Three years ago today marks what many would consider a political shockwave, in the announcement of Governor Palin as Senator McCain’s 2008 vice presidential running mate. While the political pundits were anticipating that Senator McCain would choose the likes of a Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty or maybe even a Joe Liebermann, the Arizona Senator chose instead a relatively little known governor from the state of Alaska. There were some, though, with far more political clairvoyance than the rest of the country, C4P’s own Adam Brickley was among those who had such foresight, and he spearheaded a “draft Palin for VP” effort. He and others watched through the night to learn that indeed a plane from Alaska was traveling to Ohio, as Senator McCain was poised to make such a historic announcement.
As Governor Palin walked onto that stage with her family in Dayton, Ohio, America saw a woman who was the antithesis of the status quo. She was a woman who realized that motherhood and political life were not mutually exclusive. She was a woman who rejected traditional feminism, but embraced life and empowerment of women. She was a woman of faith who realized that being a light to the world means neither blinding people, nor hiding that light, but letting it shine. She was a woman who disproved the false choice between ignorance and intellectualism by exhibiting intelligence, wisdom and common sense. She was a leader who made decisions based on what was best for her state, not her political career. She was a politician who realized you could govern without losing your integrity, as she fought corruption and reformed ethics. On August 29, 2008, we were introduced to this woman:
In her introductory speech, Governor Palin spoke of a ship in harbor being safe, but such safety was not why the ship was built. Political leadership is not about making safe choices or calculated decisions; it is about taking measured risks and making principled decisions. Many eagerly anticipate that Governor Palin will leave the proverbial harbor for another electoral voyage in the 2012 presidential election. Meanwhile, the same political pundits who were predicting a “safe” Vice Presidential candidate in 2008 are criticizing Governor Palin for not launching her ship on their timetable and for not hiring the “right” contractors and boat manufacturers to build the ship. It would serve the punditocracy well to remember that amateurs built the Ark, but professionals built the Titanic. Two ships. Two destinations. Two very different outcomes.