There are some events that you will always remember where you were when they happened. The events of July 3, 2009 is one of those times. It was an average Friday, the day before our nation’s 233rd birthday. It would have been a slow news day, normally, and on this weekend, the 24 hour news channels had coverage of Michael Jackson’s death playing on an endless loop.
What would happen that Friday afternoon would knock Michael Jackson right off the TV and send the political world reeling.
We got word "something" was about to happen in Alaska. Now as a long time supporter of Sarah Palin’s, and someone who had been following her as well as writing about her for some time, I was very well versed in the continual harassment she had been the target of since she became the Republican candidate for Vice President.
We’ve written exhaustively, documenting the unprecedented attacks on the Governor by hand picked thugs who work under the direction of one of Barack Obama’s top White House advisers, Pete Rouse. You can read our latest summary here.
Rouse, who has strong ties to Alaska, as well as elements of the Alaska Marxist-democrat party, was the point man for all of the disgusting attacks on Sarah Palin and her Family.
While serving as Obama’s Senate Chief-of-Staff, and later as the top campaign adviser, Rouse started recruiting his closest friends, like Alaska Senator Kim Elton who headed the totally discredited "Troopergate" witch hunt, and was later paid off with a make-work job at the Department of Interior, by Obama, for a "job well done." The first of what we now know were many attempts to pay people off with government jobs for performing various favors for the White House and the Obama regime.
We also know that Rouse, through Marxist operatives like Phil Munger, recruited a network of hate bloggers, thugs, and malcontents, who were charged with doing whatever they could to make Sarah Palin and her family’s life a living hell.
One of the things this bunch of thugs, who were given complete access to national news outlets to spew their hatred and lies, would go on to do was recruit people to continually file bogus "ethics" complaints against Sarah, in an attempt to harass, personally bankrupt her(Alaska doesn’t protect the state’s CEO from this kind of BS like most other states do) and create the narrative that Sarah Palin, one of the biggest corruption busting politicians in the nation was, herself, corrupt.
I first learned of Sarah Palin not long after she became Governor of the Great State of Alaska. It was just the odd story here or there, the sort of stuff only a serious news and political junkie would have noticed.
Articles like this one from Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard, in which he pointed out she was the most popular Governor in America caught my eye.
Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle--especially to transparency and accountability in government--can produce political success. And by the way, Palin is a conservative who only last month vetoed 13 percent of the state's proposed budget for capital projects. The cuts, the Anchorage Daily News said, "may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history."
As recently as last year, Palin (pronounced pale-in) was a political outcast. She resigned in January 2004 as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after complaining to the office of Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman.
State law barred Palin from speaking out publicly about ethical violations and corruption. But she was vindicated later in 2004 when Ruedrich, who'd been reconfirmed as state chairman, agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for breaking state ethics laws. She became a hero in the eyes of the public and the press, and the bane of Republican leaders.
In 2005, she continued to take on the Republican establishment by joining Eric Croft, a Democrat, in lodging an ethics complaint against Renkes, who was not only attorney general but also a long-time adviser and campaign manager for Murkowski. The governor reprimanded Renkes and said the case was closed. It wasn't. Renkes resigned a few weeks later, and Palin was again hailed as a hero.
Palin, 43, the mother of four, passed up a chance to challenge Republican senator Lisa Murkowski, the then-governor's daughter, in 2004. She endorsed another candidate in the primary, but Murkowski won and was reelected. Palin said then that her 14-year-old son talked her out of running, though it's doubtful that was the sole reason.
In 2006, she didn't hesitate. She ran against Gov. Murkowski, who was seeking a second term despite sagging poll ratings, in the Republican primary. In a three-way race, Palin captured 51 percent and won in a landslide. She defeated former Democratic governor Tony Knowles in the general election, 49 percent to 41 percent. She was one of the few Republicans anywhere in the country to perform above expectations in 2006, an overwhelmingly Democratic year. Palin is unabashedly pro life.
