Palin inspires young Republican women

NY Times:

Of the 2,300 undergraduates at Wellesley College, 250 are on the mailing list for the campus Republicans; around 20 show up to weekly meetings. But four of them, along with eight women and three men from Harvard, packed onto a bus one recent morning and headed here to ring doorbells for the McCain-Palin campaign.

In every one of the 38 homes the students visited was someone who had been identified by the campaign as leaning Republican — a stark contrast with what they see on their campuses in Massachusetts, the bluest of the blue states.

“It’s great to see other people feel similarly to the way I do, that I’m not crazy,” said Jillian Cunningham, 20, co-president of the Wellesley Republicans.

What has energized the students, though, and particularly the young women, is Gov. Sarah Palin, in whom they see themselves.

“Seeing her speak at the convention was a moment I’m never going to forget,” said Alee Lockman, 20, vice president of the Harvard Republicans.

Jennifer Huddleston, a Wellesley senior, recalled that she screamed so loud in August when she heard that Senator John McCain had tapped Ms. Palin that her parents, University of North Alabama professors whom she called liberals, pulled off the road to see what was wrong.

This is good news for the future of the Republican party. In another story the Times reports that many conservatives see Palin as a leader of the party regardless of the outcome next Tuesday.


Her prospects, in or out of government, are the subject of intensive conversations among conservative leaders, including the group that will meet next Wednesday in rural Virginia to weigh social, foreign policy and economic issues, as well as the political landscape and the next presidential election.

Ms. Palin’s aides insist that winning this time around is her sole objective. But there are signs that she, too, is making sure that she is well positioned for the future if she and Mr. McCain lose.

In a week that most candidates give over to big rallies and closing arguments, she is giving policy speeches, like one on Wednesday on energy security, a move aides say is intended to help her be seen as more substantive.

On Monday, she held a brief meeting with the Israeli ambassador, reflecting an interest that aides say she expresses in intense foreign policy tutorials. She has increasingly separated herself from Mr. McCain’s positions, and this week tried to quarantine herself from the damage caused by news that the Republican National Committee had spent $150,000 on clothing and accessories for her and her family.

More and more, she has broken out of the cloister imposed early on by McCain aides, doing more interviews with local television stations and newspapers, and speaking off the cuff to reporters who travel with her.

Despite all the criticism, she has many supporters among Republicans who see her as bright, tough and a star in a party with relatively few on the horizon.

“She’s dynamite,” said Morton C. Blackwell, who was President Ronald Reagan’s liaison to the conservative movement. Mr. Blackwell described vying to get close to Ms. Palin at a fund-raiser in Virginia, lamenting that he could get only within four feet.

The dumbest statement in the story? "And some Democrats who in the past saw Ms. Palin as someone willing to buck her own party say they have been put off by her partisan attacks as part of the national ticket." Do Democrat partisan attacks ever put off people? I think most Democrats are too arrogant to even acknowledge they make partisan attacks, although they have been doing it on overload since 2004 and it has worked for them. They should expect more partisan attacks if they win in 2008.

This CNN analysis also sees a Palin future with the GOP. She probably articulates views that are closer to the conservative base than other candidates. I think she has a real future.


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