Saturday 20 January 2018

Ruth Dudley Edwards: This courageous 'Mama Grizzly' is still clawing her way to the top

Critics dismiss Sarah Palin as a gun-toting hick, but Ruth Dudley Edwards admires her fighting spirit

Although I reluctantly concluded that Sarah Palin was too lightweight to be a good choice for US president in 2012, I'm an unashamed fan. I admire her courage, chutzpah, common sense, humour and the inspirational leadership she offers those despised by the Washington elite.

That fine poet, Philip Larkin, voice of the fed-up ordinary bloke, once told an interviewer: "A writer once said to me, 'if you ever go to America, go either to the east coast or the west coast, the rest is a desert full of bigots'. That's what I think I'd like. Where if you help a girl trim the Christmas tree you're regarded as engaged, and her brothers start oiling their shotguns if you don't call on the minister."

I thought of Larkin as I read of the Kenny-Bruton contest, for although I don't think the 'Up Mayo!' attitude to Irish politics does much for the country, and indeed have an urban soul, I have a visceral loathing of the sneering condescension of metropolitan types and a deep distrust of intellectuals in politics.

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