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In the roughly three years since she quit as the state's chief regulator of the oil industry, Palin has crushed the Republican hierarchy (virtually all male) and nearly every other foe or critic. Political analysts in Alaska refer to the "body count" of Palin's rivals. "The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who crossed Sarah," says pollster Dave Dittman, who worked for her gubernatorial campaign. It includes Ruedrich, Renkes, Murkowski, gubernatorial contenders John Binkley and Andrew Halcro, the three big oil companies in Alaska, and a section of the Daily News called "Voice of the Times," which was highly critical of Palin and is now defunct.
One of her first acts as governor was to fire the Alaska Board of Agriculture. Her ultimate target was the state Creamery Board, which has been marketing the products of Alaska dairy farmers for 71 years and wanted to close down after receiving $600,000 from the state. "You don't just close your doors and walk away," Palin told me. She discovered she lacked the power to fire the Creamery Board. Only the board of agriculture had that authority. So Palin replaced the agriculture board, which appointed a new creamery board, which has rescinded the plan to shut down.
In preserving support for dairy farmers, Palin exhibited a kind of Alaskan chauvinism. She came to the state as an infant, making her practically a native. And she is eager to keep Alaska free from domination by oil companies or from reliance on cruise lines whose ships bring thousands of tourists to the state.
"She's as Alaskan as you can get," says Dan Fagan, an Anchorage radio talk show host. "She's a hockey mom, she lives on a lake, she ice fishes, she snowmobiles, she hunts, she's an NRA member, she has a float plane, and her husband works for BP on the North Slope," Fagan says. Todd Palin, her high school sweetheart, is a three-time winner of the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race from Wasilla to Nome to Fairbanks. It's the world's longest snowmobile race.
Gov. Palin grew up in Wasilla, where as star of her high school basketball team she got the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" for her fierce competitiveness. She led her underdog team to the state basketball championship. Palin also won the Miss Wasilla beauty contest, in which she was named Miss Congeniality, and went on to compete in the Miss Alaska pageant.
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In 2002, Palin entered statewide politics, running for lieutenant governor. She finished a strong second in the Republican primary. That fall, she dutifully campaigned for Murkowski, who'd given up his Senate seat to run for governor. Afterwards, she turned down several job offers from Murkowski, finally accepting the oil and gas post. When she quit 11 months later, "that was her defining moment" in politics, says Fagan.
The biggest issue in the campaign was the proposed natural gas pipeline from the North Slope that's crucial to the state's economy. Murkowski had made a deal with the three big oil companies--Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips--which own the gas reserves to build the pipeline. But the legislature turned it down and Palin promised to create competition for the pipeline contract.
She made three other promises: to end corruption in state government, cut spending, and provide accountability. She's now redeeming those promises.
Palin describes herself as "pro-business and pro-development." She doesn't want the oil companies to sit on their energy reserves or environmental groups to block development of the state's resources. "I get frustrated with folks from outside Alaska who come up and say you shouldn't develop your resources," she says. Alaska needs to be self-sufficient, she says, instead of relying heavily on "federal dollars," as the state does today.
Her first major achievement as governor was lopsided passage by the legislature of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, which is designed to attract pipeline proposals this summer.
[ .... ]
Palin's tough spending cuts drew criticism from Republican legislators whose pet projects were vetoed. But her popularity doesn't appear threatened. "It's not just that she's pretty and young," says Dittman. "She's really smart. And there's no guile. She says her favorite meal is moose stew or mooseburgers. It wouldn't shock people if that were true."
You can read more here.
As someone who has been sick and tired of corrupt politicians, in both parties, losers whose only purpose in life is to get elected and stay in power, to hell with principles and ethics, you can see how I found this woman from the Alaskan wilderness incredibly appealing.
The more I read about her, the more I wanted to read about her. It wasn’t like I went chasing all over the place looking for stuff, but anytime something popped up, I was sure to read it. Unlike now, you couldn’t find a negative story on her. She was hailed as a real leader. Even the usual suspects, the notoriously biased "women’s magazines" were even handed and quite complementary. Sarah Palin was considered one of the true rising stars and a role model for women.
The more I learned, the more I was convinced Sarah Palin was going to be a leader on the national stage, and sooner, rather than later.
When the 2008 presidential election season came around, things went crazy. The establishment Republicans were pushing their usual set of candidates destined to lose by a landslide and the democrats were pushing their largest ever field of neo-communists.
