On Thursday night, millions of Americans tuned in to watch the first-ever vice presidential debate featuring a Republican woman discussing the most important issues of the day with her Democratic opponent. It was a historic event, and as the Co-chair of the Republican National Committee and someone who champions the involvement of women in our party and our political system, I was extraordinarily proud of Gov. Sarah Palin. Not only did she show the country what a dynamic and intelligent candidate she is; she also showed her tremendous energy for, and commitment to, bringing reform to Washington — something that John McCain has championed throughout his career, and the major objective of the McCain-Palin ticket.
Her desire for reform coupled with that of John McCain is a recipe for turning Washington on its head and bringing real change on behalf of the American people. That’s because Gov. Palin has a lot of experience in bringing much needed reform to government. In Alaska, not only has she stood up to members of her own party and taken on corruption within it, but also signed into law a comprehensive, landmark ethics bill. In just two budgets, she has cut nearly $500 million (no small sum) in wasteful spending. Yet rather than focusing overly on past achievements, on Thursday night, Gov. Palin clearly focused on the future, while Joe Biden appeared more interested in re-litigating past debates. I was glad to see her deftly point out inaccurate statements he made with regard to Barack Obama’s foreign policy positions, and call him out for dubious claims, such as his assertion that paying higher taxes is “patriotic.” She handled herself well, and showed herself to be smart, and prepared.
The bottom line regarding Gov. Palin’s performance, however, is that she is ready and eager to shake things up, just like John McCain, whose track record as someone devoted to changing the way business is done in Washington is well-known. Gov. Palin didn’t just win it Thursday night, she nailed it — and in the process proved herself to be a real breath of fresh air in American politics.
My hat is off to her.
Jo Ann Davidson is the Co-chair of the Republican National Committee and a former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.
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