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Girl power is back

By Ben-Peter Terpstra - posted Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Governor Sarah Palin represents a change I’m more likely to believe in.

“Ms Palin’s personal story is also compelling. After completing her first year in office, the mother of four, who was pregnant with a fifth, was told her child had Down’s Syndrome. Three days after she gave birth the governor returned to work in Anchorage with her baby and son and husband” The Financial Times, August 29, 2008.

On the Democratic side of US politics, Obama, a biracial American is running for President with NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and PBS. On the Republican side, a disabled war veteran is running for President with Governor Sarah Palin, 44. Girl power is back.


Of course, conservatives are no strangers to change. England gave us Margaret Thatcher. And the Republican Party? Well, let us return to my “girl power” time machine:

  • The 1890s: during his time as a groundbreaking New York City Police Commissioner, Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, becomes the first leader to open doors to women - and the first to welcome Jews in the department;
  • 1916: Jeanette Rankin, a Republican, becomes America’s first congresswoman, and the first “woman in the world to be elected to a parliamentary body”, according to Governor Thomas Judge;
  • 1925: Florence Khan, a Republican, becomes the first Jewess to serve in Congress;
  • 1953: former congresswoman, Clare Luce Booth, a Republican, becomes the first female to serve as an ambassador to a major power;
  • 1964: beating Hillary, Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican, becomes the first woman to run on a major party ticket. Importantly, she is also the first woman to be elected in the US House and Senate;
  • 1971: Romana Acosta Banuelos, a Republican, becomes the first Hispanic American Treasurer;
  • 1989: Julia Chang Bloch, a Republican, becomes the first Asian ambassador;
  • 1990: Antonio Coello Novello, a Republican, becomes the first woman and the first Hispanic-American to become a Surgeon General of the US;
  • 2001: Elaine Chao, a Republican, becomes the first Asian-American Cabinet Minister;
  • 2005: Condoleezza Rice, a Republican, becomes the first African-American Secretary of State;

For a more extensive list, visit 100 Republican Firsts (for Leftwing Dummies).

The fact is that Sarah Palin, 44, looks likely to become America’s first female Vice President. Still, the elite media is angry and “surprised”. Angry because this hurts their narrative. Surprised because they are either ignorant or deceptive.

Evidently, Palin represents a real change. But will the elite media give Alaska’s first and youngest Governor, a fair go? Ignoring her experiences as a mother of five children, Ron Fournier of the Associated Press (August 29, 2008) sniffs that, “She is younger and less experienced than the first-term Illinois senator, and brings an ethical shadow to the ticket”. The allegedly objective report also asks, “If Obama is an empty suit, as Mc Cain has suggested, is Palin suited to the Oval Office herself?”

And, some campaigning reporters clearly feel uncomfortable with the fact, that Palin, a pro-lifer’s pro-lifer, chose to give her unborn disabled child a life ticket.


States the Financial Times: “Attacks by her Democratic opponent that she lacked skills to negotiate with oil companies to build a new natural gas pipeline, fell flat. Voters connected with her image as a ‘suburban mom’ who ran marathons and liked to hunt and fish.”

Most deceptively, however, the elite media is painting Palin as a risky “unknown”. But is it the Governor’s fault that East Coast establishmentarians have been hiding her story from us? This is criminal. Then again, they ignored Teddy Roosevelt’s policewomen, Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin’s groundbreaking career - and her penchant for hunting trips too.

And Obama’s running mate? Clearly, there’s no doubt that Joe Biden, believes in change. Here’s a revealing piece from the Daily Capitol News (September, 1987):

Not only did Biden have to confirm his cheating [at law school], he also released his law school records, which showed him failing three courses in law school and finishing near the bottom of his class at Syracuse University.

So, Ron Fournier, does Joe Biden bring “an ethical shadow over the office”? Or do Obama Party males receive a free pass?

In the coming months, Palin and her Eskimo husband may earn the respect of a majority of Americans by refusing to play Washington’s game. She may win over Hillary Clinton’s hurting supporters. She may convince us that America needs to export a little more of Alaska’s fresh air to Washington. She may make a strong case that the Republican Party isn’t running from change, but building on change. She may kick butt.

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About the Author

Ben-Peter Terpstra has provided commentary for The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.), NewsReal Blog (Los Angeles), Quadrant (Sydney), and Menzies House (Adelaide).

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All articles by Ben-Peter Terpstra

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