To the editor:
The rallying cry around Sarah Palin seems to be that "she's one of us" and that "she is a breath of fresh air." The belief is that she is "above the fray" and outside the political system. I would like to offer those that see Sarah Palin in this light, an alternative: Elizabeth Warren. Let us compare the two.
Sarah Palin, born in 1964, does come from humble beginnings and it is easy to see why some see her as "one of us." She graduated from the University of Idaho, worked as a sportscaster and won awards in beauty pageants, Miss Congeniality as one of them. She went on to become the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and eventually governor before becoming the VP pick of John McCain.
However, from there she truly does fall into the system. She has had no fewer than 15 ethics complaints/violations filed against her. She quit before completing her only term as governor, instead going out to "cash in" on her popularity.
Demanding first-class travel, $100,000-plus speaking fees that must be kept confidential, while making sure that only pre-screened questions could be asked (as part of the contract). She has created a culture of hate and fear, beginning with her vice presidential bid through the de-facto lead of the Tea Party movement. Her inability to neither understand nor quote facts has kept organizations like Factcheck.org very busy! She is either lying or misleading virtually every time she speaks!
Contrast this with Elizabeth Warren, Obama's chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel. She was born in 1949 in Oklahoma; she was a state champion debater in high school. Because of her Ivy League roots, a Harvard Law School professor, some see her as part of the elitist crowd. However, for much of the last 30 years she has been studying the effects of the economy on the middle class, fighting for, and working for, the middle class.
Warren is an advocate for the Consumer Financial Protection Agency to keep big banks from looting the middle class, keeping the "too big to fail" banks from targeting the middle class as has been done in this current financial meltdown. She serves on the Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion which focuses on expanding access to banking services by underserved populations.
In Obama's administration, she is the voice of the middle class. She understands the impact of the two-income family writing that "the upshot is that two-income families often have even less income left over today than did an equivalent single-income family 30 years ago even when they make almost twice as much. And they go deeper in debt."
Which one is truly the fresh face? Which one really is "just like us"? Which one is fighting for us vs. profiting from the system?