Mrs. Palin Goes to Michigan
There’s a posting on Urgent Agenda that comments on Gov. Palin’s offer to go to Michigan in spite of McCain’s having written off the state. The implication of the offer being the ability of Gov. Palin’s bona fides as everyman (and woman) to connect and turn around this recession wracked state for McCain. Mr. Katz, of Urgent Agenda, suggests that she could do a whistle stop tour with her United Steelworkers of America husband at her side.
This make me think back to my mother’s side of the family which has union involvement in the coal mines of Western Pennsylvania going back to the turn of the last century. For them, the union wasn’t an ideological construct, but a bargaining tool to assure the basics of wages, benefits, work rules and safety standards. In fact, there’s come ambivalence from one occasion when a mine closed completely in part of union officials overreaching in their bargaining demands.
The point is that there are many folks like the Palin’s who work for a living with out making any ideological statement. Food on the table, clothes on the kids and a roof over your head. It is the ordinariness of the Palins that so stand in contrast with the bi-costal power centers of New York, Washington and LA.
In many respects, Washington is developing into a monied aristocracy. There is a self-selection aspect that those who go to Congress, and particularly the Senate represent above average socio-economic circumstances in the first place. The Senate is littered with millionaires. Those who do go, wind up staying and doing very well. Bill Clinton from Arkansas and Hillary from Illinois, now carpetbag in New York. In a home worth millions. All derived from a purely political career. Obama, the good machine foot soldier, now sports a 1.5 million dollar home. And, so it goes.
Its not that the Palins are dirt poor. They’re a hard working family that makes ends meet from a union job and a commercial fishing business. And, they’ve done well. By doing well the Palins display those qualities that allowed Sarah Palin to rise from PTA member to governor. Relatives and acquaintances in and about Wasaslia are engaged in small businesses of a similar nature.
To look at Biden and Palin, one could see the stark differences. In Palin was a sense of a place, of a rootedness in a real home town. Someone who mows the lawn and takes out the garbage. In Biden, there is just a creature of Washington. Nominally, he’s a Senator from Delaware. But, he and so many of his Senate colleagues could easily switch places with no one the wiser. What is his common touch? What is his Delaware-ness that makes him so unique and rooted to his state.
You could easily imagine running into Palin and the first Dude on a Saturday morning at Home Depot. You could easily imagine discussing home projects, lumber, nails and school travails of your respective children. Could you really do the same with Biden? Doubtful. For all of Biden’s Scranton “roots,” it is the ordinariness of the Palins that is so refreshing. It is that ordinariness that speaks of the real strength of America that can prevail in the face of any challenge.