Sarah Barracuda, Where Are You?

Who in the world is in charge of Sarah Palin?  They should be fired, preferably without pay.  They have absolutely no appreciation for who Sarah is, completely clueless as to why America fell in love with her.  In their ignorance and stupidity they have buried the Sarah that warmed our hearts only weeks ago and replaced her with a hesitant, overly-scripted candidate who projects none of her trademark confidence.   

Sarah’s charm and power are that she isn’t like other politicians.  She wasn’t from Washington, didn’t look or sound like a politician.  Her fresh way of saying things added to her authenticity; the passion in which she expressed her beliefs and values touched our hearts; and the confidence and strength she exuded when defending her positions made us proud.  She was one of us and she was good.

Sarah Palin is a natural communicator and a gifted leader.  What she lacks in Washington experience she makes up with a fierce determination to succeed, highly tuned conservative political instincts, and an uncanny ability to relate to people.  And when she speaks it isn’t to the minds of Americans; it is to their hearts, from hers — that is a rare and invaluable talent in politics.  But it is one that is completely lost on the chattering class of pundits, policy wonks and the media elite.  

But because she is so naturally talented as a speaker, she should never be expected to memorize answers and parrot positions she doesn’t believe.  Unless you don’t mind destroying all that made her such an incredible asset of the McCain ticket.  And that is where we’re at.

Sarah has only been permitted to do three interviews — all endurance contests — and she held her own in two of them.  But what nitwit figured this schedule out?  Who came up with the great idea to keep Sarah away from friendly radio and instead send her into the ring with Katie Couric, for one hour — armed with nothing but memorized answers and strict instructions to say nothing more?

This business isn’t that hard to figure out. No candidate should do hour-long interviews — it has trouble spelt all over it.  You want short and to the point media hits that give you enough time to make several good points, tell a personal story, and leave with the audience wanting more.  

Sarah should have done 200 warm-up interviews by now — local radio at every stop, national radio when she is in the car — all five or ten minute hits talking to the people.  She would have been the talk of the town while testing out the material that is new to her, such as foreign policy.   

The McCain camp can’t be afraid of who Sarah is.  She must be allowed to state her positions on issues even when they differ from the party line, such as global warming.  She should add a comment about knowing who the captain of the team is but that McCain didn’t bring her in the ticket to be a mimic — then add that in the White House, she’ll make her differences known to her boss in private.

It is far more important that she is honest and genuine than that she is McCain-like.  This spirit of independence is exactly what America is looking for.  Two candidates on one ticket comfortably disagreeing, showing an openness to each other’s ideas.    

In the world of those who make a living talking to a camera, Sarah is not ready to be president.  Why not?  Because she is too much like us.  She is not part of the governing class.  “Why she didn’t even have a passport until last year,” they yap, “and has never ‘done’ Meet the Press”.   

But while Sarah hasn’t travelled in their circles, she has proven herself a born leader.  For a leader isn’t about knowing the names of foreign leaders or writing a bestselling memoir.  It is about having deeply held convictions and possessing the courage to fight for them. It is about guts and toughness, a willingness to get bruised and bloodied in battle, and the steely determination to stay in the fight no matter how wounded you are.  Sarah has it all.

It is time for Sarah to break from her captors and return to the gun-toting, moose-hunting hockey mom that America knows and loves.