The two people from the Republican Party that had any appeal, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson, both of whom I’m convinced would have made great Presidents, turned out to be the worst campaigners in human history.
Even worse, the two front runners on the Marxist-democrat side were both hard core graduates from the Saul Alinsky school of radicalism. Hillary Clinton was a big fan of Alinsky, and wrote about him in college.
Barack Obama, one of the most radical communists in the country, and now our beloved Dear Leader, not only worshiped at the alter of Alinsky, but taught it to the ACORN rent-a-thugs when he worked for them, and then funded "Alinsky Academy" when he served on the board of the Woods Foundation, which was founded by unrepentant, murdering domestic terrorist, William Ayers.
2008 was incredibly depressing, to say the least, and obviously, even our worst fears about Obama are not only being met, but often greatly exceeded.
While the Republicans were busy sorting out which candidate they wanted to lose big to the Marxist-democrats, a handful of folks were thinking about a simply amazing woman in Alaska who sure would make a hell of a Vice President, and might, just might, excite an otherwise totally demoralized Conservative base.
The "Draft Sarah Palin" movement popped up, and I found myself dropping her name to anyone who would listen, anytime the conversation turned to a possible V.P. choice.
Once John McCain became the nominee, thus deflating the spirits of Conservatives even more, conventional wisdom dictated that McCain would pick one of two possible co-disasters, either Mike Huckabee, who came in second, or Mitt Romney who bought his way into third, and has good hair, thus looking "presidential." It was shaping up to be a 40 plus state blowout, for Obama.
One of the most irritating things about John McCain, bless his heart, is his desire to be a maverick. He has never, ever been a favorite of Conservatives. Now John is a good man, and a genuine war hero. He’s got a great family, and has done good things, but his tendency to reach across the aisle and team up with some of the worse the Marxist-democrats have to offer, and create incredibly unpopular legislation, is legendary.
Then John McCain did something absolutely no one expected, and only small group of dedicated supporters had envisioned: John McCain chose Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.
With one brilliant and inspired move, John McCain managed to erase a whole lot of anxiety among the party’s base. Rush Limbaugh, who has always been nothing less than delighted to wear McCain out, immediately dubbed him "John McBrilliant"!
Personally, I was excited to no end. I still remember the night before the announcement. I couldn’t sleep. We still had no idea, and the big money was on Mitt Romney, though by now, the name Sarah Palin was floating around.
Somewhere during the night, I was killing time on the interwebs, and came across a little tidbit that a plane, from Anchorage, Alaska, had landed in Ohio. Word was the passenger was an attractive woman with young children. Further word was the blogger who had discovered this was the same one who got it right on Joe Biden being Obama’s pick. This ended any chance of me going to sleep for the rest of the night.
When morning dawned, it was wild. All sorts of misdirection to keep things secret. Even calls to Alaska by the news agencies, yielded no information. BTW, if you have never seen it, there is a great video of former Reagan adviser and respected D.C. attorney, A.B. Culvahouse, at the National Press Club speaking about the circumstances of Sarah’s being chosen as McCain’s running mate. This is a must see, as Culvahouse was in charge of vetting possible candidates, and there were a couple dozen of them. Anyhow, this answers a lot of questions, ande dispels a whole lot of lies, including some that would later come from traitors within the McCain camp, itself. You can see the video here. Sarah also has some great stories in her book, Going Rogue.
As we all know, Sarah was a huge hit, and quite frankly, John McCain will always be loved by Conservatives for this one great moment of brilliance, choosing Sarah Palin and introducing this great leader to the nation.
I’m reminded of her brilliant acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. She was spot on about Barack Obama. Had his number then, has his number now.
This speech reminded me so much of Ronald Reagan’s iconic 1964 convention speech in support of Barry Goldwater. This much quoted speech cemented Reagan’s place as the leader of the Conservative movement, just as Sarah’s speech that night has done for her.
No less than Ronald Reagan’s son, Michael, thought so as well, and wrote:
Welcome Back Dad
I’ve been trying to convince my fellow conservatives that they have been wasting their time in a fruitless quest for a new Ronald Reagan to emerge and lead our party and our nation. I insisted that we’d never see his like again because he was one of a kind.
I was wrong!
