Drew Sweatte, Columnist
Perhaps Karen Hughes said it best when she remarked to a political operative at the 2008 Republican National Convention that Sarah Palin was, “a mixture of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.” The former Alaska Governor has been compared to many national and world figures before, but that distinction is not what qualifies her as the best Republican nominee for President of the United States.
To understand why Sarah Palin should and will be the Republican nominee and next president, you have to understand what Sarah Palin is made of that is so different from every candidate in this race – her pioneer stock.
Americans do not just need a new leader; we need someone vastly different than what we’ve had before. We need a pioneer in 2012 – that once in a generation executive who is not looking to dominate theworld, but one who seeks to harness the great spirit of creation, invention and innovation that is the hallmark of American Exceptionalism and the key to solving our greatest challenges.
The difference between a politician and a pioneer is that a pioneer does what needs to be done and allows everyone else to help the politician formulate talking points. Washington is a graveyard for human capital, workforce potential and new ideas. As President, Sarah Palin is capable of bringing new energy and efficiency to Washington – she did it Juneau. Like Art Laffer did in the Reagan Administration, Sarah Palin will embrace simple economic truths and real numbers to persuade lawmakers to get government, regulation and taxes out of the way of every Americans’ God-given right to prosper.
Palin, as a candidate on her own, has an opportunity to re-brand herself based on her record in Alaska, not the character the media has created.
Growing up in Alaska, Sarah Palin learned what it meant to be a great steward of land, culture and resources in every sense. Stewardship was something that, for generations, has kept Palin’s family and our Founding Fathers strong and prosperous. It also gave her the perspective, intuition and intellect to do great things in family, faith and government. So, while other candidates spent their careers grooming themselves for campaigns and power brokering, Palin and her team came to Juneau almost by accident – and their effect was an Alaskan avalanche against corruption and inefficiency.
When Sarah Palin took office as the 11th Alaskan Governor, she found herself as the head of a state that was corrupt, mismanaged and not working for its citizens. For every problem, Sarah Palin proposed a solution and fought hard to make things happen in a timely manner by working with her legislature and congressional delegation.
As Governor, Palin’s approach to solving problems reflected two goals: serving the people and making Alaska a world leader in every respect possible. When federal lawmakers talk about change and give dramatic speeches they sometimes pass legislation then pack up and go home, thinking the job is done. As governor, she insisted on making sure that when laws were passed, they were executed and enforced, taking the shininess off of feel good legislation. President Palin, unlike past Presidents, would execute the laws passed, rather than hope for the best after Congress votes.
Doing the constitutional and right thing was never a challenge for Sarah Palin as was evident when she issued her first veto. The Human Rights Campaign will never ask you to Google the phrase “Sarah Palin’s first veto” because it was striking down a bill that banned same-sex couples from state benefits. Palin, unlike Barack Obama, does not play politics with civil rights. She values every life and believes in equal treatment and respect for all as she has consistently stated in interviews.
In all of the proposals made and actions taken in Palin’s administration, she consistently remarked about something that is merely a talking point in Washington, but was reality in Alaska: the impact of today’s decisions on tomorrow’s citizens. This point of view greatly impacted her approach to budget writing and managing Alaska’s citizen-owned natural resources.
When some of the world’s largest oil companies were not fulfilling their obligations to safely and responsibly develop the natural resources owned by Alaskans, Governor Palin opened up development competition to all who were willing to accept the state’s terms, submit an application and play by the rules. Additionally, Palin directed her Department of Natural Resources to inventory potential sources of energy so that they could be safely developed to fuel schools, businesses and towns with energy needed to provide a living and future for all Alaskans.
When one leaseholder sat on a lease and did not fulfill their obligation to safely develop Alaska’s natural resources for 30 years, Palin took action. Palin boldly remarked that, “Leases are held by producers – they are iron clad contracts – they are contracts to develop the public’s resource for mutual benefit or [developers must] give back the leases…Warehousing Alaskan’s natural resources is not an option anymore. We can’t afford it.”
In Alaska, and under Palin’s leadership, resources were public owned. The state did not simply fill their treasury with profits (though they do get their share). Profits are shared directly with the citizens. Imagine that – a government giving its citizens their fair share of their money earned from their land and resources.
As governor, Sarah Palin not only created jobs, but she made sure that her state’s citizens were trained to perform those jobs. A President Palin would use this experience to not just create jobs, but she would create American jobs in our most crucial sectors like manufacturing, while also addressing pension liabilities and entitlement reform.
Though energy is a huge chunk of Alaska’s economy and provides impressive credentials for a presidential candidate, Sarah Palin handled every issue the same. Palin knew that she had many jobs to do, that the responsibility rested with her ability to be an executive leader and, most importantly, that she was working on behalf of the people.
Everything about Sarah Palin and her record as Mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska is anti-establishment. She epitomizes the saying, “ships are not built to sit in harbors.” Palin educates herself on all issues, examines all options, keeps government out of everything as much as possible and makes sure that citizens are the sole beneficiaries of any government profits. Never before has a president had that point of view. She is currently the most self-made person in American politics.
We are at a crucial time in our history where we risk losing our prosperity. Such challenges require leadership from someone who is fearless, has strong convictions, offers a new approach, and can bring people together, even when they disagree with her. Sarah Palin is the only leader who has truly done that. When Sarah Palin enters the race for president, she will distinguish herself as a successful executive leader who created jobs, put the people first, followed constitutional mandates and cares more about getting America back on track then simply running an anti-Obama campaign.
The failed Obama Administration is no match for this mama grizzly and neither is the elite Republican establishment. Sarah Palin will bring balance and prosperity to every corner of this great nation. Some call her a gamble or extreme. Such uneducated statements about this distinguished pioneer are clearly coming from people who never earned the highest approval rating in the nation – 93% — by simply fighting for what was right by the people.
Drew Sweatte, 24, is a former Republican political consultant who has served on state and federal campaigns in Washington State and California. He now owns his own small business, Arbonne Lifestyle Central and resides in West Hollywood, California.