Political Hay

The Others Palin in Comparison

John McCain's historic pick.

By 8.29.08

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A couple of weeks ago, I was on the phone with my friend, Rabbi Nathan Segal of Staten Island, the man Rush Limbaugh lovingly refers to as "my Rabbi." Nate serves as the informal adviser for a number of prominent Republican politicians and is respected for his judgment on both sides of the aisle. "So who do you think McCain should choose for a running-mate?" my friend asked.

"It's a no-brainer," I said. "Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska."

"Who told you I've been saying that?" Nate shouted. Apparently he had been pushing hard for Palin behind the scenes, and he was amazed that I had arrived at the same conclusion.

"Look," I argued, although I knew I was preaching to the converted. "She takes away the woman issue, the historic glass-ceiling breakthrough element of the Hillary-to-Obama handoff candidacy."

"That's what I've been saying."

"Furthermore," I insisted, although my devil had no advocate. "She has a reputation for standing up to the corrupt old guard players from both parties. She filed ethics charges against a long-standing Republican powerhouse on that oil commission."

"That's what I've been saying."

"Additionally," I pressed, although the resistance movement was hiding in the forest. "She ran for Governor without a lot of big-money backing, and she really is not beholden to any machine."

"That's what I've been saying."

"On top of that," I bulled forward, although the matador had fled the arena in a swirl of red. "She has done very well in her early budget battles in Alaska, and people really respect her tenacity."

"That's what I've been saying."

"Let's not forget," I hammered, although the walls had all caved in already. "She has been married for twenty years and has five children, a real family person who walks the walk."

"That's what I've been saying."

"It is also important to remember," I railed, although the train had long since left the station. "She is just forty-four years old, very energetic and vigorous, which offsets the fact that McCain has more rings around the trunk."

"That's what I've been saying."

"Most powerful of all," I surged, although the terrorists had surrendered their arms and legged it out of there. "She has a son who enlisted in the Army and is about to be deployed in Iraq."

"That's what I've been saying."

"Of course," I whispered, hoping that nobody was listening. "It probably doesn't hurt that she was runner-up for Miss Alaska, but I wouldn't want to be quoted on that."

"That's what I've also been avoiding saying."

Sure enough, the Segal-Homnick prediction has been borne out. Sarah Palin was chosen and has delivered a delightfully balanced speech with a fresh exuberance. She praised Geraldine Ferraro for doing it first, she lauded Hillary Clinton for taking a shot, and then she promised to finish what they started. I think Rabbi Segal would use a moment like this to ask for an "Amen."

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About the Author

Jay D. Homnick, commentator and humorist, is a frequent contributor to The American Spectator.