To summarize baseball legend Reggie Jackson: nobody boos a nobody. That is definitely true in the case of Governor Sarah Palin. I don’t think I am going out on a limb here when I speculate that individuals who repeatedly attack her anonymously view her as a threat. And that includes members of the media hell-bent tearing down young Republican up-and-comers as well as some in Governor Palin’s own party — a party desperately in need of redefining — who are motivated, for whatever reason, to try and crush their rivals.
The most recent and grossly unfair attack came from Vanity Fair magazine. The writer clearly had an unshakable point of view from the start and talked only to those who would criticize. For example, he personally asked me at event preceding the White House Correspondents Dinner if I would talk to him about Governor Palin. I agreed. He didn’t call. He didn’t email. He never once tried to get my take. I also know he never contacted campaign manager Rick Davis, or John McCain.
I have known many political leaders over four decades including all Republican presidents and VPs. I have come to know Sarah Palin over the past year and can state unequivocally that she is smart, curious, hard working, charming, and effective. She also has something her detractors clearly lack – a sense of honor and loyalty.
I know this is petty, but it reminds me of the 2004 presidential election where it was commonplace and accepted in much of the mainstream media to call President Bush stupid and Senator Kerry smart and insightful. At the end of the day, when Senator Kerry finally released his college transcripts, wouldn’t you know: he did quite a bit worse than President Bush.
I have seen Sarah up close with leading heavyweights, and have seen her hold her own and then some. At the dinner at my home referenced in the article, she engaged comfortably and deeply with people ranging from Alan Greenspan to Madeleine Albright to Mitch McConnell. She asked for a foreign policy discussion on her June 7 trip to Washington, and I saw her engage in an informed and spirited manner with Frank Carlucci.
Governor Palin has many admirers and defenders out there who will not allow her to be branded by jealous rivals with their own agenda and the elitists in the national media. I am not sure who the unnamed Vanity Fair sources are, but without question they lack chivalry and have acted in a craven manner. They also lack the facts. I am ashamed of my former campaign colleagues, whoever they are.