By chance, I lucked into a small group invited to spend a day with Sarah Palin. Now having the pleasure, shock, fun and complete joy of spending 24 hours with Sarah Palin is not something to be taken lightly as I am the only non media, non state official, and non politico in the group. I’m just a Republican Party member who lucked up when someone really important couldn’t make the trip.
Sarah, I continually need to remind myself, is the Governor of Alaska and former Republican Vice Presidential candidate, because within the first 15 minutes she made me feel as if I’ve known her all my life.
I watched her handle an impromptu press conference, when we stumbled across a gaggle of television reporters, she stood stoic and answered questions mainly about her failed VP bid but also a wide range of state and local topics.
The Governor didn’t so much lose the election, as she was simply over run in the Obama moment, with a system doesn’t allow us to vote for a Vice President. I have no doubt she would have crushed Joe Biden, one on one.
The YouTube video of the governor being interviewed, while sipping a starbucks coffee as a farmhand kills a couple of turkeys in the background is totally Sarah Palin. It’s Alaska for God’s sake, not New York City and turkeys are birds before they become butterballs.
Riding in a SUV limo I glance her way and catch her tugging at the knees of her panty hose, my glance is caught, she smiles, and then whispers, “I hate these things”. She then turns to answer a detailed question about the decline in oil prices and the effects on Alaska state revenues.
She is totally within her element in Alaska, she walks along a street scattered with polite hellos and strikes a pose for a photo holding someone’s baby. But before the photo is snapped she gently arranges the baby’s hair and with her thumb wipes the child’s nose, which is running slightly in the cold and windy Alaskan air.
Her trade mark glasses I have determined are her armor, a way to shield herself from her critics, but she really has few in Alaska. In a state dominated by men Sarah is a mother to all, a MILF to some, a sister, a co worker, a wife and at the same time a child. Her innocence is palatable, yes she is a little naïve, as she would not have accepted the VP assignment had she understood the reality of the McCain camp’s desperation.
There is nothing overtly sexy about Sarah Palin, but at the same time she is sexy as can be. The wind is blowing hard, ice daggers to a southern boy like me and I’m standing in the protection of a hotel conference center doorway while she’s talking to an older man with his back to the wind and a cup of coffee in his hand. In Alaska everyone carries a cup of coffee. She’s listening, bundled in a heavy parka, intently listening and I determine that is why she’s sexy, she listens.
At lunch she spills a glass of water, and never misses a beat while discussing education in Alaska. Later at a dinner her knife will tumble unexpectedly to the banquet room floor, she’ll then ask the guest on her right, to use his.
During the ride to another meet and greet she takes a call from one of her daughters, “NO”, she says firmly.
“And so you called just to hear me say NO? ….I understand…. but the answer is still NO. I love you too”.
She closes her phone and calls husband Todd, “I told her no. OK I love you too”. She shifts gears like an experienced trucker on a long grade up some distant wilderness mountain pass, and tells a fellow passenger of her concerns for social security.
She’s good I think to myself and Todd by the way is the luckiest guy on the planet.
At the airport she’s all smiles even as the wind blows hard across the tramac. I wonder aloud is it always this windy in Alaska? Sarah is shaking hands, everyone is polite and there are smiles are all around as I step back and take in the moment.
The attraction is universal, she’s your sister's best friend, your daughter's bride’s maid, she’s blue collar, she’s the girl you’d take home to meet you parents and not panic if your mom dragged her into the kitchen to give a hand with dinner. She’s the kind of girl you could send to fetch a 7/8 inch open end wrench and trust she'd not come back with a hammer. Hockey Mom, Pit Bull, Barracuda, Governor and one pretty cool lady.
The corporate jet climbs into the darkness, I can’t help but think that Sarah Palin liked the life she had a taste of when she stepped across the threshold from politician to celebrity. But I hope that she stays on as Governor of the Great State of Alaska, she needs her roots and the rest of the country can just stay envious of those lucky guys in Alaska.
Would the nation still love Sarah Palin if she didn't run for president in 2012?