The Fire In Her Belly

I'm Going to Stand

Tuesday night on Hannity, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin exhibited some of that fire.  It’s sure to give the existing Republican presidential field no shortage of heartburn.  She was strongly combative in the face of ridiculous slurs, and not merely those leveled at her, but also those aimed at Tea Party patriots and even talk radio hosts.  Her message was clear and concise:  “Enough is enough!”  Indeed, her words reverberated with with passion for this fight.  Sarah Palin seems intent upon taking up the fight against the entrenched establishment with a vigor that no other prospect of national political prominence is willing to do.

This facet of Governor Palin’s attitude is what Americans have been hoping to see from any of the other presidential prospects in the GOP.  Instead, what they’ve seen is an increasingly invisible and tepid lot of weakly-mumbled remarks in lukewarm defense of the Tea Party, and conservatism.  This is the most significant distinction between Sarah Palin’s electability and that of the other Republican candidates:  Governor Palin has the unique capability to energize crowds, move people to rally with her, and focus their combined strength on virtually any cultural and political issue.  Combined with her commitment to firmly held principles, what the fire in her belly provides is the one thing the GOP needs in a candidate, perhaps more desperately than any other trait:  Sarah Palin has the unrepentant will to stand up and join in  the fight.

It isn’t about simple sloganeering.  Governor Palin seems willing to leave slogans to others, but what her passion indicates is a sincere commitment to the restoration of the republic.  Why wouldn’t she be passionate?  In most every respect, she has much more in common with the average American than any of the other republicans in a position to seek the presidency.   She has every bit as much to lose from the continuation of the current establishment paradigm as any of us.  She’s an entrepreneur who sees the effects of the growing government sector at the expense of the private sector.  Like so many of us, as a parent, and nowadays, a grandparent, she has a deep personal investment in the future of the country, and it resounds in the tone of her voice as she tells her audience that we can’t afford any more of Obama’s disastrous economic policies.  She isn’t just spouting talking points.  She means it.

More importantly, perhaps, it seems many Americans recognize her commitment, her passion, and her sincerity in confronting the crises with which the country is faced.  One fairly reliable gauge I’ve found for evaluating candidates is in the person of my wife.  She’s had an uncanny ability to pick who will win or lose, and she is consistently adept at sizing up candidates.  In 1992, she took one look at Bill Clinton and said: “Oh, wonderful, we’re going to have a used-car salesman for President.”  In 1996, she took one look at the newly-minted Republican nominee, and said: “Just get yourself ready for four more years of Bubba-talk and used cars.”  She’s successfully picked the winner in each subsequent election, mostly on the basis of her relative appraisals of the candidates.  Somehow, she just knows, and while she may not like what her judgments tell her, she’s been remarkably straightforward in stating them.  In 2008, she looked at John McCain, shook her head, and asked: “Why did they nominate him?” Adding more, she nodded her head at the speaker, Sarah Palin, and said: “They could have saved a lot of time and trouble, and four years of pain if they would have just nominated her, instead.”   After a moment more of the governor speaking she looked at me and said: “Don’t worry, she’ll be back.”  I’ve asked her to explain it to me, but she says it’s a ‘woman thing.’  Perplexed as ever when that is offered as the sole explanation, I shrug hopelessly and go on to the things I can measure.

It’s against this back-drop that on Tuesday night, I watched the Hannity interview alone, but I was curious to be able to watch the reaction of a true political skeptic.  Mrs. America walked into the room, and I rewound the DVR to replay it for her, as I settled into a position from which I could watch my wife without making it obvious, and thereby biasing my ‘study.’  Having spent more than two decades as the perpetual cause of most of her more severe facial expressions, I knew that by watching Mrs. America’s face for every raised eyebrow, every tiny widening of eyes, and every re-forming of the shape of her mouth, I would be able to gauge her reaction as a sort of study in the effects Governor Palin might have on an agreeable but not altogether ‘sold‘ viewers.  After forty-six years, I may not know the first thing about ‘women,’ but I know how to read the nuances of the mood of exactly one woman.  When she started to speak, Hannity having posed the question about Biden and the others calling Tea Party Americans ‘terrorists,’ I watched a growing look of inquiring expectancy.  She was waiting for something.  When Governor Palin came out swinging, taking the leftists to task for this latest vile nonsense, I saw the set of a jaw tightening and the barely perceptible nod, and as Mrs. Palin went on, Mrs. America followed.

