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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 9, 2009 / 17 Tamuz 5769

We hardly knew ye, Sarah

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the beginning, Sarah Palin was the anti-politician. When all the nation's political ills emanated from Washington, she possessed an antidote from Wasilla. When Congress was debilitated by an addiction to earmarks, she threatened a fiscal intervention. When too many men confused power with beauty, she was an attractive woman who fought the good-old-boy system.


All this, in heels, was ominous enough. But there was one more menace the entire political establishment — not just its liberal multitude — really couldn't countenance. Palin was a commoner.


She didn't have an Ivy League pedigree. She did attend community college and a state university. She didn't have the fashion sense of East Coast elitists who shop at Bergdorf Goodman or the cultural affinities of West Coast elitists who patronize Rodeo Drive. She came from a different coast where, as one politician told members of refined society, people cling to guns and religion.


The cultivated set expected "Caribou Barbie" to melt before the cameras like a Wicked Witch of the Wild West. Instead, in her debut at the Republican National Convention 10 months ago, Palin was fresh, charming, even witty. Remember the one about the difference between hockey moms and pit bulls? Lipstick.


The Culture War Alert Warning System immediately went to Defcon 1. People who knew nothing about Sarah Palin, other than that she was not one of them, contrived every imaginable attack on her, her husband, her children, her church — even her womb.


Feminists declared that the mother of five was not an authentic woman. Politicians avowed that the governor of Alaska was not a real executive. Scandalous and unsubstantiated Internet rumors about Palin percolated into the mainstream press that would have been ignored or suppressed in the case of a liberal candidate.


For Palin supporters, all this merely made her seem more endearing. Undecided voters and even people who didn't care for Palin's politics began to resent the snobbish, condescending assault.


Millions of Americans who have a legitimate distrust of the political process kept faith that the former small-town mayor could direct a 21st century sequel to a Frank Capra classic. This time, Mrs. Smith was going to Washington. Some Republicans even wondered aloud whether the wrong name was atop the GOP ticket.


Then there was silence. And more silence. For weeks after her acceptance speech in St. Paul, Palin was nowhere to be seen or heard. The silence was eventually broken by disastrous interviews in which she demonstrated not anti-intellectualism, but instead ignorance. Finally, Palin accomplished the unimaginable: She made Joe Biden look articulate and statesmanlike in the vice presidential debate.


By Election Day, Palin was no longer the fresh or charming and certainly not witty anti-hero of American politics. After an initial triumph, her performance on the national stage was more than a severe disappointment for citizens who wanted their interests — not only special interests — represented. For the arrogant, it also validated pretentious beliefs about who is fit to serve and lead this nation.


It was this same stale, irritating and stultifying politician who went before the cameras on a holiday Friday — an old political trick — to announce that she was resigning as governor because … well, who can tell? Her stream-of-consciousness discussion of sports metaphors, rhetorical boilerplate and self-pity was even less coherent than her campaign ramblings.


Palin's dismal vice presidential run did inestimable harm to the American tradition of egalitarianism. Her decision to abandon the governor's office when the going got tough is another nail in the coffin of the Republican brand. Only the most cynical Democrat could hope she is not retiring from public service.


In the end, that was no maverick in front of a float plane last Friday. It was just a conventional pol, without the Ivy League pedigree, doing what politicians do best — thinking of herself first.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.

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© 2009, Jonathan Gurwitz

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