Friday, October 31, 2008
(This is crossposted at Iowa Independent.com)
The former Carroll County chairwoman of Rudy Giuliani’s campaign had a prime vantage point for a major Sarah Palin rally in Des Moines.
As Palin, the GOP vice presidential candidate, addressed a crowd estimated at 10,000 at Hy-Vee Hall just days ago, Keeley Sinnard was standing behind the Alaska governor — seeing the event in the same way Palin did.
What Sinnard saw was quite revealing, said the local GOP activist who is now working for U.S. Sen. John McCain’s presidential effort locally as former New York City Mayor Giuliani’s bid failed to take hold.
“Everybody was just enamored and excited, hanging on her words,” Sinnard said. “Since I was behind her, I could see the reaction of those who were watching her and, wow, is she good. She drew a huge crowd that was energized and ready to get out the vote.”
Sinnard said there is substance behind the media caricature of Palin as something of a Caribou Barbie.
“She got to where she was on her own,” Sinnard said. “She didn’t have a man to get there like Hillary (Clinton).”
What’s more, Sinnard said, Palin’s message will resonate with Iowans.
“I thought her speech was very good,” Sinnard said. “She referenced Joe the farmer and that drew a lot of applause. I catch a lot of everyone’s — Obama, (Sen. Joe) Biden, McCain — speeches via cable TV as I work from home. So, some of the aspects of her speech weren’t new to me, but to those who aren’t as obsessed as I can be with politics, it was very good. She attacked Obama on taxes, spreading the wealth.”
Most independent analysts say Obama’s economic plan would raise taxes on only the relatively small percentage of American families earning more than $250,000 per year.
Sinnard she said was thrilled that Arizonan McCain selected Palin as his running mate.
“I think she has a ton of experience and I think she deserves to be where she is,” Sinnard said, adding, “What has (Barack) Obama run?”
Sinnard, 41, a mother of three children who works for a New York information technology firm virtually from a computer in her Carroll home, said that in spite of recent polls showing Democrat Obama ahead, she senses a tightening race.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Sinnard said. “The polls are getting closer.”
That said, Sinnard is frustrated with the popular image that has been created of Palin. She thinks not-so-thinly veiled sexism is very much at work in the media and Democrats’ portrayal of Palin.
“I think a white female is at the bottom of the totem pole these days,” Sinnard said.
She added, “I don’t even think they would have treated Condoleezza Rice like that.”
Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, was mentioned as both a presidential and vice presidential candidate for the Republicans, but she expressed no interest in those positions this cycle.
If McCain should lose on Tuesday, Sinnard expects Palin to be the immediate front-runner for the Republicans in the 2012 Iowa caucuses.
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Posted by Douglas W. Burns at 4:19 PM