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The Beauty of Sarah Palin

It's more than just skin deep

I’m not talking about the mere physical attractiveness of Alaska’s governor, though she has been blessed with an abundance of that gift. Palin was a competitor in the 1984 Miss Alaska beauty pageant after being named Miss Wasilla earlier that year, where she also won Miss Congeniality honors.

No, what I’m dicussing here is beauty in the political sense – as in the beauty of what John McCain, if he’s smart and willing to make a really bold move, could accomplish by naming Governor Palin as his running mate for the presidential election.Those making the case for Palin as GOP VP nominee include Jack Kelly on Real Clear Politics, American Spectator’s Thomas Cheplick, Bill Krtistol and Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard and Anchorage Daily News columnist William Ruger.

A number of bloggers have added their voices to the chorus in praise of Alaska’s governor. Just a few examples can be found here, here and here.

There are websites devoted to promoting Palin for the Republican vice presidential nomination – Sarah Palin for America, Palin For VP, and Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President. There are even web ads made independently on her behalf. You can view them here, here and here.

There no need for me to echo all of the arguments made by those cited here for Sarah Palin. But I would like to add some perspective.

With energy and oil prices at the top of the nation’s current domestic concerns, and with energy independence tied closely to national security at a time when Russia, America’s old nemisis, is again on the rise, it is critical for McCain to have someone on his ticket who can speak with authority about energy. Palin demonstrates her command of the subject in this video clip from Glenn Beck’s TV show.

Also, in one of the most under-reported news stories in recent weeks, Gov. Palin has accomplished a feat which has eluded the U.S. Congress for many years. She has pushed through the Alaska legislature a natural gas pipeline project which will bring new supply and price relief to the lower 48:

On Aug. 1, the same day the call for a vote on drilling began on the House floor, the Alaska state Senate approved a package of measures to license a new natural gas pipeline. House Bill 3001 lets Palin award the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act license to TransCanada Alaska, a pipeline builder that cast a winning bid of five.

The legislature had been trying for 30 years to authorize something like this and, up until now, had blown it. Palin got it through. Getting it off the ground, the state says, will be the biggest construction project in U.S. history.

Palin considers the $26 billion project her biggest accomplishment as governor. “It was not easy,” she told IBD. “Alaska has been hoping and dreaming for a natural gas pipeline for decades. What it took was getting off the dime and creating a competitive market in Alaska.”

The 1,715-mile gas line would stretch from Alaska’s North Slope to Fairbanks and down to Alberta, Canada. Then it would take existing gas lines to Idaho. In 10 years, Palin says, the lower 48 states would receive 4.5 million cubic feet of natural gas a day. By 2030, according to Energy Department estimates, Alaska’s annual natgas production would quintuple to 2 trillion cubic feet.

With the voters seeing nothing being done but congressional bickering on the energy front, Sarah Palin can point to this accomplishment to show that she’s a “can do” leader on energy, something no other potential GOP vice presidential nominee can boast of right now. That’s what the electorate is looking for, and this would make Palin a valuable asset to McCain’s campaign.

But I’ve saved the best for last. The Democrats can hardly criticize Gov. Palin’s resume as being too thin without calling attention to Obama’s own limited experience. And that perhaps, is the real beauty of Sarah Palin.

- JP

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