Posted by The Real Don Johnson on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 3:09:13 PM
I’m 66 years old, the father of two grown children and have three wonderful grandchildren, and still married to my wonderful wife of 46 years.
But, I am falling in love with a younger woman, a beautiful and successful woman that is capturing my heart and soul at a rapid and frantic pace.
I’m falling in love with Sarah Palin.
No, not the flesh and blood Sarah, in the personal sense, but the flesh and blood Sarah I am learning about from her autobiography “Going Rogue”. Her story gives me great encouragement for the future of our republic. I will write this love letter in two parts; first is her life from childhood through her tenure as Governor of Alaska, and her selection as Vice President. The second part will be my impressions from the remainder of her book.
I have chosen to stop reading “Going Rogue” at her selection by John McCain because I want to capture the character of this marvelous person untainted by national politics and the national media.
So what is it about Sarah that I love so much?
She is the daughter of quite ordinary American parents, brought up in an environment of service to others, and to the community she belongs to.
She was captain of her high school girls basketball team which won a state championship despite an ankle injury late in the season. Sarah sat the bench during most of her high school basketball career, but rose to the occasion during her senior year.
Sarah took on a variety of odd jobs during high school, loved to read and was interested in politics from an early age.
She entered beauty pageants, and won a college scholarship by becoming Miss Wasilla, and second runner up in the Miss Alaska Scholarship Pageant
She worked her way through college at the University of Idaho.
Sarah was an admirer of Ronald Reagan, and his passion and conviction of the greatness of America.
She married Todd Palin, and together they have five children.
Todd and Sarah have a small fishing business, and physically work their boat during the season in a very tough and demanding natural environment.
Todd works in the oil industry on the North Slope of Alaska. He is an ordinary laborer, not an executive, so Sarah understands much of the day to day demands and strains put on families because of the long separations.
Sarah began her public service career as a council member of the City of Wasilla, and focused on infrastructure development, fiscal responsibility, and being an advocate for the people of Wasilla. She served two three year terms as council member.
Sarah ran for mayor because of her concerns about the heavy handed nature of Wasilla government. She won on a platform of local infrastructure development, fiscal responsibility and involvement of the citizenry. Under her leadership, Wasilla prospered. Sarah was not part of the local political establishment, but soon earned the respect of it’s citizens. One episode that caught my attention was her opposition to forced annexation of surrounding communities into Wasilla. Sarah’s philosophy and strategy was to invite these communities to join Wasilla, and if they thought it was to their advantage, then they would annex on a voluntary basis.
Sarah campaigned for, but lost a bid for Lt. Governor under Murkowski. However, when Murkowski became Governor, he appointed Sarah to be chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) where she learned a great deal about the oil and gas resources of Alaska, and their importance to the economic and national security aspects of Alaska and the nation.
Sarah went on to be Governor of Alaska, and I will close with a few things that demonstrate the character of this woman:
She campaigned for and won the Governorship as an outsider against a powerful (Republican) establishment. She did this with a very bottom up, grass roots campaign where she won over the majority of the voters of Alaska.
As Governor, and because of her tenure at AOGCC, she was able to confront two major and long standing problems with Alaska resource development:
For more than three decades, there have been plans on the books to build a pipeline from Alaska, through Canada to the lower 48. However, because of longstanding political infighting, and government/industry corruption, the program was stalled. Governor Palin assembled a team that restructured this project plan in such a way as to benefit all the players involved; big oil, state agencies and the people of Alaska. With this new plan in hand, the Palin team has been able to push through the award of a contract, and the beginning of the pipeline. This in less than two years in office.
Another problem was with the drilling leases held by Exxon/Mobile on state land on the North Slope. For years, Exxon/Mobile sat on these leases with no production, in violation of the purpose of the leases to produce oil and gas. I won’t go into the details of why no production. This stonewalling had been going on for years, and the Palin team confronted it head on by threatening to cancel the leases and reopen them to competitive bid. The oil company backed down in the face of this real and credible threat, and began production on the sites. Again, in less than two years in office.
Being Commander in Chief of the Alaska Air/National Guard, the Governor has visited her troops in Kosovo, Iraq, and the wounded warriors in the military hospital in Germany. Her oldest son Track , enlisted at age 18, and has served in the infantry in Iraq.
The event that to me clearly shows the massive integrity and humanity of this woman, was the pregnancy and the birth of her and Todd’s fifth child Trig. Governor Palin confirmed her pregnancy while on a business trip. She was a very busy Governor/mother/wife , with much on her plate, and in the midst of some very difficult negotiations concerning Alaska resource management, and her first reaction was “why me Lord, and why now?”. The thought and escape of abortion entered her thinking at this point, but she dismissed it; in her words, “At that moment, I was thankful for right to life groups that affirm the value of the child. That say, yes, every child has value and a purpose and a destiny.” The thought of abortion again entered Sarah’s thinking when it was discovered that the baby would be born with Down syndrome, but again the busy Governor resisted. Again, her words “”That fleeting thought descended on me again, not a consideration so much as a sudden understanding of why people would grasp at a quick “solution”, a way to make the “problem” just go away. But again, I had to hold on to that seed of faith”.
I’ve wondered over the years if and when America would get her Margaret Thatcher, that Iron Lady from England who teamed with President Reagan and Pope John Paul II to bring the demise of the Soviet Union. Glenn Beck in recent months is looking for the next George Washington. Might we get both in the person of Sarah Palin? I hope we get the chance to find out.