President Barack Obama is, by far, the most popular politician in
America. And there is little doubt who is number two.
The city of Auburn in upstate New York, population 28,574, held its
first annual Founder's Day celebration June 6. The most famous of the
city's fathers is William Seward, who as secretary of state purchased
Alaska from Russia in 1867. To commemorate the event, the city council
invited the current governor of Alaska. The parade featuring Sarah
Palin drew more than 20,000 people, according to press reports.
The next day Ms. Palin traveled to Long Island to speak at a fund raiser
for a charity which aids the developmentally disabled. Before that, she
and her daughter, Willow, attended a New York Yankees game at the
invitation of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The following day, Gov. Palin attended a fund-raiser in Washington D.C.
for House and Senate Republicans at which former House Speaker Newt
Gingrich was the keynote speaker.
"An attempt to have the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate
speak at the dinner...fell through when organizers feared she might
upstage Gingrich," UPI reported.
It was a rare trip outside of Alaska for Ms. Palin, who since the
election has been tending to her day job, and it produced plenty of
Much of it came from "GOP insiders" in Washington D.C. who spoke
anonymously to journalists.
"Everyone seems to have a Sarah Palin story of ignored calls, mishandled
invitations or unanswered email," wrote columnist Kathleen Parker, who
was severely critical of Ms. Palin last fall.
The subtext of Ms. Parker's column is that her anonymous confidantes are
upset with Gov. Palin because she has not hired them to work on a
presidential campaign she has not begun.
This presupposes both that Ms. Palin wants to run for president in 2012,
and that if she does, it would be wise for her to start now. Both are
dubious assumptions. Ms. Palin may wish to do the best job she can as
governor, and to decide whether or not to seek re-election next year
before deciding if she wants to run for president in 2012, 2016, or
If Sarah Palin decides she's had her fill of public life, it could be
because of the attention her visit drew from the likes of "comedian"
In his monologue Monday, Mr. Letterman "joked" about Ms. Palin's "slutty
flight attendant look," and made two sex jokes about her daughter, one
implying she'd been raped by Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the
other that she'd been a prostitute for former New York Gov. Eliot
"Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old
male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but
it reminds us some Hollywood/New York entertainers have a long way to go
in understanding what the rest of America understands that acceptance
of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be
anyone's daughter, contribute to the atrociously high rate of sexual
exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others," Ms. Palin
responded when asked for comment.
That many liberals found Mr. Letterman's remarks humorous speaks not
only to their depravity, but to their fear. The 20,000 who turned out
to see her in Auburn testify she strikes a responsive chord with
ordinary people no other Republican does.
Liberals and some Beltway conservatives assert Ms. Palin is stupid. She
frequently is misquoted most recently by Dan Balz in the Washington
Post Wednesday to make her appear so. But I'd say she got the better
of it in her exchange with David Letterman. And her brief walk across
the stage at the GOP dinner Monday drew more attention than Mr.
Gingrich's stem-winding speech. For someone who, according to the
Washington cognoscenti, doesn't know what she's doing, she's doing
I don't think Sarah Palin has decided whether she'd like to live in the
White House. But if she does, ignoring the conventional wisdom in
Washington may be the best way to get there.