Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Confidence As Big as Alaska

She took two hours to walk from that pavilion, past the food stalls about a hundred yards away, and back up to finally exit the fair. The mob grew so big that aides at one point directed her back the way they had come instead of pushing onward, fearing for her safety. – Politico, 8/12/11

Watching Gov. Palin work the crowds and the media at the Iowa State Fair yesterday, two thoughts occurred to me …

1. Dang, those folks from Saturday Night Live sure were right …

No, not about the ditzy fake Sarah Palin played by whatshername … but about the real Sarah Palin. The one who connects with people from all walks of life and inspires instant trust and intrigue wherever she goes.

SNL producer Marcie Klein: "I shook [Palin’s] hand, and she had an incredibly strong handshake. She was not nervous. I thought, ‘This is the most confident person I’ve ever met.’ When you see people with confidence, you like that. You trust them. There’s something to confidence that people respond to."

SNL founder Lorne Michaels: "I watched the way [Palin] connected with people. She’s powerful, very disciplined, and an incredibly gracious woman."

Whether it’s under the bright lights of the 30 Rockefeller studios in Manhattan or milling about cattle stalls in Ames, Iowa, Palin connects because of her confidence. And that’s an inseparable part of her appeal.

2. This confidence is what’s missing from the GOP debates thus far…

I don’t have a problem by and large with the GOP folks in the race, currently, truly I don’t … My lighthearted stabs at them were mere love taps… At the end of the day, we’re still "family." But with the exception of the politically incorrect Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, so much of the debate Thursday struck me as false bravado, phony optimism and an attempt to out-pander the next guy. The only truly powerful and genuine moments, in my opinion, were when Rick Santorum endearingly defended the innocent unborn, in cases of rape, and when Newt Gingrich smacked down Chris Wallace for obsessing about "campaign minutae."

How is it that eight strong candidates aren’t inspiring that confidence we want to see? Is Rick Perry going to change everything with another Texas-style round-up? If Palin and Perry were headed down a crowded hallway together and turned to go their separate ways, which person would continue to be followed by a throng? It’s a question we may see playing out in the months ahead.

What is it about Sarah Palin that draws crowds and curiosity wherever she goes? Heck, news stations are even airing news reports about her empty bus! Even those who admittedly don’t like her, clamor to have their pictures taken with her, again and again.

I think the love affair is really a love affair with America! Governor Palin represents someone who is uniquely American in her worldview. She is the embodiment of American virtue: bold, beautiful and generous of heart. By virtue of growing up in the Last Frontier, Governor Palin sees an America that is untamed, unfettered, and unparalleled in the world. Like other Alaskans, she is steeped in the tradition of looking to her own ingenuity for survival. If you dropped Sarah Palin on a glacier at the top of the world, she would find a way to survive and thrive. How typically American is that? I joked in my book that her early morning hunting adventures with her dad prepared her for presidential responsibilities. "If you can find moose in the dark in a blizzard without falling off an iceberg, you can probably size up Afghanistan."

And leadership does stem from being able to quickly "size" something up … and not feel dwarfed by the task. I am of the opinion that Gov. Palin does not feel dwarfed by … anything. Not out of an outsized ego, but out of confidence born of her Alaskan experience and her serene faith in a boundless Creator.

Indeed, what sets Gov. Palin apart is the size of her vision, and her ability to inspire others with that vision.

Her confidence is as big as Alaska … and that super-sized imagination, combined with a record to back it up, seems to be exactly what America craves right now.

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  • MaMcGriz

    Thanks, Nicole for another great post.

    That Palin heart of gold can’t be hidden or ignored. It’s a good, strong American heart, beating in a servant’s chest and Divinely inspired.

    God bless, guide and strengthen Sarah Palin.

  • MarkRNY

    Beautiful NC. Dead on.

    Now THIS is writing!


