- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dude mood

“Troopergate” looms, perhaps, and there have been whispers he is Alaska’s “shadow governor.” But let us consider Todd Palin, who has emerged as the potential dream man of 2009. He is a “turbo-hottie,” noted one gal pal in a hushed tone.

What’s not to like, women ask - and where can we get one of those? Mr. Palin appears to be a good-humored he-man, doting father and he staunchly supports his wife Gov. Sarah Palin, which could be construed as either a feminist’s dream or nightmare. He seems familiar, and perhaps that is his true cachet.

“First Dude. That’s what they call him in Alaska. It’s OK. Todd’s OK. Whatever. He smiles at Greta Van Susteren. Not a touch of noblesse. More like plan old politesse. I always laugh a little when I see people who are very much not ordinary Americans in any respect (pay, fame, education or overall wealth, for starters) try to speak for them. ‘This is what ordinary Americans want,’ says someone whose only contact with them may be while his face is getting powdered for TV,” observes columnist Susan Estrich.

President Bush and Sens. John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Bidenare not so appealingly “ordinary,” she says.

“It is the Republican guy who is real, not rich, hard-working, not fancy, so all-Alaskan that he is in fact much more in touch with what he is, which is a whole lot easier for a very lot of he-voters who are likely to decide this election,” Ms. Estrich continues.

And she concludes, “First Dude sounds like the kind of guy many girls in this country aimed to marry, and some of them actually did, and even those who didn’t (or aren’t) think well of him anyway. He’s a regular guy in a posse of anything but.”

Palin as Presley

As Elvis used to say, “TCB,” or “takin’ care of business.” Mrs. Palin is still doing just that, apparently, running Alaska as she campaigns, her staff says.

“She is just as much in charge as she ever was,” spokesman Bill McAllister told the Anchorage Daily News recently.

“The rigors of campaigning are tough, and there’s just no denying that it’s going to be a time crunch for her, and she’s going to have to find time in the day to be governor,” said John Bitney, a former Palin aide.

He sees the big picture for the big country where locals quip: “New Alaska state motto: North to the Future, pending RNC approval.”

Mr. Bitney added, “We just stand so much to gain by having Sarah Palin be out there talking about Alaska and presenting Alaska in a very positive light.”

Quotes of note

“War is sometimes the answer.” - bumper sticker spotted on a minivan in Fairfax.

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