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Feminist Hero of 2008

Not even Nostradamus could have predicted that in 2008 the one woman on a major party presidential ticket would be a Republican, or Governor of Alaska, or mother of five, or a moose hunter. Yet, today, we have all four in Sarah Palin.

Any betting American would have predicted Hillary Clinton as the "feminist" role model of the year. Hillary Clinton, a product of the feminism of the '60s and '70s, where "femininity" meant weak and "motherly" meant flawed.

Sarah Palin, the Republican Party's new favorite daughter, is of the new breed of feminists, those who believe women have crucial roles as wife, mother, and nurturer, and because of that — not in spite of it — they can be powerful, and effective executives. (Note: The lipstick line)

Last night, Palin gave the speech she needed to give and so much more. She demonstrated why she was a superior choice for McCain vs. the other so-called "short list" VP picks. Not only is she smart, tough, articulate, and dynamic, but also feminine, compassionate and real. Some critics thus far have focused on the fact that she defied expectations because the bar was so low. Hogwash!

I ask them to watch or listen to Sarah Palin again. Her convention address would be considered enormous, even superior, by any standard. That she's a woman, a mom, from provincial Alaska, and was elevated to national player status less than a week ago, all make her showing on the campaign trail thus far all that more impressive.

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The bar is now set so high that Palin faces an incredible challenge for the remainder of the campaign and her career: continue meeting the elevated expectations.

Yet, I'm confident Palin will do just fine. As long as she holds on tight to her integrity - staying true to her values, her personality, her womanhood ... as long as she emphasizes her strengths while acknowledging her weaknesses.

In the primaries, American voters rejected candidates who appeared to "play" leader, rather than act like one — hiding their true selves and letting the media bait them into running from their supposed flaws.

Palin brings the authenticity to politics that Americans demand more so in a YouTube, people-powered media environment, where everyone is the media and regular people become celebrities in an instant.

Almost every child dreams of being a star at some point, and the Internet makes that possible for more of us. If you have what it takes, you don't need to be part of an elite club or have required connections. Be confident, set goals, reach your potential, stay true to yourself, take care of your community and there's no limit to what you can do. Read: Vice President, United States, Alaska Governor, Mom.

Sarah Palin. A new hero for women, and men, across America.

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