  • Guest

    Excellent, Nicole. Drop Palin in the desert with a hatchet and in short order she’ll have Internet up and running. (g)

    Disagree with you on this: "when Newt Gingrich smacked down Chris Wallace for obsessing about “campaign minutae.”" Newt was posing, playing to the gallery. He and Wallace are friends, as Hannity took pains to tell us. I agree with Rush that the thing was scripted. Only non scripted person there might have been Santorum.

  • MarkRNY

    This piece disappeared for awhile. Don’t do that. It’s too good.

    • Nicole Olmstead Coulter

      I hit the publish button too soon … I was actually gonna let the nuclear thread go on awhile, and publish this piece later tonight. Then after I took the post back I saw that there were a few comments already so I decided to re-post.
      Yikes! I would never be entrusted with the nuclear codes!

      • MarkRNY

        Wise up NC.

  • larrygeary

    Thanks, I needed that.

    Bachmann is spending $180,000 on tickets for people to vote for her at the Ames Straw Poll. What a waste of money. I’m glad Sarah decided to skip it.

    • HuntingMoose

      so we can reduce the results for paul and mb with 6000 bought votes.

      That for sure does not look like they have confidence and pull an Obama astroturf here

      Now that is an interesting piece of data that i would love to see picked up by the other LSM. How about blowback.

      • MarkRNY

        God knows what Mitten’s doing (or trying to do) too.

  • dave7777

    I loved this article. Sarah Palin has a quality to inspire. I watched the debates and my general observation is that regardless of their glibness or intellect, none of them inspired. None of them would cause people to follow them into battle, into danger, and stay with them to the bitter end. Sarah Palin does have this leadership quality. Palinistas on this blog reaffirm this.

    • BrianusBerkleianus

      Amen, DZ!!!

    • DesertFox

      I have the same feeling after listening Perry’s announce speech.  It’s "standard issue", very scripted, not inspiring.
      When I read or hear Palin’s speech, I have to hold back my tears.  That’s the difference.

  • smbren

    Okay, maybe I am having a depressed day, or feeling uneasy. I have made the decision to walk away from all of this for the immediate time being. I do not intend to be a nervous Nellie, but I am thinking there is a strong possibility she may not decide to run. It is difficult to interpret her words, which is a good thing too. She most definitely is ‘leaning’ towards running, or she would have nipped that in the bud many months ago. The fact that she is undecided makes me think that is exactly it, she is undecided. I am hopeful she will run, but I will be honest and say I would be more than a little disappointed. I will understand, but the disappointment would be great. I just have to step away for awhile.

    • larrygeary

      I’ve already scratched my tonsils with my toenails more than once today. Best if we both step away from the keyboard and take a walk outside. :)

    • wodiej

      don’t blame you.  I will be very disappointed as well especially after taking such a long time to decide.  But I think it’s pretty likely she will run.  I don’t think she would have taken this long to decide if she wasn’t going to run.  I think she is doing it to help her strategy.  

    • JeannieBinVA

      Totally understandable, smbren. I’m only watching/reading Palin news — none of this straw poll or other candidate announcements crap.

      If she doesn’t run, I don’t care how often or loudly she says to get involved, I’m getting out of politics and political activism entirely. Forever. I’m just too tired of being expected to take all those other idiots seriously.

    • socon

      She’s running–you can take it to the bank.

      • Richard Oberlander

        Tammy Bruce is right.  Sarah has great timing and instinct.  We will have to trust her timing on announcing and I am sure she will get it right.

        • socon

          Me too.  I don’t think we have a choice in the matter anyway!  lol

  • BrianusBerkleianus

    Thanks, Nicole…beautiful photo!!

    PS: And beautiful writing too, as always!!!–especially the paragraph that begins, "I think the love affair is really a love affair with America!"

  • Vicki

    Wow, the interview on RedState is disturbing.

    • MarkRNY

      RedState is disturbing.

      Have no idea what was said, but she’s running Vicki. Not an honest politician’s chance in Chicago that she’s not.