Wednesday night I watched the Republican National Convention on television and there, before my very eyes, I saw my Dad reborn; only this time he's a she.
And what a she!
In one blockbuster of a speech, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resurrected my Dad’s indomitable spirit and sent it soaring above the convention center, shooting shock waves through the cynical media’s assigned spaces and electrifying the huge audience with the kind of inspiring rhetoric we haven’t heard since my Dad left the scene.
This was Ronald Reagan at his best -- the same Ronald Reagan who made the address known now solely as "The Speech," which during the Goldwater campaign set the tone and the agenda for the rebirth of the traditional conservative movement that later sent him to the White House for eight years and revived the moribund GOP.
Last night was an extraordinary event. Widely seen beforehand as a make-or-break effort -- either an opportunity for Sarah Palin to show that she was the happy warrior that John McCain assured us she was, or a disaster that would dash McCain’s presidential hopes and send her back to Alaska, sadder but wiser.
Obviously un-intimidated by either the savage onslaught to which the left-leaning media had subjected her, or the incredible challenge she faced -- and oozing with confidence -- she strode defiantly to the podium and proved she was everything and even more than John McCain told us.
Much has been made of the fact that she is a woman. What we saw last night, however, was something much more than a just a woman accomplishing something no Republican woman has ever achieved. What we saw was a red-blooded American with that rare, God-given ability to rally her dispirited fellow Republicans and take up the daunting task of leading them -- and all her fellow Americans -- on a pilgrimage to that shining city on the hill my father envisioned as our nation’s real destination.
In a few words she managed to rip the mask from the faces of her Democratic rivals and reveal them for what they are -- a pair of old-fashioned liberals making promises that cannot be kept without bankrupting the nation and reducing most Americans to the status of mendicants begging for their daily bread at the feet of an all-powerful government.
Most important, by comparing her own stunning record of achievement with his, she showed Barack Obama for the sham that he is, a man without any solid accomplishments beyond conspicuous self-aggrandizement.
Like Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin is one of us. She knows how most of us live because that’s the way she lives. She shares our homespun values and our beliefs, and she glories in her status as a small-town woman who put her shoulder to the wheel and made life better for her neighbors.
Her astonishing rise up from the grass-roots, her total lack of self-importance, and her ordinary American values and modest lifestyle reveal her to be the kind of hard-working, optimistic, ordinary American who made this country the greatest, most powerful nation on the face of the earth.
As hard as you might try, you won’t find that kind of plain-spoken, down-to-earth, self-reliant American in the upper ranks of the liberal-infested, elitist Democratic Party, or in the Obama campaign.
Read more of this great piece here.
History will show that John McCain would take the lead in the polls, with a strong bounce. That once dead GOP phone lines starting ringing off the walls. Empty campaign headquarters were soon filled with eager volunteers, and most importantly, cold hard cash started flowing in.
I imagine people will debate the ultimate loss by the team into eternity. The finger pointed started early by campaign turncoats like Steve Schmidt, and many lies were told by him and others, in an attempt to absolve themselves for running one of the worst campaigns in history. Water under the bridge.
History will also note that as soon as Sarah Palin was named McCain’s running mate, Team Obama went into an incredible panic. They did two things. They formed the Alaska Mafia, and embarked on the most incredible smear campaign ever seen, one they continue in earnest to this day.
The second thing they did was all but forget about McCain, and start running against Sarah. They elevated her to the presidential level, a position she still enjoys today.
History will indeed show the unprecedented attacks not only continued after the election, but intensified. Team Obama had gotten a really good look at Sarah Palin, and it scared them to death. They knew the McCain campaign was poorly run, and that left in charge of her own destiny, this woman would be powerful, and unstoppable. They knew that had to use everything at their disposal to destroy her, before she destroyed them. Sarah Palin had become their bête noire.
I’m not sure who called who on that once calm Friday afternoon last July 3rd, but I found myself on the phone with good friend and fellow blogger Ron Devito. As both of us strongly support Sarah Palin, and have written extensively about Obama’s thugs, the hate bloggers, and so forth, we had plenty of knowledge about the details.
We knew exactly what the constant bombardment from Obama’s hand picked thugs were doing not only to Sarah, and her family, who were also under constant and often intense attack, but to her administration, the Alaskan government as a whole, and ultimately the tax payers of the state.
