Mark A. Bernstein writes:
1. Coming from the conservative wing of the Republican party, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin unites the GOP by helping to secure support from the conservative base, which was not enthusiastic about all of John McCain’s positions. And McCain’s choice of Palin shows his willingness to work with conservatives and recognize their concerns. Donations for the campaign will now flow in.
2. She is a governor (of the largest state in the union). Before that, she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska for two terms, and before that a city council member for two terms. She reduced property tax levels while increasing services and transformed Wasilla into a business friendly environment, drawing in new industry. She worked with local, state and federal officials to promote solutions to the needs of Alaska’s communities. And she served as chair of the Alaska Conservation Commission, which regulates Alaska’s most valuable non-renewable resources: oil and gas.
Moreover, as governor she recently passed a gas pipeline plan. In other words, she knows firsthand about a vital area that is on everyone’s minds right now. She generally has been very effective within her state at getting things done.
Although criticized by the mainstream (i.e., liberal) media for being too inexperienced and only a heartbeat away from the presidency, these are transparently biased, agenda-driven attacks. As a governor, she has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined – and the presidency is an executive position.
But she is not running for president. While in a normal election the charge against her might have some validity, this is not a normal election. The last time a senator (like Obama or McCain) was elected president was 1960. Obama has never even headed a single Senate committee. Palin may have been a mayor of only 9,000 people – but that’s 9,000 more people than Obama’s ever governed.
3. Her approval rating in her state hovers between 80 and 90 percent — the highest of any U.S. governor — and this at a time when, nationally, the president is polling at 27 percent and the Democrat-controlled Congress around 9 percent.
4. Palin is pro-Israel. She’s fostered warm relations with the small Jewish community in her state, which comprises roughly 6,000 people. Palin met with Israeli Foreign Ministry official David Akov, Israel’s consul general for the Pacific Northwest, and they discussed cooperation between Israel and Alaska on various issues, including counterterrorism efforts. He invited her to visit Israel and she impressed upon him her desire to do so, reportedly telling him that Alaska’s residents love Israel.