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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sarah Palin's Opponents Dismiss Her At Their Peril

Candian Arthur Milnes recounts a conversation a Queens University student had during a visit with former prime minister Brian Mulroney:
It was October of 2008 and the student, a Barack Obama fan like most Canadians,made a dismissive comment to Mulroney, well-known as the Canadian prime minister who knew and still knows our neighbors best, about then Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin of Alaska.

The student continued.

"She's tough to take seriously, isn't she Mr. Mulroney?"

Mulroney looked directly at his young visitor from Kingston before

"I don't know Governor Palin," he said, "but I will tell you this. While it does look like Obama will win in a few weeks time, I'd hardly dismiss Palin if I were you. If there has been one winner for the Republicans
this year it has been her. I expect she'll be playing a major role in her party for some time to come."

Milnes continues:

This exchange was on my mind the other day as I walked into a bookstore and bought Palin's new memoir, "Going Rogue."

If truth be known, I've been a secret fan of Palin ever since the last American presidential campaign. While I share few of her beliefs, particularly about social matters, her meteoric rise has been fascinating to watch. She's touched about every third rail in American politics and one has to least admire the former Alaska governor's courage for doing so.

And this fall, as the pundits and professors arrogantly dismissed her again, countless Americans have been lining up to hear her message as she's embarked upon a book tour to places in Middle America the elites in New York City couldn't even spell. With the realities of office now wilting Obama's bloom, she's been given a second look by many millions of the so-called ordinary folks who live south of us.

Republicans, who have now lost the White House and the Congress, sure don't appear to have any other stars on the horizon. Like the chattering classes up here, they have been so busy dismissing Palin that she has snuck her success right by them.

As the old Canadian conservative John Diefenbaker used to say when under attack by the Canadian versions of the U.S. sophisticates now dining out on Palin, "Everybody is against me - except the people." In the run-up to the 1957 election that saw Diefenbaker and his party end 22 years of Liberal Party rule in Canada, a junior cabinet minister in the about-to-be-defeated Liberal government told a journalist that he was glad that the Canadian election had yet not been held that year. Had that happened, he intoned at a cocktail party in our capital, democracy would not have been served as his Liberals would have won every seat in our Parliament!

Diefenbaker, who wasn't much for cocktail parties, faculty clubs or the fine-dining set anyway, did indeed win the election the Liberal had not been worried about and went on to rule Canada for almost six years as prime minister.

He goes on to recount other examples and ends with this astute observation:

Dismissing Palin is far too easy.
Her opponents do so at their peril.

Read the entire article here.

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