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Memo to McCain blabbermouths: Character is destiny

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 7, 2008 07:00 AM

My syndicated column today takes on the cowardly character assassins in the McCain campaign who are trying to kneecap Sarah Palin. More than 10,000 people signed the petition yesterday expressing thanks to Sarah Palin for stepping up to the plate. (I had to close it off due to liberal hate trolls indulging their PDS. Their comments will be deleted.) I’ll print off the petition and send the whole thing off to the Alaska Governor’s office. The question now is whether John McCain — proud author of books on character and courage, honor and duty — will just sit on the sidelines and let this debacle continue or stand up and defend the running mate he chose.

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The cowardly character assassination of Sarah Palin
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2008

Sunken ships loosen bitter lips. The failed McCain campaign, for all its high-minded talk of honor, duty, and courage, is now teeming with unscrupulous gossip-mongers. Seems the dishy staffers forgot to crack open their copies of Sen. McCain’s best-seller, Character Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember. Rest assured: Their cowardly character assassination of Sarah Palin won’t be forgotten.

The finks turned to Newsweek and Fox News to spread petty rumors about Sarah Palin’s intellect and character. The magazine peddled anecdotes from sources horrified that Palin greeted top advisers at her hotel room – gasp! — “wearing nothing but a towel” and “wet hair.” Fox News reporter Carl Cameron breathlessly reported that his unnamed McCain sources told him Palin lacked “a degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate” because, they claimed, she didn’t know which countries were parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement and “didn’t understand that Africa was a continent, rather than a series, a country just in itself.”

Let’s assume for a moment that the McCain rumor-mongers are telling the truth about Palin (and I don’t believe they were). Who would it damn more: Sarah Palin or McCain and his vetters who green-lighted her for the vice presidential nomination? Don’t need a fancy Ivy League degree to figure that one out.
In introducing her to America, John McCain praised her independence and backbone: She “stands up for what’s right and she doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down.” The inside snipers are now roasting her for that very attribute – redefined as “going rogue” – because she had the nerve to try and schedule media interviews on her own. The nerve of her!

Palin’s response to the campaign fragging? At a late Wednesday night airport press conference in Anchorage, immediately upon landing home after the election defeat, she smiled cheerfully. The Alaska governor shrugged off the McCain saboteurs saying “foolish things” and said simply: “It’s politics…It’s rough and tumble and you’ve got to have a thick skin just like I’ve got.”

Hollywood savaged Sarah Palin. Journalists mocked her. Liberal blogs slimed her. Opponents cursed her, Photoshopped her, hacked her e-mail, hanged her in effigy, called her a bigot, Bible-thumper, and bimbo, and attacked her husband and children. But nothing Sarah Palin endured during the election season compares to the treatment she’s receiving from these back-stabbing blabbermouths who worked on the same campaign she poured herself into the last three months.

Sarah Palin worked her heart out. She energized tens of thousands to come out who would have otherwise stayed home. She touched countless families. I didn’t agree with everything she said on the campaign trail. But she vigorously defended the Second Amendment and the sanctity of life more eloquently in practice than any of the educated conservative aristocracy. And she did it all with a tirelessness and infectious optimism that defied the shameless, bottomless attempts by elites in both parties to bring her and her family down.

Liberty needs a virtuous people to survive; self-governance requires virtuous leaders.

“Knowledgeability” is a necessary trait in political life, but it is not sufficient. The elitist critics of Sarah Palin, so blindly enamored of Barack Obama’s ability to hold forth for hours on theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, ignored the Founding Fathers’ counsel: Character counts. In times of adversity and crisis, it counts more than IQ points and instant trivia recall and bloviation skills.

“The most important thing I have learned, from my parents, from teachers, from my faith, from many good people I have been blessed to know, and from the lives of people whose stories we have included in this book,” John McCain wrote in Character is Destiny, “is to want what they had, integrity, and to feel the sting of my conscience when I have risked it for some selfish reason.”

John McCain not only failed to make that message stick with the electorate, he apparently couldn’t persuade his own staff to heed his advice and practice what he preached.

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