When Mrs. Palin said “I’m going to stand up…” I saw a brightening of the eyes, and a slight smile begin to take shape from the previously indifferent pose of Mrs. America’s lips.  Every time and in every way she addressed the propensity of Obama to recklessly spend more money, I watched a growing resolve in the set of my wife’s jaw.  When Hannity prepared to go to commercials, he had to make the obligatory inquiry about her plans for 2012, but pressed for time, he tried to suggest one, and Sarah Palin beamed and laughed and that’s when I saw it:  My wife, the hardened cynic, with resolute indifference to most frivolous remarks, had leaned back slightly in her seat, and she had begun to smile with Sarah Palin.

The beauty of DVR technology is that we didn’t need to wait through those commercials.  Advancing  it to the resumption of the interview, Mrs. America, at first sitting forward again, now leaned back against the sofa as if settling in.  When Hannity asked about the notion of ‘compromise,’ here too, my wife leaned forward a bit, as if waiting to hear the answer that would tell the tale of the tape.  As Governor Palin described the need to stand firm, citing Ronald Reagan’s example, I watched something interesting develop on the face of Mrs. America, and it was an expression with which I’m naturally less familiar:  Approval.  Nodding in agreement, I watched my wife’s hand tighten on the remote, and lightly pound it into the top of her thigh.  It was an exclamation point in time with the Governor’s remarks on Cut, Cap, and Balance.  The drumbeat of those words were matched in time by Mrs. America’s.   When Governor Palin analogized her position to that of Hannity, Levin, and Limbaugh, Sean asked if she really thought any of the three could be elected to office.  Sarah Palin’s answer was a laugh, and as she said “Well, I do, but I’m one of those ‘terrorists’…”  My wife had begun to smile again, and now laughed openly, again with Mrs. Palin.  When I saw that, what it told me is that the remainder of the Republican field had better prepare themselves for a serious primary battle.  If Mrs. America’s reactions to Governor Palin are any yardstick by which to measure her presidential prospects, my wife’s little statement to me as she passed back the remote may be the indication: “She’ll do just fine.”   After twenty-three years of marriage and five presidential campaign seasons together, that sort of matter-of-fact appraisal is as much as I will get, and what it tells me is only: She knows.

Leave a comment ?

5 Responses to The Fire In Her Belly

  1. LOL! I would love to hang out wiith your wife! I too get that "feelling" and just know she's gonna kick butt and take no prisoners! It's a woman thing!

  2. Debbie Mundt says:

    Dear Mark:

    Great, great article. I go onto all the time and am so happy that you have started writing for their site. I have read your last several postings and their are awesome. Your wife sounds very intuitive.

    Thanks so much for your beautiful prose. I look so forward to your next articles.

    God Bless You and GO Sarah!!!

  3. Very entertaining and informative article, Mr. Glad your Mrs. agrees with me.
    My first impression of B. Clinton was exactly the same as your wife's. In addition, when McCain announced Sarah as his pick, I knew right then that she would be elected President the next time around. I just strongly feel that she is the only one with enough love, patiotism, grit, character, and honesty to Renew, Revive, and Restore America.

  4. kevin says:

    I first found Marks articles off of The Book Of Sarah. I highly recommend this site for anyone researching Sarah from Alaska. Jedediah Bila just wrote a piece called "Manhattan Lefties Talk Palin" Its about a cocktail party she attended. (a very left party). It shows how scared these liberals are of Sarah Palin. The two points that stick out for me the most is that they believe she will do what she says and my favorite part; that she can beat Barack Obama in 2012!
    I saw the Hannity interview, the anger and determination I heard in Mrs. Palins voice is exactly how I, plus a large number of people i know are feeling today. Personally, I feel the last couple of months have been a complete waste of time. This debt bill does nothing except giving Obama more money to squander. We need to mobilize! Its a long shot but I believe our only hope is to get control of both houses, along with the White House. My choice for the top of the ticket is Sarah Palin/Marco Rubio.
    "She'll do just fine." That should say it all!

  5. NeaL says:

    Before reading this, I was content with my summation that Sarah Palin will not choose to run, though I hope she proves me wrong.
    By the end of reading this, I felt like I had dived beneath the surface of the water and stayed under just a little too long and gone a little too deep. Struggling to reach the surface, my lungs bursting to inhale a deep breath of air, knowing that if I inhale too soon, I could drown. Exhaling the spent air will lose my bouyancy. And I'm right there, the surface just a few feet, a few inches above my nose…

    And I can't catch that desparately needed breath until Sarah Palin announces she's running.