- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Tonight is Sarah Palin’s night. Often, a vice president is chosen for geographical reasons. Such was the case with John Edwards, a Southerner from the Carolinas, who merged with John Kerry, a Northeasterner. The same match was made with John Kennedy, also from Massachusetts, and Lyndon Johnson, a Texan. At other times, the vice president is selected because he are truly the best choice available, such as when Ronald Reagan selected his primary opponent George H.W. Bush. Still, other times, there is truly no apparent rhyme or reason to the selection, such as when Mr. Bush chose Dan Quayle.

John McCain’s decision had a clear historic rhyme and an evangelical reason. That is what Mrs. Palin brings to the ticket. She is a pro-life feminist - a term once considered an oxymoron. Her positions help Mr. McCain tremendously. (And although the ticket is historic, it doesn’t quite reach the historic level of Barack Obama’s candidacy.)

But the obvious is still being ignored: Mrs. Palin is a Washington outsider. Indeed, no matter how many times Mr. McCain is called a maverick, the fact remains that he is a veteran member of Congress whose voting record is tethered to the Bush administration.

What Mrs. Palin ultimately adds to the race are Christian values and pro-life principles that, no matter how Mr. McCain came across, were no match from those held and articulated by a woman. After all, male politicians can praise working moms all they want, but there’s nobody who talks the talk better than a female who walks the walk.

Remember, values voters were put off by Mr. McCain, a staunch pro-life candidate - who supported stem-cell research; and he wasn’t the only pro-life Republican supporting it. Mr. McCain just didn’t seem to have the voice to proselytize. Mrs. Palin does, and her background in the church, whether it was being head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at Wasalia High School or the fact that she carried a Down-syndrome baby to term and committed to raise the child when many would have aborted the pregnancy, is proof positive. She will be Mr. McCain’s voice to religious voters - if she properly utilizes it.

The proof is that some well-known religious conservatives, including Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, have moved from not being sure they would vote for Mr. McCain to a definite yes after Mrs. Palin’s selection.

The mother of five has to prove tonight that she can help to solidify the Republican base.



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