Thursday, August 11, 2011
Jededidah Bila penned an article in which she spells out what America needs to see in tonight's GOP Presidential debate. She breaks it down to seven characteristics. The one person who exemplifies each of these characteristics, however, is not participating in the debate and is not--yet--a declared candidate.
Jedediah correctly points out what we are looking for tonight. I submit, however, that we want to see these same qualities period--beyond tonight's lights, away from the debate stage. These are the qualities we want to dominate the lives of those who are asking for our permission to serve our great country in these trying times. These are the qualities for which America is yearning. Yes, we'll look for them during the debate tonight, and we'll look even harder for them after the debate ends and the candidates exit stage right.
Chief among the attributes Bila names is leadership:
If you’re not a leader, you don’t deserve the job. And you certainly won’t inspire confidence. Americans are tired of those who sit back, relax, wait for real leaders to do the hard work and then step up to the podium when it’s “safe” to speak up. We have a leadership vacuum in the White House that needs fixing in 2012. Either you’re up for the job or you aren’t. We won’t be fooled.
Can I get an "Amen"? We don't have time for politics. We need leadership. While there's a place for followers in society, they don't belong in the White House. The buck stops with the President of the United States, so if someone is courting that role, he or she had better step up. Governor Palin called out Mitt Romney in a recent interview with Sean Hannity because she, to use her own words, did "not have respect" for his sitting out the debt ceiling debate and then emerging later to state his opinion. Governor Palin is uniquely qualified to do that calling out because she has never opted to stay where it's safe. She doesn't wait to hear what others have to say before weighing in on the issues of the day. Some may question the "safety" of taking that approach, but leaders lead. They don't wait for the "all clear" before they step out--not when they know what's right and are guided by that sense of right. As she told Hannity:
You can't defer an issue and assume that the problem is going to be then avoided. No, you defer an issue like not speaking out on how you really believe about an issue that we've just gone through as a nation, you're inviting a crisis...You need to get out there. You need to tell the electorate what you really feel about these issues. Don't do this. Don't just wait and sit back.
Leaders are willing to do exactly what the Governor says. It's a let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may mentality, or maybe we should call this the "If I die politically, I die" mindset. If everyone embraced that type of leadership, it would surely be the death of politics as usual, and it would be a long overdue burial.
Jedediah offers honesty as another quality Americans are looking for tonight and, I assert again, looking even harder for after tonight:
Americans aren’t stupid. And we’re looking for authenticity, not pre-programmed, phony, D.C.-manufactured rhetoric. If you speak from the heart, we’ll know it. If you don’t, we’ll know that too.
We don't need another President Obama. A common complaint about him is how little we actually knew about him as he campaigned for President. As information surfaced, the media shielded him and covered up his radical associations, as if this was not vital information Americans had the right to know. Anyone who questioned his background was called a racist. So by and large, most people knew him from his oratory skills, which they graded an A+. Increasingly, however, more people are finding that a finely crafted, tele-prompter directed speech simply isn't enough. We want authenticity. We want to know that you mean what you say and say what you mean. Personally, I sometimes wonder if President Obama even knows much of what he means. I wonder if he truly has a sense of what he believes, or if he's just the ultimate politician who does whatever is politically advantageous at the time. I wonder the same about some GOPers who've turned flip-flopping and compromise into sports to be mastered.
Governor Palin epitomizes honesty. As a result, she connects with people. Even her detractors admit as much. It's an indisputable fact. When people are asked why they are drawn to her, the common response is her authenticity--her humanness, if you will:
"She isn't the typical politician."
"She's one of us."
"She's the real deal."
"She speaks from the heart."
Americans want leaders who are experienced, knowledgeable, and intelligent, absolutely--and Governor Palin is all those things. But we are not willing to sacrifice authenticity in the process. We want the complete package. We want honest people who will tell us what they're thinking, what they have to offer, the direction they plan to take us. We want to know when we're reaching out to them that they're reaching back, that they're listening as we speak, that they're not just planning the next things they're going to say or the next stop on their political journey. That, of course, describes one person, and that person is not yet in the 2012 race.
