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Reason Magazine’s Matt Welch with a libertarian’s view of Sarah Palin

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
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HH: I don’t want our time to elapse without getting a couple of specifics out.

MW: Sure.

HH: Sarah Palin represents pretty much everything that Reason Magazine loves. What do you think of her? Why do you think she’s connected at such an emotional level with the American people?

MW: You know, she is a great and new American character. Regardless of anything else he believes about her personal politics or track record, she’s clearly, I mean, the choice of her, politically, was just daring and even fun on some level, and then the way that she performed at the convention was, I think, just really remarkable and interesting. And as has been the sort of maelstrom against her unleashed by all kinds of people, my wife, you know, put on her Facebook page like oh, I really like Todd Palin or something like that, because she thinks that he’s a great house husband, and wishes that I was more of one. And like her friends were like, you can’t say that, that’s not even funny. I mean, Sarah Palin’s the most divisive figure in the country. Weird. I mean, who knew? So in that sense, I think that she’s great. I think that she undermines McCain’s core message not of his maverickness, which she helps, but she undermines him on his core national security message.

HH: Unless he expects to serve eight years, in which case it doesn’t. I mean, if he has the confidence in staying around for eight years, it doesn’t undermine him at all, does it?

MW: He’s…he’d be the oldest incumbent president, I think…

HH: Yeah, but if he thinks he’s going the distance because Ma’s hanging around here at 95, then it doesn’t really undermine him, does it?

MW: Well, I would look at his Dad and his grandfather. He’s outlived them both, and he’s lived a hard life, and Lord knows, he was tortured for five and a half years in Vietnam. That really hasn’t helped. So I think it does. I mean, she’s a lot of things, and like I said, a great American character, you know, a reformer of some pedigree. It’s sort of being disputed to what degree, but definitely a reformer and an interesting person. I don’t think that she has any kind of foreign policy career or life or thought level. And so I think that can sort of chip away at the pick, and I think we start to see that now as her popularity has begun to fade a little bit. But you’re right, I mean…

HH: 60,000 people in Orlando on Sunday?

MW: Oh, I know.

HH: I don’t know about fading.

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