      • smbren

        Redstate is not really red.

        • Vicki

          she said she would announce her decision in time for people to get on other campaigns.

          • lanahi

            That isn’t what she said, Vicki.  Quote her fully verbatum, and you’ll see more probable meanings to what she said.

          • socon

            That doesn’t make sense.  If Sarah’s not running why would she wait to announce as much?

    • V

      Forget about the opinions expressed on RS.  They have picked their horse to back.  Any conjecture from them on Gov. Palin’s run is less accurate and less informed than the people who post right here.

      Put it this way, their biggest wish is for Palin not to run.  Odds of their candidate winning the nomination (especially after this brief honeymoon period is done) are less than 30%.  When Palin announces, their odds at winning drop to the single digits.

      There’s a huge difference between Palin supporters and Perry supporters.  Perry supporters are scarred to death of a Palin run.  Palin supporters are confident in the Governor, and welcome the exchange of ideas.

      I have to laugh….the very candidate that Perry endorsed in 2008, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is likely to be announcing in the next couple of weeks.  Maybe Perry will endorse him again?

  • WEL2

    I believe the root of Governor Palin’s confidence is her relationship with and trust in God.  That foundation is strong. 

    • nederlandbill

      And her entire family.

  • JCaronan

    A beautiful, charismatic, warm and honest American, with a genuine servant’s heart, that’s what Sarah Palin is to me, and that’s what I want for a President. She’s the kind of leader who comes only once-in-a-lifetime, or realistically speaking, once in every 20 years, so its a shame if we don’t elect her to the presidency.

  • CVA9
    • MarkRNY

      So take the RP Stoners out and Sarah’s winning. Not the result’s Perry would hope for on the very day he announces! He was supposed to rocket to the top! (in fact, I think he had to)–

      Which makes viewing that nuclear explosion vid on the other thread worth watching again!

  • safedom

    Two hours of meet and greet to go a hundred yards. TOUCHDOWN!!!

    It’s going to be a real pleasure to some day meet President Palin. I want to experience that firm handshake and see that endearing smile.

    I’d also like to meet the man next the woman. Todd must be one helluva dude. 

  • Steven

    Confidence will prevail! No matter what happens with Bachmann winning today and Rick Perry announcing today, Palin’s confidence in herself and the American people is unsurpassed in this GOP field. Let’s be confident too and not get caught up in all the hype because at the end of the day, they can’t light a candle to Sarah Palin’s bright spotlight. She’s going to outshine them all and her light is brightest because of the confidence she has. Palin 2012, Game On, Accept No Substitutes!

  • nederlandbill

    Nicole—Great article !!! You NEVER disappoint !

  • ayamo

    Her great strength as well: Authenticity. She connects so well with the people, because she is one of us. And she tells it like she sees it and her passion runs strong.

    Here is anice little gag on T-Yawn:
    I don’t like Heinze very much, but what he says rings true: "If you think Tim Pawlenty’s
    anger is believable in these 13 seconds from his Ames speech, you’ve
    probably got his bumper sticker on your car. If you think it’s not,
    that’s why his campaign is in trouble."

    When T-Yawn says "get the government of our backs" and does the roar, I raise an eyebrow and yawn a bit. When the government says that, I roar in full support.

  • karenv99

    Absolutely fantastic article!  You hit ALL the points – there is NO ONE who can hold a candle to SARAH!   They would have to back off because SHE shines SO BRIGHT!


  • DesertFox

    What’s the first thing Obama want if you drop him on a glacier?
    "I want my teleprompter".

  • safedom

    Dang girl, you did it again.

    Nice job Nicole.

  • HuntingMoose

    My only interest in the straw poll is who will be on top after removing MB and Paul who have been astroturfing the poll with 6000 bought votes.

    Lets see if perry manages more peole to write in his name than will write in sarah

    Because if he doesn’t even on the day he announces, We can declare him DOA — dead on arrival

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