BASE HIT: One common denominator in all the remarks about Sarah Palin from conservatives attending the Republican National Convention last week was that John McCain’s choice of Palin (The first possibility profiled in HUMAN EVENTS’ “Veepstakes” series this year) had solidified the GOP’s conservative base with whom he has repeatedly clashed. “She is energizing the base of the party!” Mitt Romney told HUMAN EVENTS Political Editor John Gizzi on the day of Romney’s convention address. When Gizzi asked whether Romney was disappointed he wasn’t tapped by McCain, the former Massachusetts governor smiled and said, “I’m dee-lighted with the choice he made.” Gizzi later ran into another “Veepstakes” prospect, Rep. Eric Cantor (R.-Va.), who told him that Sarah Palin “appealed to all the diverse kinds of conservatives. He’s doing a lot to excite the conservative base of the party and his choice of Gov. Palin had a lot to do with that. She’s a solid conservative on all issues — abortion , rolling back spending, energy. And her choice means we’re reaching out to a lot of women, women who work and raise a family at the same time, and not just Hillary Clinton supporters. This was a great choice.” The New York Times reported that top McCain strategist Charles Black and former Sen. Dan Coats (R.-Ind.) emphasized Palin’s virtues at a lunch with 150 evangelical leaders.
“I died and went to heaven,” is how the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition described to HUMAN EVENTS his reaction to the news of Palin’s selection. A week before the convention, a CNN/Opinion Research poll showed Republicans favored McCain 85% to 11%. After Palin’s selection, the same poll showed that his support among GOP voters jumped to 93% to 5%.