Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The Complete Package. We've all heard that expression before, usually in sports. Once again sports afford us a life-lesson. In basketball, the complete package refers to the rare athlete who dominates both sides of the floor--is an offensive threat, a defensive menace, and, as the game is not just physical, possesses an acute awareness of the intense mental aspects of the sport. This athlete has incredible instincts which cannot be taught. She's almost impossible to scout effectively because her skills are too varied. She is, therefore, the opposition's worst nightmare.
I wanted to be that kind of player. I wanted to be unguardable. I wanted the people assigned to check me to discover that if they guarded me tightly, I'd drive by them. If they backed off me, I'd nail the jumper. If they played me to my left, I'd drive right, and if they took away my right, I could adjust and drive left. Offensively, talented players like this simply cannot be stopped--slowed down maybe, but never stopped. Opposing coaches generally resort to doing one of two things. They either double and triple-team her, relegating her to the role of passer so someone less talented has the daunting task of beating them, or they say, "We'll let her get hers and stop everybody else because the 30 points she'll drop won't beat us." I longed to be that offensive player they strategized about.
But even that wasn't enough. There are two sides of the floor, and I wanted to dominate both. My true passion was defense. I wanted the players I was guarding to know they'd have to work for every point and every pass. I wanted them to see that I played defense sliding my feet, palms up, eyes on the dribbler's midsection, not on the ball and not on the face, squatting low in proper defensive stance. I wanted playing defense to hurt. Nothing annoys me more, still, than lazy defenders.
The bottom line is that I wanted to be the complete package. The truth, however, for me and many others, is that this kind of athlete is special and comes along only once in a while. This kind of athlete leaves a mark and impacts the athletic landscape. We just don't see this too often. Oh, we see good players--great players, even. But the complete package? Rarely.
Governor Palin, an athletic champion herself, is that political champion, too. She is the complete package, which is why 2012 hopefuls cannot hold a candle to her. It's not that they don't have anything to offer; it's that they don't have everything to offer. She does.
Taking a brief look at some of the people who have already thrown their hats into the 2012 ring, or are expected to, we'd be lying if we said some of them don't have upsides. Some of them would make competitive national players. But America is in need of more than that. With crushing debt, skyrocketing unemployment, soaring dependence on foreign oil, diminishing freedoms resulting from over-reaching government, with the family structure compromised, and human life devalued, we need more than a competitive player; we need the complete package. And filtering through all the names being bandied about in the GOP, I see only one person who is that complete package: Governor Palin.
Some contenders are Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul. Among these we can find people with varied political experience on the state and national level, business owners, CEO's, tea party advocates, and governors. That's impressive and would be quite the resume of one given candidate. Unfortunately, in that list there's no one who possesses the complete package. Not one person listed--standing as an individual--embodies all that America craves in a candidate. Unfortunately, among those individuals, juxtaposed with their strengths, we find Romneycare, Cap and Trade, knocking Paul Ryan's Roadmap, a lack of executive experience, establishment-mongering, and flip-flopping. Some have run a business, but never led on the county level, city level, or state level. Some believe in reining in spending, but have never had to make the tough decisions involved. Some stand for the right principles, but lack the ability to capture the attention of those who need to hear those principles. While I believe that each of these people could be competitive against President Obama under the right conditions, a team always sends out its best player to take on a defending champion. And that list lacks the best player.
Governor Palin is that best player because she's the complete player. She has twenty years of experience in politics, she's been a city council member, a mayor, a governor, an oil and gas regulator, a business owner, and a VP nominee. She's a mother, a military supporter, a tea party activist, a pro-life advocate. She's strong on national defense. She's taken on big oil, small ethics, and petty people bent on getting her off message. She's an anti-establishment, independent thinker who is beholden to no one. She fires up the American people with a message that she delivers like no one else. Some would argue that the message speaks for itself, but I beg to differ. The messenger is as important as the message. Candidate Obama came forward with a message that contained not much more than vague "hope and change" and "spread the wealth." The message was weak, his experience weaker, but people were drawn to the manner in which he--and his teleprompter--delivered it.
Governor Palin, on the other hand, has the right message, and she knows how to deliver it in a way that gets people to listen, to care, to act. She is the only person in the field who can do that, with the executive experience required, and the approval rating to back it up. She's got a business background to boot, so she knows how to create employment, balance a budget, and stimulate income. In addition to that, Governor Palin has the fight within her that is needed in a presidential candidate. She recently said that although there are good candidates out there, she's concerned that some don't have the fight in them to take on the harmful agenda of Democrats, that some may settle in and go along to get along. Governor Palin doesn't go with the flow for the sake of comfort or camaraderie. She's a fighter; therefore, she need not look further to find that person with the fighting spirit. She is that person.
So far Governor Palin has not declared her 2012 intentions, but I speak for millions of Americans when I say she is the complete package we're looking for. She's that someone who comes along only once in a while. Like the opposing coach, the left strategizes to take her off her game because they discovered early that they couldn't stop her. They have double and triple-teamed her. Even those on the right have conspired to make a passer out of her, hoping she will hand the ball off to someone else they can better manipulate because they know they won't be manipulating her.
The Governor's strengths outweigh those of others in the game. You know who they are. You know their stories. Yes, these candidates have bits and pieces, but she's got it all. This is good news if she decides to run because right now, in America, we need it all. We need the complete package during the biggest season of our lives. We need Governor Palin.