The great American cowgirl Annie Oakley once said, “Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting, for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.” No one embodies this mantra more perfectly than Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

With the election season over and preparations for President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration underway, I imagine many on this campus are discounting Palin as a soon-to-be footnote in the pages of our history books. I would, however, urge readers to look at Governor Palin beyond the Charles Gibson and Katie Couric interviews and the Saturday Night Live skits and the viral YouTube clips before counting her out as a potential challenger to Obama in 2012.

First, allow me to address a few misconceptions about Governor Palin’s experience. During the campaign, many wrote off Palin for not having enough national security experience. Palin, however, is commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard. Why is this a big deal? Because Alaska’s National Guard has the only National Guard unit that is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week – the 49th Missile Defense Battalion. This battalion is the unit that protects the entire United States from ballistic missile attacks. Thus, as Alaska goes, the lower 48 go.

Furthermore, Russian military aircraft sometimes violate American airspace over Alaskan waters, and American fighter planes scramble to escort them out. Suddenly Governor Palin’s remark about how Russia can be seen from parts of Alaska does not sound so easy to make light of.

Governor Palin has also been unfairly criticized just for being from Alaska, considered by many to be a “backwater” region. What these critics fail to recognize is Alaska’s strategic proximity to countries like Russia, Canada, Japan and the Arctic countries. In 2007, Alaska’s exports amounted to $3.9 billion, the state’s second highest yearly output ever.

Year-round tourism from Japan in particular is also a significant source of revenue for the state. This industry was threatened when the Department of Homeland Security denied Japan Airlines flights landing clearance in Fairbanks due to a shortfall of available customs personnel this past December. Fortunately for relations between Japan and the United States, Governor Palin appealed to the feds to reverse their decision and a solution was reached that allowed Japan Airlines’ flights to Fairbanks to resume. Early this month, Governor Palin also welcomed diplomats from several European and Asian countries to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alaskan statehood.

Taking Governor Palin’s accomplishments and appeal to millions of Americans into account, it would be prudent for her to consider a run for the Oval Office in 2012. It would not be an easy road for her. President-elect Obama is considered a transformational figure by many Americans, which means that Palin, at minimum, would have to touch the American people and the world as much as Obama has. The left-wing blogosphere and the media would do everything in their power to destroy her in order to keep their own biased vision of the Republican Party intact.

Governor Palin would, however, have several advantages: First, by the time 2012 arrives, she would have had plenty of time to expand her résumé, address her weak spots and reintroduce herself to the American people. Second, Palin would have name recognition because she is the only Republican politician who has garnered an amount of coverage and interest comparable to President-elect Obama’s.

Finally, Governor Palin would be able to show how she relates to the common American: She played basketball in high school, she was involved with the Parent-Teacher Association and she is married with five children, the oldest of whom is deployed in Iraq and the youngest of whom has Down syndrome. Did I mention she’s a state governor at the same time?

Governor Palin – having fought corruption in Alaska as well as within her own party, having destroyed the myth of the party of old white men and having made a name for herself so quickly – has a very bright future ahead of her, regardless of whether or not she runs in 2012. As she has said in several interviews, politics is not her “be all, end all.” But if Palin can keep aiming for that glass ceiling, chances are she will someday shatter it.

Reece Scott is a sophomore in the College and a member of the Georgetown University College Republicans.

To send a letter to the editor on a recent campus issue or Hoya story or a viewpoint on any topic, contact opinionthehoya.com. Letters should not exceed 300 words, and viewpoints should be between 600 to 800 words.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.

The great American cowgirl Annie Oakley once said, “Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting, for only practice will make you perfect. Finally, you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.” No one embodies this mantra more perfectly than Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

With the election season over and preparations for President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration underway, I imagine many on this campus are discounting Palin as a soon-to-be footnote in the pages of our history books. I would, however, urge readers to look at Governor Palin beyond the Charles Gibson and Katie Couric interviews and the Saturday Night Live skits and the viral YouTube clips before counting her out as a potential challenger to Obama in 2012.

First, allow me to address a few misconceptions about Governor Palin’s experience. During the campaign, many wrote off Palin for not having enough national security experience. Palin, however, is commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard. Why is this a big deal? Because Alaska’s National Guard has the only National Guard unit that is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week – the 49th Missile Defense Battalion. This battalion is the unit that protects the entire United States from ballistic missile attacks. Thus, as Alaska goes, the lower 48 go.

Furthermore, Russian military aircraft sometimes violate American airspace over Alaskan waters, and American fighter planes scramble to escort them out. Suddenly Governor Palin’s remark about how Russia can be seen from parts of Alaska does not sound so easy to make light of.

Governor Palin has also been unfairly criticized just for being from Alaska, considered by many to be a “backwater” region. What these critics fail to recognize is Alaska’s strategic proximity to countries like Russia, Canada, Japan and the Arctic countries. In 2007, Alaska’s exports amounted to $3.9 billion, the state’s second highest yearly output ever.

Year-round tourism from Japan in particular is also a significant source of revenue for the state. This industry was threatened when the Department of Homeland Security denied Japan Airlines flights landing clearance in Fairbanks due to a shortfall of available customs personnel this past December. Fortunately for relations between Japan and the United States, Governor Palin appealed to the feds to reverse their decision and a solution was reached that allowed Japan Airlines’ flights to Fairbanks to resume. Early this month, Governor Palin also welcomed diplomats from several European and Asian countries to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alaskan statehood.

Taking Governor Palin’s accomplishments and appeal to millions of Americans into account, it would be prudent for her to consider a run for the Oval Office in 2012. It would not be an easy road for her. President-elect Obama is considered a transformational figure by many Americans, which means that Palin, at minimum, would have to touch the American people and the world as much as Obama has. The left-wing blogosphere and the media would do everything in their power to destroy her in order to keep their own biased vision of the Republican Party intact.

Governor Palin would, however, have several advantages: First, by the time 2012 arrives, she would have had plenty of time to expand her résumé, address her weak spots and reintroduce herself to the American people. Second, Palin would have name recognition because she is the only Republican politician who has garnered an amount of coverage and interest comparable to President-elect Obama’s.

Finally, Governor Palin would be able to show how she relates to the common American: She played basketball in high school, she was involved with the Parent-Teacher Association and she is married with five children, the oldest of whom is deployed in Iraq and the youngest of whom has Down syndrome. Did I mention she’s a state governor at the same time?

Governor Palin – having fought corruption in Alaska as well as within her own party, having destroyed the myth of the party of old white men and having made a name for herself so quickly – has a very bright future ahead of her, regardless of whether or not she runs in 2012. As she has said in several interviews, politics is not her “be all, end all.” But if Palin can keep aiming for that glass ceiling, chances are she will someday shatter it.

Reece Scott is a sophomore in the College and a member of the Georgetown University College Republicans.

To send a letter to the editor on a recent campus issue or Hoya story or a viewpoint on any topic, contact opinionthehoya.com. Letters should not exceed 300 words, and viewpoints should be between 600 to 800 words.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.