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And in an Alternate, More Frightening Universe

She'll be Back:

Even in defeat, John McCain bequeathed an invaluable gift to his running mate, Sarah Palin: the national prominence that could allow her to compete for the GOP's presidential nomination in 2012.

While the Alaska governor avoided speculating on a future White House bid in recent interviews, she made it clear that she intends to remain an important player within the party. And the national following she has developed among the conservative faithful over the past couple of months provides her with the sort of political and fundraising base that could support a run.

If Palin does seek the presidency, her campaign would be far different from McCain's. The senator from Arizona launched his bid in 2007 with the aim of forging a more inclusive, enduring Republican majority for the 21st century that would include Latinos, conservative Democrats and independents. Palin, by contrast, has sketched a far more conservative vision for the GOP, one of American exceptionalism in which free-market capitalism and traditional social values remain paramount.

The contest to become the GOP presidential nominee will begin almost immediately, but it also starts without a clear front-runner. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who spent vast sums of his own money on this year's primary contest, appears poised to run again. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is a favorite of many conservative thinkers and could challenge Palin for the affections of evangelical Christians. (He will also be among the first Republicans to take what will be widely read as a first step toward a bid on Nov. 22 when he appears at the Iowa Family Policy Center's "Celebrating the Family" banquet.) Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who was a finalist to become McCain's running mate, may also be among those who think the time is right to seek the White House.

For Palin, the Senate could also be a path to remaining on the national stage. If Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is reelected but then forced from office because of his recent conviction on bribery-related charges, he would be replaced in a special election as early as next year. The state's other senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, will face reelection in 2010, and the possibility of Palin challenging her in a primary has been floated in some quarters.

Speaking at Bowling Green State University in Ohio recently, Palin remarked: "This is a great part of the country. The patriotism is so strong." Other times, she has suggested that Democratic nominee Barack Obama has apologized for his nationality, adding that by contrast, she McCain "are always proud to be Americans, and we don't apologize for being Americans." The question facing Republicans would be whether she will have the right message at the right time in 2012.

Palin can expect a "no apology" opposition right back at her. While we've turned back the forces of evil in this election, their crusade of hatred isn't over, and our opposition to it must remain firm and unyielding.

We've known "why this election mattered" all along, and now it's clear that we know "how" -- the rest is easy, and the stakes are too great, to ever allow them back into power.

There's no question that Barack Obama will reach across the aisle and offer compromise -- and when compromise isn't forthcoming then there should be no question as to what we have to do.

I think there is a great risk to the progressive agenda -- despite Obama's overwhelming victory and the Democratic gains made in Congress. Obama, as the nation's healer, may focus more on the bipartisan process at the detriment of progressive progress.

We need solutions. S-CHIP is the first agenda now that a Presidential veto is not longer an obstacle, and national healthcare should follow closely. Those of us on the front lines of the past S-CHIP battles know full well the hateful oppositional vitriol from the right has not and will not diminish.

The social conservatives will stand in opposition, and we must stand against them, on S-CHIP, national healthcare, and every other progressive measure that follows.


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Comments (4)

Leigh:

Is it too soon to announce my support for the Jindal/Douglas ticket in 2012? I think Bobby JIndal, with someone like Vermont's Douglas as his second would be a great combo, maybe even put a little red on the map in New England.
I'm going to get T-shirts made.

bnorm:

How sad, Lee.
Even after B. Hussein Obama's victory, all you can focus on is your hatred of Palin. Sad, indeed.

Mike:

"There's no question that Barack Obama will reach across the aisle and offer compromise..."

The problem, Lee, is that there's no reason for Barack Obama to reach across the aisle and offer compromise. With a lock on both the White House and Congress, Democrats have no reason to alter their agenda in the least, regardless of protests from Republicans.

Does this attitude mean that you will criticize the Democrats for not opening up legislation to Republican authors, or not voluntarily including Republican proposals in their bills? Does this mean that you will praise Republican efforts to amend Democratic legislation? Don't make me laugh, Lee.

"Barack Obama the great centrist healer" was one of the most egregious myths perpetuated by his campaign.

As for Sarah Palin, well she really scared the living hell out of your side for a while, didn't she? I mean really, if she was such a drag on the McCain ticket, why did you personally invest so much effort trying to convince us that McCain should let her go?

The difference between rallies with Joe Biden and rallies with Sarah Palin was stunning. No one could have fired up the conservative base like Palin did. Just her mere presence on the national political scene inspired such an undeserved firestorm of media hatred, thus proving the MSM's blind allegiance to Obama regardless of the cost. For that reason alone, she would have been a good choice.

Her future as a star on the national political stage is guaranteed. I doubt the same will hold true for Joe Biden. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that the media will have a full-time job deciding what not to report when Biden starts running his mouth. Coffee from 7-11, anyone?

PS - thanks for visiting my blog

Mike:

With regard to S-CHIP, I noticed that you have failed to comment at all about the State of Hawaii recently suspending its state-financed universal health care program for children. After only seven months, cost overruns and abuse of the system forced the program to end. Again, socialized medicine failed in a state that ranks 42nd in population, with only 1.2 million residents.

And why did it fail? "People who were already able to afford health care began to stop paying for it so they could get it for free," said Dr. Kenny Fink, the administrator for Med-QUEST at the Department of Human Services. "I don't believe that was the intent of the program."

No joke. The dirty little secret that the S-CHIP amendment proponents and their human shields failed to properly discuss is the fact that the proposed S-CHIP amendment would have allowed families making three to four times poverty level income ($60,000 to $80,000 per year, for a family of four) to qualify for S-CHIP, which was originally created to help poor families. If $80,000 annual income is now considered poor, and $120,000 (according to Bill Richardson) is now considered "wealthy," then there isn't a lot of room for the middle class any more, is there? Then again, Rev. Jeremiah Wright taught his flock (Barack Obama among them, regardless of what he now claims) to avoid "middle-classness." So now I'm thoroughly confused.

The sane among us believed that such a stark change in the definition of "poor" deserved a full public debate before we began "liberally" applying it. Because unlike the State of Hawaii, the Federal Government cannot cancel an "entitlement," regardless of how big a boondoggle it becomes.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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