can expect to lose. I’m not interested in losing. America’s next generation can’t afford another loss.
3. The MSM have declared both you and the Tea Party dead and buried. Reaction?
I was raised to never retreat and to pick battles wisely, and all in due season. When it comes to defending our republic, we haven’t begun to fight! But we delight in those who underestimate us.
In contrast with the feckless GOP, Gov. Palin has always been willing to take a hill instead of negotiate its surrender. Conservatism didn’t lose. Principles should not receive short shrift and only be trotted out to use as a public relations façade. If conservative principles are funda- mental understandings of man and government that we think are right, then they are to be taught, explained and fought for. Far too many in D.C. have their finger to the wind and their eye on the focus groups when they make decisions. This is not the same thing as picking your battles wisely!
Gov. Palin told Bannon that short term:
I encourage others to step out in faith, jump out of the comfort zone, and broaden our reach as believers in American exceptionalism. That means broadening our audience. I’m taking my own advice here as I free up oppor- tunities to share more broadly the message of the beauty of freedom and the imperative of defending our republic and restoring this most exceptional nation. We can’t just preach to the choir; the message of liberty and true hope must be understood by a larger audience.
Leader of the Opposition is a British title for “the politician who leads the Official Opposition” to the party in power. Real leaders, however, don’t need official labels or positions to lead— they’re always found at the front leading with their words and their deeds. That’s where you’ll find Sarah Palin.
Photograph of Sarah Palin speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 11, 2012 by Gage Skidmore. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.