As has been noted by Sarah, and others, this was not an easy thing Sarah was doing. One could see as she spoke that she was uncomfortable. I wouldn’t say she was shaken, but this was certainly not her best on camera performance.
The media has spun her speech, and outright lied about it since, but folks who were listening knew what she was talking about, and understood exactly why she was doing the right thing.
People have focused on the fact that Sarah and Todd were personally on the hook for over a half million dollars in legal fees fighting against all of the bogus, and ultimately thrown out "ethics" complaints. But there was more to it than that, a lot more.
By continually harassing her office with bogus "ethics" complaints, and an insane amount of Freedom of Information Act requests, Obama’s thugs managed to paralyze her office, as all of it’s efforts were spent dealing with this nonsense. However, the worst thing, and the absolute tipping point, was the fact all of these Chicago thug tactics had cost the Alaskan tax payers over $2 million, and there was no end to any of this in sight.
Sarah was a championship ball player, and she understood all too well that sometimes, in order to score, you must hand the ball off to someone else, in stepping down, and turning over her government to Sean Parnell, she knew the state was in capable hands, and her agenda would still be carried out, which it has.
Naysayers, and people who have no actual clue about the details, say Sarah should have "stuck it out" and that she let folks down. Nonsense. This was a brilliant move. In fact, it’s proven to be one of the more brilliant moves in political history.
The "quitter" folks, truly ignorant and childish people, neither know or understand Sarah Palin's position. This is a woman who famously put the jet Frank Murkowski bought on eBay, not long after taking office. Now Alaskans fly, a lot. It’s one of the only ways to get to some places in the state efficiently, including the state capitol of Juneau. The problem was, this was a jet, and simply couldn’t land on many of the local airstrips that tend to be a little rugged. It was a totally impractical toy.
Sarah also famously fired the executive chef at the Governor’s mansion, and also drove herself, in her own car, to work. How many Governors do you know that would dispense with those little, but costly, perks of holding their state’s top job? Not many.
Sarah Palin is a budget hawk, and the expenses to operate the office of the Governor were a cool $1 million less during her tenure, than during the same time frame of either of the previous two Governors.
As you can imagine, seeing $2 million being pissed away, stolen actually, dealing with the lowlife thugs, money that couldn’t be used to fund roads, schools, hospitals, police, or firemen, upset Sarah deeply.
At the time, we did an estimate based on the rate of nonsense and the money it was costing, and figured, conservatively, that had Sarah stayed in office, Obama’s thugs would have cost the Alaska taxpayers between $6 and $10 million total.
A less ethical person, the typical power hungry politician, would have stayed and not cared. They would have had to have dragged most politicians out kicking and screaming all of the way. Sarah Palin isn’t built that way, and thank God for that! She knew it was her moral obligation to take one for the team. To "reload" as she puts it, and come back to fight another day.
After all, this was a woman who less than a month earlier had said: "Politically, if I die, I die, but I won’t sit down, and I won’t shut up!"(and she certainly hasn't!)
There has been a lot of comparisons to great leaders who relinquished power peaceably, and a lot of words said, but I think Claude Sandroff in an article titled "Virtue and Sarah Palin" said it best:
However we define Palin, as frontier feminist, movement conservative or middle class populist this will always stand as her finest hour.
It might not have been her finest performance, but it crystallized in a moment the very essence of virtue. It was Sir Thomas More resigning as Lord Chancellor and George Washington returning to Mount Vernon. It showed how rare virtue has become in our politics. It shows why we adore Sarah Palin and why we need her. And it explains why, even without office, she has become the most important political figure in America.
The lamestream media put forth one of their best efforts at misdirection in sometime, fretting over Sarah’s obviously tough moment, and the shaky delivery. They tried to work their "magic" so no one would hear the words that came from this magnificent leader’s lips.
Sarah Palin, this leader among men, told us exactly what she was going to do. She laid out the case that she had made up her mind not to run for a second term. She explained she didn’t care for lame duck politicians who spent their days wasting tax payer money going off on junkets and such. Sarah went into great detail about the damage Obama’s thugs had done, and the obscene amount of money they had stolen from the Alaskan people.
