Palin the Pragmatic?

by Jay Nordlinger

I’ve poked around the California Senate race for the last several days, in preparation for a piece in the forthcoming National Review. And I discovered, or relearned, something I thought was kind of interesting. You know how many of our band blasted Palin for anointing Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Senate race, disregarding viability (or so it appeared)? Well, you recall that the GOP Senate primary in California featured three contestants: Carly Fiorina (the ex-CEO and eventual winner), Tom Campbell (the former congressman who is a moderate, basically), and Chuck DeVore (the assemblyman who is a true-blue, four-square conservative). Palin endorsed Fiorina, describing her as “the conservative who has the potential to beat California’s liberal senator, Barbara Boxer, in November.” (There should not be a comma after “senator”: because DiFi’s a liberal too!) (If a little less obnoxious about it than Boxer.) (Who is not less obnoxious?) (Remember when the late James J. Kilpatrick used to refer to Howard Metzenbaum, in his columns, as “Senator Obnoxious (D., Ohio)”?)

Of course, it is said that Palin likes to endorse women, too — mama grizzlies and all that. So who knows . . .

P.S. Don’t bet the ranch on Carly, v. Boxer, but don’t bet the ranch against her either. How’s that for firm prognostication?

P.P.S. Some GOP-ers, and anti-Boxerites, are anguished that Fiorina is running a conservative campaign, such as you could run in a Republican primary. The response of Carly’s people is, essentially, “What can you do? They say we’re running a conservative campaign. The truth is, we’re running a conservative candidate. She’s pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-free markets. Again, what’re you gonna do?” Very interesting. Fiorina has five weeks in which to persuade. She has some work to do. But then, she’s not afraid of hard work. And her election would be really important — a boon — to the cause of conservatism. It would be sweet to oust Boxer, yes; but it would also be sweet to install Fiorina. Republicans and conservatives across the nation should be more jazzed about this race — more concerned with it — than I sense they are. Just my two cents . . .

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