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Mrs. Palin is the first public figure since Ronald Reagan to generate the enthusiasm of many Americans because she speaks simple, clear truths about our lives and the kind of government we deserve.

Those who argue that women like Mrs. Palin should just stay home aim to keep mothers from making decisions that affect their own families. Many of these critics would rather see the government take the drivers seat.

Government is encroaching more and more on our lives, and those mothers who are able need to be full participants. Without a seat at the table, decisions will be made that have a negative impact on our families. Big-government schemes will rule our lives - whether mom is at home or not.

Mrs. Palin has provided a model for how some women can manage motherhood and a professional career. Who among us doesn’t smile when Mrs. Palin enters an event, holding youngest daughter Piper’s hand, and Piper mimics her mom smiling and waving to the crowds? What a boost for motherhood.

Michelle Easton, mother of three sons, is on leave as president of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute. She is a volunteer with McCain-Palin.