Gov. Sarah Palin

Pro-family advocates and Republicans are saying presumptive GOP nominee for president Sen. John McCain may have checkmated Democrat Sen. Barack Obama with his choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate.

She’s a woman, young, has been governor of Alaska for about two years, is pro-life and doesn’t believe homosexuals should be granted the special privilege of “marriage” rights, is a mother, has a son in the U.S. military and wants to expand America’s energy production.

“Absolutely brilliant,” said Mathew Staver, chief of Liberty Counsel, the Liberty Alliance Action and dean of the Liberty University school of law.

“The excitement was palpable among conservative leaders when they heard that Gov. Palin was Sen. McCain’s choice for vice president. There is a high level of optimism among conservative leaders that the McCain-Palin combination is a ticket that will connect with values voters,” he said.

Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, reacted with criticism.

“John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” he said.

But an alert WND reader noted, “She would only be ‘a heartbeat away’ if she actually was V.P., or if she were 100 percent certain to win and take office. You really have to wonder: Was this Freudian slip a concession that the Republicans will win?”

McCain passed over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and other higher-profile leaders to choose Palin, but in doing so he stole a considerable amount of momentum from the Democrats who had had Sen. Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate, seeking to become the first woman elected to one of the two highest offices in the nation.

In her first appearance with McCain today, Palin credited Clinton for leaving behind 18 million cracks, representing 18 million voters who supported her, in the glass ceiling between women and the American presidency, but she also said American women are not finished.

“The selection of Gov. Palin means that this upcoming election will be historic. But beyond making history, Palin brings substance and excitement. She is intelligent, young, attractive and articulate. As a woman and a mother, she can attract women voters, particularly those who feel disenfranchised,” Staver continued. “Gov. Palin can work with both parties and has shown she can clean up government corruption.

“Gov. Palin is pro-life and pro-marriage. She is also a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association,” continued Staver, who in July organized a meeting of 100 nationally prominent social conservative leaders in Denver to emphasize shared core values. “Gov. Palin has electrified conservatives.”

Bryan Fischer, executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, called the pick “an inspired choice.”

“She is unapologetically pro-life and pro-marriage. Those are values which are shared by the vast majority of mainstream Idahoans,” he said. “Gov. Palin has called abortion an ‘atrocity,’ and she helped Alaska pass the nation’s very first marriage amendment in 1998.”

Further, he said, “When almost 90 percent of all Down’s Syndrome babies are destroyed in the womb, Gov. Palin proudly gave birth to her son Trig last spring, even after he was diagnosed with Down’s during her pregnancy. The contrast with Sen. Obama could not be greater.

“While Sen. Obama believes that unwanted babies can be put to death while still in the womb, Gov. Palin has shown by her example that all pre-born babies, even those with birth defects, deserve a chance at life,” Fischer said.

More than a year ago WND columnist Les Kinsolving suggested she be considered for the VP post.

“We’re thrilled,” said Karen Cross, the political director for National Right to Life, citing Palin’s comment shortly after her handicapped son’s birth, when she said, “We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential.”

 “The country now has a clear choice,” said Darla St. Martin, co-executive director of the National Right to Life committee, “between an avowed pro-abortion ticket that would continue to push for unrestricted abortion on demand, and a strongly pro-life ticket that will bring us closer to a society that embraces the value and dignity of human life.”

“Her admirable record of confronting corruption and living her pro-life convictions shows she is a doer, not just a talker,” said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s group.

“It is particularly significant that a conservative woman was nominated for the nation’s second highest office. For years the feminist movement has acknowledged for leadership only those women who embrace a radical agenda,” said Janice Shaw Crouse, director of the CWA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute. “How refreshing that now we have a woman who reflects the values of mainstream American women.

“Take that feminists – here is a woman of accomplishment who brings a fresh face to traditional values and models the type of woman most girls want to become,” she said.

Tony Perkins of the Washington-based Family Research Council continued the theme, saying, “She has a record of advancing the culture of life at every opportunity including championing a ban on partial-birth abortion and promoting parental consent for minor abortions.”

Outside of the pro-family movement, there were politicians who jumped immediately to her side. Nevada Republican Chairman Sue Lowden cited her support for alternative energy, ethics reforms and battles against pork barrel spending.

“A dedicated family woman and a mother of five, including a son serving our country now, Palin represents Nevada values well and understands the challenges our families face,” she said.

From the other end of the country, New Jersey congressional candidate Roland Straten said he would be proud to work with her.

Former GOP presidential candidate Sen. Fred Thompson said he was “delighted” and described Palin as a “breath of fresh air.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said she reminds women “that they may not be welcome on the Democrats’ ticket, but they have a place with Republicans.”

Democrats besides Obama reacted with condemnation.

“Sarah Palin is not the right choice,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Obama picked Sen. Joe Biden, a longtime Washington politician, as his running mate.

 


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