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Sarah Palin: The 'best people' she knows all have something in common

With her own pedigree as a lifelong resident of small cities like Sandpoint, ID and Wasilla, Alaska, where she was mayor, Sarah Palin has been especially effective jabbing Barack Obama over one of his most egregious gaffes as a presidential candidate -- his ill-chosen words back in the spring to San Francisco supporters about small-town Americans.

In her widely-watched speech at the Republican National Convention, Palin received one of many roars of approval when she said that "in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening."

She's routinely offered variations of that comment in her campaign appearances since then. But last week in Michigan, stumping in tow with John McCain, she took her commentary on the virtues of the nation's sparsely populated communites to a new level.

As quoted in a Saturday Washington Post piece, she said: "There's nothing wrong with small towns. In fact, I think all the best people in the world I know come from small towns."

Presumably, as her national exposure expands, she will have occasion to meet someone from an urban or suburban background who might merit entry into her "best people" circle.

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (17)

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After reading the first two comments I see that the rule about having to be over thirteen years of age to post is not enforced.

Watching old movies to form an opinion is exactly the point, you cant learn anything. Jon Stewart also is not the place to get your news but your comment proves the point that you are clueless.

Based on the vicious attacks on Gov. Palin from the NYT, and other "big city" papers and all news media. I would have to agree. Liberals are acting like rabid dogs. The bones they want to chew belong to Gov. Palin.
Keep it up guys, you are just driving the vote into the opposite direction, and you just can't help yourselves.
I love it!

Obama contributed to the polling agency to promote a racist view of American voters.
AP's Racist Poll: If Obama Loses It's Because He's Black
UPDATE at end of post: Polling agency VIPs have contributed to Democrats including Obama.

I agree with Ms. Palin about the best people coming from small towns. I come from a big city, but have a small town mentality, which is:

Everybody knows you and knows what you do; good and bad. And, your reputation precedes you into everything you do in your community. Small town people do not want to be thought of as 'bad' and that we all work for the common good of the community. That is what I believe she means by the small town personality.

"Vociferous, erudite Socialists\Communists\LeftistDemocrats embrace death and lies as Life and Truth. The word "hypocrisy" cannot be applied to their subhuman system of belief. Hypocrisy is for humans."

Sarah is not a world class politician. Voting for her would be buying a pig in a poke.


I disagree. The rule that isn't being enforced is the one that says your IQ must be larger than your shoe size.

In response to the post referencing the movie "Deliverance", I sincerely hope that in the century following the Nazi movement, the teachings of King and Ghandi, the civil rights movement, etc., and in an age when access to essentially all information worth having is no farther away than the nearest web-enabled cellphone, that Americans, especially those from high performing and well-heeled suburban districts, are FAR too sophisticated to regard such a portrayal of a fifth of the nation's population as being accurate. I don't fault those who were responsible for the creation of the movie or the novel, neither were intended to be regarded as anything other than fiction. The fact that they are treated as though they are accurate portrayals show how far we still have to go as a society. As long as we are still capabile of beleiving that a large segment of our society is subhuman we, in my view, are not an open-minded society. Imagine that movie being touted as an accurate reflection of African-American, Jewish, etc. life. Not much more than a generation or two ago that sort of thing was common. The consequences of this are real. I won several statewide social studies contest in Ohio, beat out twenty thousand people for a four-year full tuition history scholarship, spent the first thirteen years of my life in the city, and yet after returning to that city at age thirty had to deal with a great deal of ignorance from a clique at work who thought that Deliverance was true and that I would have never have heard of such things as shopping malls and dance clubs lol I only had to work with them one day a week, but they thought that this behavior was so clever that I dreaded going to work on Friday's beginning on Wednesday. I learned that in spite of modern communications and a much greater awareness of how erroneous wdely held steretypes of many groups have been in the past, many people do still base their opinions of rural Americans on media portayals and stock Hollywood characters. Rural people are, by and l;arge, very aware that they are streotyped in this manner, so Sarah Palin's comments, similar to those often made by rural residents, should perhaps be interpreted more in terms of a proclamation that small-town Americans are more intelligent and "on the ball" than they are given credit for being rather than a xenophobic assumption of superiority, which is how the author seems to interpret it. This, I think, is easy for a rural American to perceive; when I responded to some of the behaviors that I was facing at work I was initiallly misunderstood in this fashion. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but stereotyping millions of Americans in the manner which is done when it is asserted that a movie such as "Deliverance" is accurate (and think of the belief system that must be in place before a person can accept something like that as true) is the sort of stereotyping that society would be much better off without, and puts comments lsuch as those of Senator Obama and Senator Palin in a different perspective. Stereotyping is never clever.

