If the Shoe Fits…

I admit it. I am a sucker for a great pair of shoes. My three-year-old daughter, Tessa is following in my footsteps and in fact, she loves the Disney movie Cinderella because of the shoes Cinderella wears to the ball. She absolutely loves the part where the Grand Duke is going around trying the glass slipper on any and everyone looking for Prince Charming’s true love. Cinderella dances all night at the ball with Prince Charming but must Cinderella overhears her step-mother inform her step-sisters that no one knows the identity of the girl loved by the prince, and that he will marry whomever the slipper fits. Realizing her sweetheart’s identity, and that he is searching for her, Cinderella goes to get her shoe. Seeing the dreamy look on Cinderella’s face, Lady Tremaine deduces that she is the mystery woman and locks her in the attic. Just then, the Grand Duke arrives and offers the slipper to Drizella and Anastasia. While the two big-footed women attempt to don the dainty shoe, Jaq and Gus-Gus steal the key to Cinderella’s door from Lady Tremaine’s pocket. After dragging the heavy key up the stairs to the attic, Jaq and Gus-Gus succeed in freeing their friend despite interference from Lucifer. Before Cinderella can try on the slipper, however, the vindictive step-mother trips the lackey carrying the slipper and it shatters. The Grand Duke is devastated until Cinderella happily shows him the slipper’s mate and dons it. My daughter squeals with delight every time she sees the glass slipper fit perfectly onto Cinderella’s foot. Of course you and I both know there is more to the story than a killer pair of heels.

Cinderella’s story is far from unique. In fact, the term, “Cinderella Story” has been used over the years as a metaphor which describes the story of an unlikely person rising to greatness. There was not coincidentally the movie “Cinderella Man” about the boxer Jim Braddock during the Great Depression. And it was about his unlikely rise from injury and poverty, to where he defeated the world champion Max Baer. Maybe you saw the film “Seabiscuit.” That was a similar story, only with a race horse. Those are stories that inspire us aren’t they? We get a thrill when we hear of the poor boy who becomes a great sports star, or of the deaf girl Helen Keller who makes a great name for herself, or when we read the legend of the poor young squire, who pulls the sword from the stone and becomes king of all England.

Its a story woven throughout the Bible. It is clear from the scriptures that God loves the Cinderella story, too. Most of the people God called for great things were not great people – not by the world’s standards, anyway. They were fishermen, like most of the disciples. They were young men like Jeremiah, and young girls like Mary. They were old men and women like Abraham and Sarah and Zechariah and Elizabeth. And they were shepherds like David. Instead of a glass slipper, the great prophet Samuel comes with a horn full of oil, and instructions from God to anoint the next king. The Lord tells him to choose a king from among the sons of Jesse, and so they’re all lined up, like the ugly sisters putting out their foot. They were all brought before the prophet one by one, like the wicked step-sisters. And like that story, the glass slipper fit none of them. It’s only when the last son is fetched, the most insignificant boy, the shepherd-lad, too small for the ceremony, that God tells Samuel, This is the man.

I have to admit something else, too. Since Governor Palin announced October 5 that she was not going to seek the GOP nomination, I have been taking a closer look at the declared candidates. I have been trying to slip the shoe of what I look for in a President onto the wrong-sized feet of every last one. The further I look into each one’s records and positions on everything from American Exceptionalism to foreign policy, I cannot be convinced that anyone else can fill Gov. Palin’s shoes. You can just look at Jon Huntsman and know there is no way these shoes are going to be a fit. Not even close. Mitt Romney’s feet aren’t a fit either. Just look at Romneycare or his stance on the debt ceiling to know that his political feet are too big goverment for these shoes. Senator Ron Paul’s feet are just a bit too narrow. Despite fitting better than some of the others when it comes to domestic policy concerns like the economy, the glass slippers are way too tight in the toes of foreign policy, especially in concern to our greatest ally, Israel. Governor Rick Perry’s feet won’t fit either. His history of crony capitalism and the HPV mandate make certain for an uncomfortable fit. Michele Bachman looks like she might have the right-sized political feet to slip into the glass slippers, in fact at times it looks like she is wearing them. However, upon closer inspection you can see her shoes are only knock-offs. While immitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it doesn’t hold water in shoe buying or for presidential contenders either. Former Godfather’s CEO,Herman Cain is the last of the group to try on the shoes. While it seems like they may fit, they are a little too big. The presidency is is not an entry level position. He has no political experience and that has a way of becoming suddenly and painfully obvious.These shoes are high heels and need to be worn by someone who knows how.

