Three Years After Dayton

Guest Submission by Ron Devito

Three years ago today at 12:26 EDT, Presidential Candidate John McCain introduced former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to the world. While some of the conservative cognoscente knew who she was and advocated for her to be McCain’s running mate, Gov. Palin was unknown for most of us until that moment. Instantly, the unknown Gov. Palin became a household name and remains so today. Palin blogs and websites were few and far between that day. Likely not a single site with “4P” in its name existed then. Today, over 100 dedicated Palin sites support Gov. Palin and possibly an equal number of hate sites try to destroy her.

Three years ago today, I caught her speech a few moments after it began as I left my employee lot to get a Gatorade lunch. I did not know her name. I did not know what she looked like. In the two blocks I drove before I had to pull over to the side of the road, Gov. Palin – SARAH – rocked my world, divided my calendar, and got a political observer active. I heard the spirit of President Reagan resurrected in a woman’s body. The first great leader we had seen in a generation was emerging. That day, Gov. Palin stole my heart. She finished the job not even six weeks later, when she signed it in Bethlehem, PA, once again rocking my world and dividing my calendar.

Gov. Palin has accomplished much in these three years. To simply link to all them would fill over 100 pages. In her final seven months as Alaska’s Governor, Sarah Palin accomplished more than seven of New York State’s governors had in 50 years. When she selflessly stepped down to stanch the flow of frivolous ethics complaints, Gov. Palin’s trajectory soared even higher.

She authored two books, hosted an eight-part documentary series on her home state, was the subject of a full-length feature movie, became a sought-after speaker commanding top honorarium, and is a Fox News contributor. She conducted humanitarian missions in cholera- and earthquake-wracked Haiti and in Alabama following devastating tornadoes. The former Alaska governor has raised over $120,000 for wounded soldiers, walked for autism, and the March of Dimes, among others. During her final seven months as Governor, Sarah Palin coordinated and led an airlift to distressed villages in remote western Alaska, sacrificing the political primping and priming, champagne and caviar of the 2009 CPAC conference. The little children to whom she personally distributed supplies were far more important than the Washington DC elites. Around that time, SarahPAC was born. Soon, SarahPAC – which did not yet exist three years ago today – may become far less important, being supplanted by a Presidential campaign.

Since becoming a private citizen, Gov. Palin has traveled to Hong Kong, Canada, India, and Israel. In Israel, Gov. Palin met and broke bread with Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. She is arguably the only private citizen who met, dined and spent a substantial amount of time with a head of state in recent history. Though Gov. Palin has long been an energy expert, she honed her acumen in economics and foreign policy over these past three years. Her writings have been featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Gov. Palin could announce her candidacy for the 2012 Presidential election any time now. Some had speculated it would be today. I think it will be a time, place, and method of her choosing. Regardless of when she ultimately announces her decision, now is a good moment to reflect on what brought us here in the first instance:

Where were you when … Gov. Palin shattered a glass ceiling with her sonic boom?

Cross-posted at US4Palin.

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