Now McCain Campaign is asking for rules for Palin's debate with Biden.

Rules for Sarah - include scripted interviews, not turning in tax returns, not showing up for troopergate.

Tom Brokaw, Bob Schieffer and Jim Lehrer - we are counting on you to do your job like Charlie Gibson did. There are no rules when someone is running for VP. There were none for Hillary or anyone else.

People lets just call this what it is - a farce. McCain is putting himself first not the country - don't let him fool you.

This is a sad day in America

Mr. Frederick's comments are exactly why people who live in small towns have such distrust of their big-city brethren. What right does he have to discuss these people with this mix of condescension and disdain? Perhaps if he traded in his passport for a set of wheels. and actually visited some of his own country that he holds in such contempt, he might find out just how informed and intelligent they really are.
Furthermore, mentioning Sarah Palin's "Pedigree" is a sexist code word to insinuate that she is just a "Female Dog" Mr Frederick invites his urbane cell-mates to fill in their own similar term. Why is it that ? Who is the bigot now?

The best people I know all have something in common too.

They do NOT support ANY of the views of Sarah Palin.

They are:
FOR reproductive freedom
FOR developing alternative energy solutions
FOR a balanced economy where irresponsible corporations do not have to be bailed out.
FOR the use of citizens' tax dollars to fund better schools and resolve joblessness
FOR informed candidates who are knowledgeable about the issues and have strong collegiate and national credentials

They are:
AGAINST the teaching of religious creationism in public school science classes
AGAINST further drilling as an answer to our energy crisis
AGAINST the present gun laws
AGAINST misuse of legislative power
AGAINST lying and hypocrisy as a means to an end.

We share the belief that libraries are for all books, not a select few that shape a political or religious position.
We believe that, to a great degree, global warming has been human caused.

Many of us have spent the majority of our lives experiencing gender inequality in the workplace in pay and promotion. Many of us continue to fight that issue.
Many of us have or are raising children at the same time.

The Best Prople I know come from both small towns and large cities - what unites us is our belief in intelligence (which is not a bad or elitist word - it simply means "smart"). What unites us is the rather old fashioned and conservative belief that the better candidate is one who wins because of intelligence, knowledge, education and experience.

Running the country is not a popularity contest. My vote is with Barack Obama.

Lee K

AS I child, I heard the quote, " God made the country, man made the city, but the devil made the small town." I guess Governor Palin thinks that those of us born and raised in large cities are inferior. Now that strikes me as an elitist attitude.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Wasilla a suburb of Anchorage? Not a rural small town? So, then, according to Sarah, are you bad when you're in Anchorage and then do you become good when you cross the city line? Does this mean that people in Santa Clarita are better than people, in say, Granada Hills?

Gee, and do you think all of the cancelled Sarah appearances may have something to do with her plunging ratings?

While I respect the rights of people to hold their opinions, it is quite unhelpful for those opinions to be uninformed especially of all the facts concerning the governor of Alaska who has been routinely trashed by many people. It shows they are biased against others who may believe in a personal God and are not properly educated in their view. This used to be called bigotry. I am sorry to see so many who are willfully ignorant and showing themselves incapable of the necessary critical thinking skills to make sound judgments. Our governor has shown common sense (a scarcity these days in politics and elsewhere) and has taken on and accomplished things of great importance in our state. She will not worry about biased opinions --in fact, like Michael Phelps, all the taunting just puts more steel in her spine. We know! Been there, seen that when she took out Murkowski and defeated a former well liked governor.

I live in a town smaller than Wasilla, and have for lived there for 15 or more years. I grow my own vegetables and raise some of the meat I eat. But I don't feel any kinship to Sarah Palin. Alaska is basically on the dole -- they receive thousands from oil companies and get more from the federal government than they pay in taxes. I'm not against the government helping out but Alaska sounds pretty much like a socialist state...

In the words of John Mellencamp, I was born in a small town, and I can breathe in small town.

I purposely moved to a small town to raise my family in a small town, but it isn't because everyone who lives in a city or suburb is some soul-sucking banshee. There are good people and bad people everywhere, and this us vs. them generalization is ridiculous. All it does is distract from the real issues facing ALL of us.

Frankly, I just hated the traffic and the noise.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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