October 25, 2008

THE FRONT-RUNNER:

To Know Her Is To Respect Her: The great Palin divide. (Fred Barnes, 11/03/2008, Weekly Standard)

Lorne Michaels is the longtime executive producer of Saturday Night Live. Sarah Palin appeared on SNL in mid-October, after which Michaels noted, "Her politics aren't my politics." But that wasn't all he said. "I think Palin will continue to be underestimated," Michaels told EW.com. "I watched the way she connected with people, and you can see that she's a very powerful, very disciplined, incredibly gracious woman. This was her first time out and she's had a huge impact. People connect to her."

Randy Ruedrich, the Republican chairman in Alaska, is someone you might suspect would be a friend and ally of Palin. He isn't. She helped drive him off the state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, criticized him publicly, and later tried to get him ousted as party chairman. Ruedrich is part of the "body count" of male politicians Palin left behind as she rose to become governor of Alaska. Yet Ruedrich says Palin is smart, very capable, and a political star.

Ruedrich isn't alone among Alaska politicians who take a cold-blooded view of Palin. Another Republican who has followed her career closely believes Palin has a ruthless streak. Yet this person, too, regards Palin as a rare talent with the skill and self-confidence to be a national political leader. And Palin's Alaska acquaintances were certain, from the moment she became John McCain's vice presidential running mate, that her acceptance speech would be a smashing success and she'd have little trouble in her debate with Joe Biden. Turned out they were right.


The Beltway Right has trouble grasping that the candidate who connects with people beats the one who connects with them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 25, 2008 10:52 AM
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