Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker writes about Sarah Palin in today's WaPo:
"She was often too cute by half -- winking and gosh-darning her way through the debate -- but she did what she needed to do. Among other things, she declared a populist war of Us vs. Them -- everyday, honest, hardworking Americans against Wall Street, greed, corrupt politicians, liberals and, of course, the media."
"And she said it in the nicest, gosh-darn way, bless her little heart. The GOP loved it, but did anyone else? Did Palin change hearts and minds? Probably not. My suspicion, bolstered by early polls, is that people left the debate with their original impressions intact."
Let me ask this question: if Sarah Palin were as beautiful as, say, Margaret Thatcher was (which is to say, not very), would her debate performance and overall level of intelligence have been thought acceptable by those on the Right to ascend to our highest political office? I think you know the answer.
But just to show you how low Buckleyite/Reaganite conservatism has fallen, here is Rich "Little Starbursts" Lowry of the National Review sharing his reaction to Sarah Palin in the debate:
"I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it."
And to quote the ever funny, ever cynical Rush Limbaugh, "We've got the only babe in politics!"
Speaking for myself, physical beauty (whether male or female) makes little difference to me in my political leaders. What we need is wisdom, good judgment, intelligence, a knowledge of history and the world, inspiration, courage, compassion, and even some humility, all of which comes,not the 'outward appearance,' but from the 'heart', the inner life. Think Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and even Reagan.