"Do you have any ideas about what to do for the Xmas card this year?" asked Tuck midday. We'd been putting it off what with all the other stuff crowding our mental space, but looking across the room at his precious model of "America," which we had festooned while decorating the tree last week with an irridescent Xmas bow atop the tallest mast, the light fantastic caught our photographic eye. We set up the tripod and caught Cartier-Bresson's "Decisive Moment." Now we're enjoying birthday-week cocktails and Handel's "Messiah," the Mozart version by Boston's own Handel & Haydn Society. Tuck and our bro and sis-in-law and ourselves happened to be in the audience the night back in December of 1999 when they recorded it at Symphony Hall. "Behold the lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world … Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows … He shall lead his flock like a shepherd … I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God … Halleluijah!" Tuck and we are tearing up here at the memories and the ineffable beauty of the words — straight from the Holy Bible, King James Version — and the music — straight from the heart. (Still life oil of the Tuscan landscape by Domenic Cretara)
"You cannot be in this business of public service with anything but a servant's heart," Sarah Palin answered disarmingly the other evening in "another hard-hitting interview with Greta" Van Susteren (Allahpundit's felicitous phrase), framing her response to a question about Blagogate in terms of character. As Dr. Melissa Clouthier at Right Wing News explains:
Sarah Palin inspires the same sort of fear and loathing and will have to manage the shark-infested waters of the political hierarchy. The only thing: money talks and the woman can bring in money. Even the good old boys have to pay attention to that.
Sarah Palin's rise in Alaska and now nationally is nothing short of remarkable. She is a woman who came to power through her ideas and effective communication and with all the power systems working against her.
Barack Obama, for all his talk of being a "new" politician, got his jobs the old-fashioned way. Sarah Palin has been a new politician. No spouse coattails. No press adulation. No machine power brokers. She got her job by hard work.
We loved the way Elizabeth at Impoverished Politics — a fresh new voice we discovered in our comments last week — put it:
One can learn names; the history of a treaty; the population of a nation; the intelligence gathered on a particular group; and statistics.
Back to Greta's interview, re the apparent arson of Sarah Palin's church in Wasilla, the Governor had this to say, and truly you must listen to her voice to understand the truth and beauty of the way her mind works:
Van Susteren: So I understand they had to scramble to find a place for church on Sunday. Now, you were in Juneau, doing the state's business. Did your family go to church? And what — how did they — how did they find a church so quickly? What did they do?
Palin: Yes, the kids and Todd did go to church the next day at Wasilla Middle School, which is kind of a cool thing that happens up here. And you know, so far, so good. Heaven forbid anybody say that a congregation can't meet in a local public school. That's what we do up here. And the public schools quite often open their doors to a congregation that is needing some space for a meeting or for a church event. And that's what Wasilla Middle School did for Wasilla Bible Church. It's a great partnership. And everybody was very thankful that they had a nice, warm place to congregate that morning because it was a very cold morning the other day.
Contrast Obama's testy attempt to shut down the debate about his possible involvement in Blagogate when he warned a reporter who came too close to the truth "I don't want you to waste your question." It's the authenticity, stupid.