August 29, 2008– The Day the Ship Left the Harbor

by Whitney Pitcher

Three years ago today marks what many would consider a political shockwave, in the announcement of Governor Palin as Senator McCain’s 2008 vice presidential running mate. While the political pundits were anticipating that Senator McCain would choose the likes of a Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty or maybe even a Joe Liebermann, the Arizona Senator chose instead a relatively little known governor from the state of Alaska.  There were some, though, with far more political clairvoyance than the rest of the country, C4P’s own Adam Brickley was among those who had such foresight, and he spearheaded a “draft Palin for VP” effort. He and others watched through the night to learn that indeed a plane from Alaska was traveling to Ohio, as Senator McCain was poised to make such a historic announcement.

As Governor Palin walked onto that stage with her family in Dayton, Ohio, America saw a woman who was the antithesis of the status quo. She was a woman who realized that motherhood and political life were not mutually exclusive. She was a woman who rejected traditional feminism, but embraced life and empowerment of women. She was a woman of faith who realized that being a light to the world means neither blinding people, nor hiding that light, but letting it shine. She was a woman who disproved the false choice between ignorance and intellectualism by exhibiting intelligence, wisdom and common sense. She was a leader who made decisions based on what was best for her state, not her political career. She was a politician who realized you could govern without losing your integrity, as she fought corruption and reformed ethics. On August 29, 2008, we were introduced to this woman:

In her introductory speech, Governor Palin spoke of a ship in harbor being safe, but such safety was not why the ship was built. Political leadership is not about making safe choices or calculated decisions; it is about taking measured risks and making principled decisions.  Many eagerly anticipate that Governor Palin will leave the proverbial harbor for another electoral voyage in the 2012 presidential election. Meanwhile, the same political pundits who were predicting a “safe” Vice Presidential candidate in 2008 are criticizing Governor Palin for not launching her ship on their timetable and for not hiring the “right” contractors and boat manufacturers to build the ship. It would serve the punditocracy well to remember that amateurs built the Ark, but professionals built the Titanic.  Two ships. Two destinations. Two very different outcomes.

Governor Palin has been studying the nautical maps, checking the weather and is prepared to conquer any sea squall.  As one of her recent Facebook notes indicates, she seems to be planning her route accordingly:

We hope to see many of you there as we gather to discuss the direction of our country and the way forward with our fundamental restoration of all that is good and strong and free in America

Governor Palin will launch her ship for this voyage in her own time, and as any fisherwoman can tell you, the North Star is a pretty good guide.

P.S. A very happy 23rd anniversary to Todd and Governor Palin!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “August 29, 2008– The Day the Ship Left the Harbor

  1. Seattle

    Thank you, Whitney,
    I can remember that Friday night very well. What a great speech! What a fresh and new day to look forward to! I did not support McCain, and so –before Gov. Palin was chosen– I was left adrift, with no shore upon which to land, unsure and depressed. But what a great speech! I had heard of Gov. Sarah Palin several weeks prior. Instinctively, that night, I saw a leader, and one I could definitely follow. One I could trust to be CinC.

    Right after her speech, my sweet, go-along-to-get-along, liberal (but not Liberal/Leftist) husband and I had a HUGE argument.

    (I imagine there are many combo liberal / conservative households out there and that mine is not the only one. It is not easy.) He was still going to vote for BO, even after he’d watched Sarah’s historic speech, even though he was impressed by her. I called him, “ignorant” and told him, please, “ignorance is a fleeting state if one decides to make it so” – “are you really going to cancel my vote AGAIN in another election”. He could still vote for her if he wanted to! But nope, he wanted Hope.

    I told him that BO did not represent America nor predominant American values, but that Palin did. I told him “She’s the lifeblood of this country. She’s the frontier soul.” Even his father, a practicing Catholic, had told him weeks before that BO was a “marxist socialist abortionist”. He just rolled his eyes at both of us.

    I have this theory that liberals get their validation of what is right and wrong from “group-think” and they tend to be more extroverted; and conservatives get their validation of right and wrong from “self-think” and they tend to be more introverted. The depended-upon bedrock between the two is different. Liberals like to trust the compass outside of themselves; conservatives like to trust the one inside of themselves. (It’s just a theory.)

    So, my night in 2008 was mixed.

    Three years later, he still “believes the hype” about Sarah, despite my steadfastness & endless “talks” with him, and even though the country has gone to pot under BO’s “policies”. He is lazy with the news; so, still ignorant — or stubborn. Not as actively political as I am. So, now I just tell him that, when he insults Sarah he is really insulting himself, because, by insulting Sarah, he is questioning my judgment of a person’s character (since I support Sarah and her record) — and so, if I am still with him, he must have a crappy character & be a “ditz” too. That shuts him up. He’s a good guy, but misguided and unwilling to demonstrate to himself that he is wrong. We are two very stubborn people!

    (Run, Sarah, run! I need help proving to everyone around me who you are!)

    –sorry this is long, I think I’ve held that in for three long years–

  2. Seattle

    I saved this link that I’d passed around to friends in September of 2008.

    It makes for interesting reading, and the comments are interesting too, as this was still 2008 and the upcoming 3 years of hell had not happened yet… I encourage you to give it a look! (Belmont Club is still one of my favorite blogs.)
    http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2008/09/05/both-sides-now/

  3. Joy

    Whitney, that was a terrific overview of Palin’s entrance on the Main Stage – and how we’ve followed and admired her ever since that memorable night in Ohio 3 years ago!!

    And Seattle, my heart goes out to you!! What a story! But, even more impressive is, what forebearance and patience you’ve obviously exhibited in your East/West-Lib/Conservative marriage!! It couldn’t have been easy over the years; but “love is blind,” and marriages shouldn’t be based soley on political affiliation or preference – unless BOTH partners are dedicated and stubborn political junkies!

    Good luck with your Lib spouse and your talking to a brick wall insofar as Sarah Palin is concerned! Thank goodness my late husband was a Republican; and although he wasn’t as Conservative as I’ve always been, I’m confident that he’d have LOVED Sarah Palin!! In any event, he was patience personified, so I know he’d have listened patiently to my pro-Palin rants – and would probably have been influenced by my strong opinions!! I just wish my parents and my late husband were all still to share that excitement, and I just know they’d all be Palinistas after I finished with them!! (To be honest, I don’t think I’d have to work very hard for that outcome, either! LOL…)

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