Liberals, the liberal media and even elitist conservatives like Peggy Noonan have questioned Sarah Palin's intelligence and interest in the issues. For the left, the barrage is born of a fear and hatrid of someone who threatens to blow their ideology and the political corruption it breeds right out into the open. For the elitist right, this is born out of a fear that if the average commoner demonstrates an ability to grasp conservative insidership, then the elite will no longer own the information. For everyone who falls into these categories: "Houston, we have a problem."
When Sarah Palin stumbled during her interview with Katie Couric, it was the left's opportunity to plug that moment into a smear campaign that had already begun in earnest with the Alaska bloggers, channeled by the Obama campaign directly through his adoring mainstream media. Palin, whose focus was on Alaskan issues, was demonstrating an amazing ability to bring energy interests from all sides to the table in discussing the future of the AGIA natural gas pipeline. But when confronted about Supreme Court decisions that weren't relative to the campaign, she wasn't on it.
Sarah Palin has always been a get it done type of leader. She understood the issues that confronted Alaskans and addressed them. History will show that she did more for Alaska in 2 1/2 years than most governors do in two terms.
Anyone who understands leadership knows that success is more dependent on "brains on tap" than "brains on top." One's ability to recognize a problem and use the cumulative knowledge of experts to find the solution is a success principal that Andrew Carnegie and Napolean Hill have taught since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
However, one thing that many of Palin's detractors missed in their criticism is that she has always been know to be a quick learner, and that when challenged, the "Barracuda" doesn't like to lose. Ronald Reagan had the same trait. When ridiculed and criticized by Jimmy Carter operatives leading into the 1980's primaries, Reagan reacted by sharpening his mind, sharpening his pen and most of all sharpening his tongue.
Now it's Palin's turn. This blogger has always described her as an evolving candidate. Watching Sarah Palin go from Governor, to vice presidential candidate and to potential presidential candidate is like watching the part of Ronald Reagan's political evolution that I missed because I was too young.
For those who don't think she's intelligent, you're in for a big surprise. For those who think she is intelligent, you're in for even a bigger surprise. Sarah Palin is not a figure frozen it time. The experience of a national campaign trail and the strength she gains from withstanding a smear campaign that no other American politician has had to endure is just the beginning.
This blogger has read her letters and writings. She communicates concisely when she needs to and she communicates esoterically when she wants. She can be a straight shooter or she can be a allusionist who uses literary or musical references to make her point. Those who disagree with her can't hear her through their bias, so they ridicule her.
She has turned her Facebook page into a research paper. This blogger is made to feel lazy after reading the amount of research she has done on healthcare reform and Cap and Trade. It just so happens, these are the two biggest issues of the day. If Katie Couric interviewed her now, Palin might just well school her and school her severely.
Ronald Reagan developed his knowledge and political philosophy through his writing. Sarah Palin knows that. Noone needs to tell her to go bone up on issues of the day. Ronald Reagan has already shown her how to do that by his example. She is a student of the master.
Learning what the Heritage Foundation stats are on Cap and Trade or referring to expert writers on the subject of healthcare reform to support her points may look like a great feat for Sarah Palin; but what's even a bigger feat is that she is the first person to completely use what she learns from Ronald Reagan - not just his words, but that "thing" that made him a great leader. She has internalized him.
For it is from the total understanding of Ronald Reagan that she will develop her greatest skills. Citing stats may give her supporters ammunition to attack with, but embracing Reagan's spirit in both mind and heart will be the real key from which she will find greatness.