The current GOP field of contenders it seems has forgotten the idea that support of Gov. Palin is unwaivering. Now that Gov. Palin no longer seems to pose a threat because she doesn’t appear to be running, every candidate will be scrambling to get Palinistas to pull the lever for them come primary season. They will be working hard to convince you they can slip into Sarah Palin’s shoes. I am reminded of a conversation in one of my favorite movies, Steel Magnolias. Clairee asks Truvy what size shoes she wears. Truvy, played by Dolly Parton, responds, “In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight.” Evidence of the GOP field trying to force the shoes to fit is visible by their co-opting of Gov. Palin’s playbook. Several of the candidates have now become quick advocates for drilling in Alaska’s Artic National Wildlife Refuge(ANWR), but Gov. Palin was a “Drill, Baby, Drill” proponent long before this homegrown energy concept was cool. But the shoehorning can be even more blatant than just copying a broad idea. For instance, Michele Bachmann told NBC’s Today show “it’s very clear that crony capitalism could likely have been the cause” of Governor Perry’s executive order mandating the shots, saying his former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck. Bachmann’s “crony capitalism” line was the same one Sarah Palin used in her speech at a Tea Party rally in Iowa in early September in which she criticized the “permanent political class” and “the collusion of big government and big business.” By the way in the original Brothers Grimm version of the Cinderella story, it does indeed get a little more grim when it comes to Cinderella’s sisters trying on the shoes. In the original story of Cinderella, one of the sisters cuts off a toe and the other slices off her heel,so that they could try to fit into the glass slipper! I fully expect the current GOP field to continue cutting off this and that from their talking points to make a better fit as they woo Palin supporters.

In the Disney version, its not as cut and dried as Cinderella slipping on that shoe and heading off into the sunset with her Prince Charming to live happily ever after. While the ‘happily ever after’ does eventually arrive, there is an obstacle shackling Cinderella and the Prince’s happiness. Knowing that the slipper will fit and that Cinderella will marry the Prince, her stepmother trips the footman over while he is carrying the slipper, causing it to drop and shatter into hundreds of pieces All hope seems lost in that moment. Lady Tremaine saw her daughters, Cinderella’s step-sisters as the ones who were expected to go to the ball, the ones who were marriageable. Cinderella was nothing more than a servant to her, not worthy of her notice, let alone a Prince’s. Yet in the end she was the one who wowed the ball-goers, she caught the attention of the Prince, her foot which fitted the glass slipper.

The GOP establishment, the cocktail party Republicans, and cafeteria conservatives are all propping up Mitt Romney right now. In fact, just prior to both Governor Christie of New Jersey’s announcement that he would not run for President and Gov. Palin’s announcement that she would not run, one of the RNC talking heads made the statement that they already had their candidate. They don’t want Gov. Palin to run. They think of her as someone useful like a servant, but of no real consequence. They certainly weren’t going to push for her to be their choice. Like Cinderella though, Gov. Palin wowed “We the People”. She has caught the attention of concerned constitutional conservatives across this nation. The shoes do indeed fit her. The permanent political class in America knows this, much like Lady Tremaine knew the glass slipper fit Cinderella perfectly, so they shattered the idea that Gov. Palin could be electable.

That saying is true – The perfect pair of shoes can change your life. Just ask Cinderella. The perfect shoes have changed my life and like the Grand Duke in the Disney story, I am unwilling to try to make them fit someone else. Only Governor Palin fits into those shoes. While the GOP has tried to force her out and it seems all hope is lost because the title or shoe if you will of candidacy seems to have been shattered, remember the other shoe still exists. In Cinderella, The Duke laments over the broken slipper, but Cinderella then reveals she has kept the other glass slipper, much to her stepmother’s chagrin. Delighted at this indisputable proof of the maiden’s identity, the Duke slides the slipper onto her foot, which fits perfectly. She slips it on and all is well. The Prince has found his perfect mate. In the political landscape of today, I firmly believe that the other shoe has yet to drop. Gov. Palin still holds the other shoe. And it fits her to a “Tea”.

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