On my national blog about 6 p.m. Wednesday, I'll have a column up about two women who could be competing for the presidency in 2012: Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, whose youngest daughter, Piper, age 7, is pictured jumping on a huge sealskin in a Native Alaskan area. Piper has to be one of the most charming children in America, and sometimes the TV stations want to interview her before they talk to her very popular mother. Sarah Palin is reportedly on McCain's short list for V-P choices. She has five children, including a newborn boy, Trig. She's known as "America's Most Popular Governor."
Her campaigning in Pennsylvania would be a godsend -- an a money-raiser -- for GOP candidates. Many people -- I'm one -- are imploring her to visit here soon. See below on Sarah.
THE CASE FOR SARAH ON THE GOP TICKET -- And in Pennsylvania!
Sarah Palin may very well be John McCain's choice for V-P on the Republican ticket. Barack Obama apparently doesn't want Hillary to be his V-P choice, but for purely political reasons he may choose her anyway.
Why do Obama-types fear the presence of Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket? In part, it's her legendary toughness (they don't call her "Sarah Barracuda" for no reason). But her main strength is her strong appeal to critical groups of voters. Consider:
Married women: Sarah's marriage to Todd Palin gives every evidence of being a model relationship. Sarah and Todd were childhood sweethearts, and they eloped shortly after she graduated from high school.
Young people: Sarah is only 44, and she exudes youthfulness and energy. She has children ranging in age from 18 (son Track) to a few weeks (son Trig).
Military families: Sarah and Todd are a military family. Their son Track enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry on September 11, 2007. It's extremely likely he will see combat duty in either Afghanistan or Iraq, or both.
Families with children: The Palins have five children, three of them teenagers (Track, Willow, Bristol), as well as daughter Piper, age 7, and baby Trig (a Norwegian name).
Reagan Democrats: Palin has the highest approval ratings of any major elected official in the U.S. -- in the 90% range. That means she's gained approval from the vast majority of Democrats. Like Ronald Reagan, she's a master communicator.
Women professionals (journalists, teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and businesswomen): Sarah is the consummate female professional, having served as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and as governor of the state. Her college degree is in journalism. Her parents both served as public school teachers.
Working families: Sarah's husband, Todd, has labored his entire adult life as a commercial fisherman and an oil field production worker. The couple's links to working families go far beyond the usual political rhetoric.
Gun owners: Like many Alaskans, Sarah is an avid hunter and a life-member of the National Rifle Association.
Pro-Life social conservatives: When Sarah found out that her unborn son, Trig, had Down Syndrome, she and her husband chose to have the child. Her point was that God has a purpose for every human being. When Trig was born, the Palins' press release began with these words, "God has blessed us . . . ." The fascinating point was that they meant every word of it.
Evangelical Christians: Sarah is an evangelical Christian. However, she doesn't wear her religious faith on her sleeve. She is not anti-gay and does not scapegoat people who disagree with her.
People concerned about energy and the environment: As governor of Alaska, Sarah is among the best-informed elected officials on both issues. She's head of the energy committee at the Republican Governors Association and is a strong advocate of level-headed conservation of natural resources.
Overall, there's no other Republican that brings more to the table than Sarah Palin. She has exceptionally wide appeal. She would help John McCain with many groups with which he's currently weak (including young people and women professionals).
Of supreme importance: Sarah could be particularly helpful in battleground states with large numbers of working class voters, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, and Michigan.