In Peggy Noonan's WSJ column today, "Palin's Failin'", she is critical of Mrs. Palin saying things like:
"But it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn't think aloud. She just . . . says things."
"She is a person of great ambition, but the question remains: What is the purpose of the ambition? She wants to rise, but what for?"
I would argue that she should ask that question of each of the four candidates under consideration. Allow me to speculate on the answers, from my decidedly non-elite perspective, though I should probably warn you that sometimes I just 'say things'.
John McCain's purposes and ambitions, I believe, are closely tied to his sense of duty and his family tradition of service to America. There may be some feeling of vindication and justification for the time he spent in a Vietnamese prison, but who can argue that he has not earned the opportunity? Of all the candidates, he is the most deserving.
Barack Obama's purpose and ambition is quite simply "fundamental change" in America. All of his arguments, policies and concepts center on "fairness". He believes America is unfair and must be changed, regardless of the potential damage to American principles such as individual freedom, personal responsibility and unlimited opportunity. He feels we must be fair, above all else, regardless of the impact that philosophy has on our economy, our international relationships and the psychology of the citizenry.
Joe Biden's purpose is to keep his job. He has no greater ambition that I can see. How else do you explain 30 years in the Senate without a single major accomplishment outside of continually being re-elected? It's a job with great perks and social standing, but in the end he's just selling good ol' Joe, like he's the latest model from Detroit, to the voters in Delaware.
Sarah Palin's purpose and ambition is possibly the most ambitious of them all. She wants to serve. That's it. Perhaps Ms. Noonan didn't catch it in her acceptance speech, which is odd considering who she specifically addressed the comment to. She said:
"But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country."Since that speech, what has she said or done to make anyone think that's not a sincere and truthful answer? Perhaps you don't understand the concept of serving others, but Sarah does, and that's why she resonates with the people.
Sarah understands service to others through her public service, her roles of wife and mother and, perhaps most importantly, through her Christian faith. The American people understand service to others, therefore we understand Sarah.
We get it. Do you, Ms. Noonan? What are your purposes and ambitions? What do you do to be "of service"? Does your writing reflect that? If so, then you should understand, too. If not, then perhaps you should work on that, if only to help you understand the answers you've already been given.
at 10:41 PM