Richard Grant, an economics professor at Lipscomb University in Nashville, writes in his regular Sunday column for The Tennessean that whether or not Gov. Palin becomes president, she stood up to her attackers and responded to her critics, "none of whom was morally qualified to cast the first stone... firmly, clearly and with an uncommon civility." Even in the face of the media ambush, writes Grant, her response certainly set an example for President Obama to follow:
But maybe she has already had a greater impact on history than her critics will ever admit. The more we listen to her, the more we detect a consistency of thought that improves with experience and refinement. We also see more of what we sensed from the beginning: She has something that runs deeper than love of country. She has more than just a gut feel for who we are and what it means to live here.
The party professionals who claim to hope she will run in 2012, because she would be the easiest to defeat, are bluffing. The clever ones are. If they truly believed it, they would not put so much effort into denigrating her, unless their real goal is to discourage everyone like her.
Her attackers showed during the past two years that they have nothing positive to offer. Voters have already rebuffed them. It is not Sarah Palin who has had to change; the president has had to change. His program is the pig begging for lipstick. He is the one now pretending to be something that he is not, whether we call it "centrist'' or some other mushy word.
But at least he has had enough sense to change his staff and to bring in advisers who will spend the next two years asking, "What would Sarah Palin do?"