Commentaries, Global Warming, Opinions   Cover   •   Commentary   •   Books & Reviews   •   Climate Change   •   Site Links   •   Feedback
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Contributor
Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  September 8, 2008
Print article - Printer friendly version

Email article link to friend(s) - Email a link to this article to friends

Facebook - Facebook

Topic category:  Other/General

Palin Is All-American, Not "Average"

"Cuda" deserves more kudos and full recognition of her specialness.

Sarah Palin did not earn the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" by being average.

Sometimes even Peggy Noonan is wrong.

Wikipedia: "Peggy Noonan (born Margaret Ellen Noonan on September 7, 1950, in Brooklyn, New York) is an author of seven books on politics, religion and culture, a weekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and was a primary speech writer and Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. She is considered a political conservative."

Unfortunately, Peggy had a problem with the selection of 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Like Jesse Jackson, Peggy is old enough to know better than to risk being heard on an open microphone, especially at MSNBC, the cable channel of the National Barack Company.

But Peggy ran the risk and what she intended as a private rant became a public embarrassment for Peggy.

Wikipedia: "On an appearance on MSNBC with Mike Murphy on September 3rd, 2008, Noonan was caught questioning the choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate after her mic was accidentally left on. In the conversation she said that 'it's over,' and 'the most qualified? No! I think they [the Republicans] went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --'. This came after an article published earlier that morning in the Wall Street Journal in which she called Palin a 'a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy.' Later that day, she explained in an addendum to the online version of the column that 'It's over' did not refer to the McCain campaign and apologized for use of the profanity, adding that her skepticism at the McCain campaign's reason for selecting Palin did not mean that Noonan herself opposed Palin."

Fortunately, "Sarah Barracuda" quickly proceeded not only to vindicate her selection by McCain as his running mate, but also Peggy's judgment that she (Palin) is "a real and present danger to the American left, and to the Obama candidacy."

Peggy then tried to make some sort of amends in her next Wall Street Journal piece:

"Sarah Palin killed. And more than killed.

"Much has been said about her speech, but a few points. 'The difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick' is pure American and goes straight into Bartlett's. This is the authentic sound of the American mama, of every mother you know at school who joins the board, reads the books, heads the committee, and gets the show on the road. These women make large portions of America work.

"She has the power of the normal. Hillary Clinton is grim, stentorian, was born to politics and its connivances. Nancy Pelosi, another mother of five, often seems dazed and ad hoc. But this state governor and mother of a big family is a woman in a good mood. There is something so normal about her, so 'You've met this person before and you like her,' that she broke through in a new way, as a character vividly herself, and vividly genuine."

Alas, Peggy still did not fully get it."Sarah Barracuda" is extraordinary, not normal.

Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi are much older than Palin and have been in politics much longer, yet neither of them ever gave a performance of the caliber that Palin did (under intense fire from the secular extremists who rightly fear that Palin will frustrate their plans for America).

Yes, Palin is a member of America's huge middle class who genuinely embraces traditional America values, but she is extraordinary, not average.

Comparison to Hillary is very much in order and favors Palin.

Hillary has been on the national scene for more than fifteen years, as the spouse of a presidential candidate, as First Lady of the United States, as a United States Senator from New York and as a candidate for the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination.

Truth be told, Hillary became a much more effective campaigner over the long campaign and had 2008 Democrat presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. avoiding more debates with her.

But Sarah Palin, a former mayor of her home town in Alaska who became Alaska's governor in 2006, showed herself to be a star when she gracefully walked on to the national stage, commanded the nation's attention and won the approval of a substantial majority of her fellow Americans.

Palin displayed an inspiring combination of enthusiasm, energy and grace when McCain introduced her as his choice and then gave the best speech at either convention this year and for many years, despite vicious attempts to savage her and her family in order to force her off the ticket.

Palin proved herself to be a person of substance, smarts and style whose personal sense of security protected her from all attempted intimidation.

Yet Peggy focused on Palin's "flaws" and pronounced Palin "average" and "common."

Peggy: "[Palin's] flaws accentuated her virtues. Now and then this happens in politics, but it's rare. An example: The very averageness of her voice, the not-wonderfulness of it, highlighted her normality: most people don't have great voices. That normality in turn highlighted the courage she showed in being there, on that stage for the first time in her life and under trying circumstances. Her averageness accentuated her specialness. Her commonality highlighted her uniqueness."

That's not what I saw.

I saw a lady who actually was confident and comfortable.

I saw fearlessness, not courage.

I saw specialness, not averageness.

Peggy did pay tribute to Palin: "She has lived her expressed values. She said yes to a Down Syndrome child. This too is powerful."

Admirable too.

Ironically, while characterizing Palin as average, Peggy astutely called attention to Palin having done something unique.


"What she did in terms of the campaign itself was important. No one has ever really laid a glove on Obama before, not in this campaign and maybe not in his life. But Palin really damaged him. She took him square on, fearlessly, by which I mean in part that she showed no awkwardness connected to race, or racial history. A small town mayor is kind of like a community organizer only you have actual responsibilities. He wrote two memoirs but never authored a major bill. They've hauled the Styrofoam pillars back to the Hollywood lot.

"This was powerful coming from Baberaham Lincoln, as she's been called.

"By the end, Democrats knew they had been dinged, and badly. After the speech they descended on cable news en masse with the dart-eyed, moist-browed look of the operative who doesn't believe his talking points. They seemed like they were thinking, 'I've seen this movie before and it doesn't end well.' Actually they haven't seen it before in that Palin is something new, but they have seen it before in terms of what she said."

Such fearlessness is NOT average.

Peggy found the content of Palin's speech "startling" because "[i]t was the old-time conservatism," meaning downright Reaganesque.


"It was the old-time conservatism. Government is too big, Obama will 'grow it', Congress spends too much and he'll spend 'more.' It was for low taxes, for small business, for the private sector, for less regulation, for governing with 'a servant's heart'; it was pro-small town values, and implicitly but strongly pro-life.

"This was so old it seemed new, and startling. The speech was, in its way, a call so tender it made grown-ups weep on the floor. The things she spoke of were the beating heart of the old America...."

"Cuda" deserves more kudos and full recognition of her specialness.

The lady with a superb gift for writing herself should see that the lady with the power to make "grown-ups weep on the [convention] floor" is superb.

Michael J. Gaynor

Send email feedback to Michael J. Gaynor

Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to,,, and and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is

Read other commentaries by Michael J. Gaynor.

Copyright 2008 by Michael J. Gaynor
All Rights Reserved.

[ Back ]

© 2004-2024 by WEBCommentary(tm), All Rights Reserved