Governor Palin can afford to wait to declare her candidacy for a reason Nicole Coulter pointed out yesterday: she's a "GOP superstar" with name recognition. In addition to that star appeal, she's got something that may be even more important. She's got the appeal of a long-time next door neighbor who is both known and trusted in the community. This is a quality that simply cannot be taught. A person either has it or doesn't. She has it--and America is hungry for it. Bring it on!
The last characteristic I will highlight is knowledge. Bila put it this way:
KNOW YOUR STUFF.
Stephen Bannon's film, The Undefeated, is a comprehensive journey through Governor Palin's record in public service in Alaska. The media violated America's trust in 2008 by propping up Barack Obama and his non-existent record and ignoring Governor Palin's numerous accomplishments. Bannon put those accomplishments front and center in his documentary. She has the knowledge to lead this country forward, and she has the resume to prove it.
Atlas Shrugs' Pamela Geller, after screening The Undefeated, distilled crucial aspects of the Governor's record, and then asked an important question (emphasis added):
Governor Palin's cornerstone accomplishment is AGIA (Alaska Gasline Inducement Act). During the Palin administration, TransCanada and Exxon formed an alliance to build a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the Lower 48. Under Governor Palin's governance, the project was expanded and revised from what previous governors had proposed with an open policy process for the Alaskan people. More progress was made on this effort than in the previous 30 years. This is the largest private sector infrastructure project in North American history and helps put us on the path to energy independence.
Governor Palin's administration opened up drilling for oil and natural gas at Pt. Thompson for the first time in decades.
Governor Palin created the Alaskaís [sic] Petroleum Integrity Office to oversee all aspects of energy development and Climate Change Subcabinet to comprehensively and honestly evaluate climate change.
Governor Palin reduced earmark requests for the state of Alaska by 80% during her administration, requesting only earmarks that would benefit the country as a whole.
Governor Palin reduced spending in her budget for Fiscal Year 2010 by more than one billion dollars from the previous governor's Fiscal Year 2007 budget, a 9.5% real reduction in spending. Her FY2010 budget was $10.57 billion compared to Governor Murkowski's FY2007 budget of nearly $11.7 billion. At the same time, she fulfilled her campaign promise to forward fund education, allowing districts greater flexibility and predictability in their planning.
She vetoed half a billion dollars in spending, the largest veto in state history.
Governor Palin invested $5 billion in state savings.
Governor Palin reformed Alaska's public employee retirement system to make it solvent.
Governor Palin accepted less state per diem for herself and her family than her predecessors even though she had a larger family.
Who can you say these things about?
The answer to the question is clear: no one but Governor Palin.
Read Pamela Geller's full review here.
Furthermore, Governor Palin reminded us in a recent Facebook note that she saw what was coming and warned us beforehand that our unsustainable debt would damage our credit rating. Her knowledge, coupled with her incredible instincts, have again proven accurate. I'm sure she wishes she had been wrong, or rather that this administration would exercise common sense, do what she did in Alaska and cut waste, incentivize small businesses, and take the necessary steps to restore America to its rightful place.
I agree with Jedediah Bila's assessment of what Americans want to witness tonight, and you can enjoy her full piece here. I concur that these attributes serve their purpose in tonight's debate, but they serve an even greater purpose going forward. I, too, will watch the debate closely to see who has the ability to lead, to be honest, and to demonstrate knowledge as they field questions from presumably unbiased moderator, Bret Baier. However, what Jedediah really does in her article, whether consciously or not, is lay out the framework for what Americans are looking for in the days, weeks, months, and even years ahead.
There is indeed one who possesses each of these necessary characteristics, but Governor Sarah Palin has not--yet--entered the race. Stay tuned.