I never knew just how influential this little newspaper column is. That is, until I got a call last week from Sarah Palin.
That’s right: the former governor of Alaska, former vice presidential candidate and GOP superstar called me. At my house.
OK, so it wasn’t much of conversation. She did most of the talking, going on and on about how I should vote for somebody or other, ya-da, ya-da. Fact is, I had trouble getting a word in edge-wise. And even when I did manage a few syllables, she completely ignored me. It was as if she wasn’t even listening.
I’m sure she was, though. After all, she’s a politician.
And besides, what do you expect? She’s famous. I’m not. It’s not like she’s going to carry on an actual conversation with me. She just wants to have her say and move on, because I’m sure there are one or two other highly influential newspaper columnists she needs to talk to.
The fact that she called me at home, though ... well, that pretty much says it all.
And it’s not like hers was the only important call I got last week. I also heard from John Lindner, John Oxendine, John Heard, and a host of other people not necessarily named John but who all seem to be running for office.
Of course the primary has come and gone now, and most of those folks won’t be on the ballot in the fall. But that hardly seems to matter, because whoever did win the primary is bound to be a conservative. That’s because they’re all conservatives, each one more conservative than all the others combined.
I know this because of all the nice shiny mailers I received at my home. Hey, if you can’t call somebody on the phone, at least send them a glossy tri-fold. That’s what I always say. And I certainly did enjoy looking at pictures of them with their children or grandchildren or rent-a-children or whatever.
That’s why I’m feeling so confident today. Because I know that whoever represents the GOP in the fall election will be sure to make jobs a priority while at the same time making education a priority while at the same time making sure none of those folks who can’t get into Arizona take a hard right at Texas and head straight for Georgia.
I know that they’re all very ethical people, too, since they use the word “ethics” about 2,500 times a day, on average. Sure, they all accuse each other of lying all the time about everything, but that seems unlikely given how they’ve all made ethics a priority.
So I want Gov. Palin to know, if she’s reading this — and you know she is — that I enjoyed our little chat and that I probably voted for the person she recommended. Whoever that was.
Rob Jenkins is associate professor of English and director of The Writers Institute at
Georgia Perimeter College. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.