Monday, September 08, 2008

Glass Ceiling or Glass Jaw, They Both Shatter

The prospect of Sarah Palin breaking a glass ceiling is interesting, of course, but should have been fully anticipated. The odds that Americans would avoid electing a qualified woman to one or more of the two highest offices in government have been decreasing for nearly 30 years.

The actual deed has only been awaiting the right woman.

The presumption among the chattering class has all along been that the first would be one of their own. Mrs. Clinton came close but it will be Mrs. Palin, she of Wal-Mart, the PTA and NRA, who accomplishes the task. When it is done, nearly all the pundits will say "no big deal," and in a sense they'll be right. What the most elite of them will miss is that it really isn't gender that makes the difference; it's not the gender in the candidate but the quality in the gender.

Mrs. Palin will be elected not because she is a woman but because she is the first woman qualified to lead to have scrambled up from the political farm teams, the governorships. She is more qualified for leadership than Senator Clinton. She is more qualified than Senators Obama and Biden. More qualified than the other short-list Republicans.

She is in fact, to coin a phrase, the best man for the job.

The shards of glass falling from the ceiling are less noteworthy than the shards falling from Senator Obama's shattered jaw. As I wrote in March, Barack Obama cannot take hits. He really cannot see himself making errors. He cannot learn. He is frozen in charismatic victimology. Once Governor Palin pointed out that the wizard's voice from behind the curtain was enhanced, that the man who would be emperor had no clothes, the course of history became defined.

The Democratic party has nominated a fantasy for its candidate. Sarah Palin pointed that out. She swung with a right cross and connected. Her opponent may stagger around the ring for a bit, but the match is over and it really wasn't much of a match. One swing from an all-American woman.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Palin will in future years receive less credit than she will deserve. Leftists will comment on the weaknesses of their candidate, the aberrations of the longest political contest in modern memory and wonder how such an unqualified candidate survived so completely unvetted by the process.

They will talk of reforms, but they won't make any.

Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic candidate for vice president 24 years ago, says that no major political candidate has ever mentioned her historic role until Sarah Palin thanked her and Mrs. Clinton in last week's acceptance speech.

Mrs. Ferraro, a lifelong Democrat, is not commenting on her vote this year.

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