I'm on a lot of Republican email lists, and never a discouraging word was heard from any of them about Sarah Palin for VP in the first hours after McCain's thunderbolt in Dayton announcing her. Here's a sampling: From Phil Burress, head of the Ohio pro-family movement that many believe made the difference for Bush in that state four years ago, a mass email headlined: “VP pick secures Ohio for McCain!”
From the listserve of GOP USA Media.com: "Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington. Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources."
From Karen England, chairman of Capitol Resource Center in Sacramento: "This morning we're in St. Paul, meeting with other national leaders of the pro-family movement and the mood has definitely shifted into excitement with John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. Former Attorney General Ed Meese commented, 'This is a very good day for the McCain campaign.'"
From Colleen Parro, executive director of the Republican National Coalition for Life: “John McCain has just won the election with this pick.” Parro's board chairman, conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, added that Palin is "an exemplar of all that is good and true... a major leader in the pro-life movement."
Here in Colorado, State Sen. Ted Harvey, just off his run for the 6th CD nomination to succeed Tom Tancredo, directed the attention of his email list to a Fred Barnes piece on Sarah Palin in the Weekly Standard, July 2007. In the previous year's election, Barnes wrote prophetically, "a Republican star was born. The triumph came in Alaska where Sarah Palin, a politician of eye-popping integrity, was elected governor. She is now the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating in the 90s, and probably the most popular public official in any state. Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle--especially to transparency and accountability in government--can produce political success."
Roger Houdek of Greenwood Village gave his listserve a selection of Palin's position statements from her gubernatorial campaign website, starting with this: "I am a conservative Republican, a firm believer in free market capitalism. A free market system allows all parties to compete, which ensures the best and most competitive project emerges, and ensures a fair, democratic process."
Frank Millis of Wheat Ridge said in mass email that while it's true "some radical feminists [will] vote straight socialist regardless of circumstances, I honestly believe for the first time that McCain and Palin can now beat the socks off a [Democratic ticket] which only has a discredited Robin Hood agenda."
Dusty Oliver, who helped with my Senate races in Arapahoe County, summed it up: "I almost fell over when I heard that McCain picked Sarah Palin. She is GREAT! Not afraid to take on some of our butthead Republicans and call them on the rug for ethics violations like she did to Sen Stevens and Rep Don Young of Alaska who are both under indictment. I saw a bumper sticker they have in Alaska: 'Gov. Palin...Coldest State... Hottest Governor.' Ya gotta laugh!"
They aren't laughing over at the Obama-Biden campaign.