Lastly though, Sarah spoke to the future. Sarah told the Alaskan people that she would never stop fighting for them. She also said that she would go around the nation aiding Conservative causes, and help Conservative candidates who sought elected office.
This was an aggressive agenda, for sure.
Sarah saw what we saw though. She saw a very dangerous man in the White House whose agenda will destroy the Republic and the lives of all of us who live in this great nation. Though she’s never said it, I imagine she felt it was her duty to personally take this tyrant on. Damned good thing too, as so far, she is one of the very few who have had the spine to do it, and most certainly the only high profile leader to do so.
The phone was rather quiet at first. Neither Ron nor I knew exactly what to say. Stunned is the right word. We knew what she had been going through, better than most, and certainly understood that she did the right thing for the Alaskan people. But we wondered if the people at large would get it. We wondered if decent Americans would understand just how dirty Chicago politics are, and the price one must pay to fight evil.
Honestly, I still don’t know the answers to those questions, though I think most Americans get it.
One thing about it though, by the time we were done running all of the different scenarios by each other, and discussed future possibilities, we were in agreement that this was indeed a brilliant, and inspired move.One that would not only stop Obama's thugs in their tracks, but frustrate the entire left from now until the end of time.
Since then, the brilliance of Sarah’s move has become more evident with each passing day.
For the Alaskan people, Governor Sean Parnell has proven to be quite capable, and hasn’t strayed from the Palin Doctrine of good government. The Alaskan people are well served, and they are millions of dollars better off than if Sarah had stayed and fought a losing battle.
Sarah has made good on every promise. She is one of the best spokesmen Alaska has ever had. I don’t know if you’ve looked, but shows about Alaska are everywhere, and quite popular. Sarah is about to add her own show about the great state to the mix.
Politically, Sarah Palin is a powerhouse. She stands head and shoulders above everyone else. Her endorsement of a candidate is coveted, and as Rick Santorum stated recently, the only one that matters. She has made a difference in some very high profile races, and chosen solid leaders to replace corrupt, out of touch losers,
Personally Sarah has done quite well, and she deserves absolutely every bit of it. Her first book sold over 2.5 million copies, was a number one best seller, and her tour had people camping out overnight, in terribly cold weather, just to get a chance to meet her. She has a second book due out this fall.
Sarah promised to speak out for causes that mattered and has raised a boatload of money for organizations she believes in. She’s raised a lot of money to support our troops, special needs children, pro-life causes, and education.
As a motivational speaker, Sarah is constantly in demand. Same goes for the political arena. She headlines everywhere to sell out crowds, as she delivers a message of real hope, and real change.
While the other so called front runners for 2012, the GOP establishment show ponies, are conspicuous by their absence from the battle field, lest they say the wrong thing and blow their chance at being the GOP’s designated loser, Sarah is out there every day pounding on the Obama regime, and rallying the troops.
Of course, unlike the others, Sarah isn’t focused on 2012. Nope, she knows our real battle is now. If the Republic has any chance for survival whatsoever, we simply must take back Congress, and take it back big time. If we fail to win a strong victory this fall, the damage Obama and his minions will do will be irreversible. We are close to that point now.
I have lived through 11 Presidents. I’ve seen poor leaders, as well as one great leader among them. I’ve seen a lot of pretenders to the throne. Never in the history of the Republic have we witnessed a tyrant like Barack Obama though. The amount of damage this corrupt Chicago rabble rouser has done is simply mind boggling.
Thankfully, we have a leader who is up to the task. Someone whose love for our country is above reproach. A true patriot, and a true warrior.
A lot has been said, and a lot will be said. In the end though, one must simply say: Thank you Sarah Palin.
You are a bright light in otherwise dark times. You are the one true leader this nation has. The one person who has the guts to take on Barack Obama with full force and never give an inch.
No matter how viciously you are attacked, you just come back twice as hard, landing blow after devastating blow to Obama and all of those who would seek to destroy America.
Thank you for unselfishly relinquishing power for the good of your neighbors, and thank you for never backing down against evil.
On July 3rd, 2009 you changed the world. You started writing a new chapter in history. A history that now looks to have a happier ending than it once did.