Editor’s note: We at HUMAN EVENTS are pleased to bring you this week a series of profiles from the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute. These are profiles of influential and prominent conservative women who have made a tremendous impact for the better on this great country.
The greatest impact of a leader is not easily boiled down into one single moment.
Was it the writing of an influential book? Was it a cause led with passion and righteous indignation, a piece of significant legislation successfully lobbied for? A technological advancement? The list could be endless.
All such tangible successes are important to highlight and celebrate, for sure. But even they fall short in assessing the depth of a leader’s influence, because leaders often cannot fully appreciate what their biggest effect will be. How could they? After all, they’ve spent a lifetime inspiring others with their work and ideas.
Which brings me to Michelle Malkin.
We all are familiar with Malkin’s many accomplishments. There are the multiple New York Times bestsellers, including the big blockbuster that blew the lid off of Team Obama’s Culture of Corruption. There’s Malkin’s reoccurring appearance on Fox News. And then there’s the fact that she’s one of the trailblazers in the blogosphere, with her popular website MichelleMalkin.com. We’ve all come to expect Michelle to give us investigative reporting and cutting commentary that take a sledgehammer to the left, while holding the GOP accountable as well. But what you may not know about the New Jersey native and mother of two is how willing she is to cultivate and nurture the next generation of conservative fighters. I can attest to that firsthand.
I initially met Michelle at a conservative student conference when I was fresh out of college and working for the fantastic Young America’s Foundation. Like most 23-year-olds, I was full of energy and eager to execute all the ideas that were ricocheting around in my head. Malkin graciously listened. She then shared with me some ideas of her own, which, as you can imagine, were way better than the ones I threw out.
The plan she outlined was this: Confront corrupt politicians on camera with questions that the drones in the media refused to ask. We started with the Democratic Rep. John Murtha, who never apologized for besmirching our Marines fighting in Haditha, Iraq as cold-blooded murders. By the time we were done, we had successfully targeted John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Charlie Rangel, William “Cold Cash” Jefferson as well as gone undercover at numerous stench-filled leftist rallies.
She helped this young conservative refine what he was passionate about and provided an instantaneous forum to showcase his talents. In other words, Malkin used her platform to help someone else build his own.
I know my story isn’t unique. Ed Morrissey and AllahPundit, two of the finest bloggers on the right, were given a chance to shine when Malkin tapped them to write for a blog she created, HotAir.com. And in a short time, that website became a must-read for conservatives who were interested in public policy and pop culture. Even HUMAN EVENTS’s own John Hayward got his start with Hot Air. Now Hayward is one of conservatism’s most prolific writers and bloggers.
It was another example of Malkin’s use of her own career to give others an opportunity of their own.
We are all inundated with authors, activists, and pundits. They come and they go. But what separates her from the pack is her willingness to beget other leaders. That’s why there is an eclectic army—from college conservatives to bloggers to aspiring journalists to Tea Party types—who consider Michelle Malkin their unflappable role model.
As they should.