In this sense, she really is the perfect foil for Barack Obama. Our president represents the meritocratic ideal — that anyone, from any background, can grow up to attend Columbia and Harvard Law School and become a great American success story. But Sarah Palin represents the democratic ideal — that anyone can grow up to be a great success story without graduating from Columbia and Harvard.
But the point about Palin is not that she didn't go to Columbia and Harvard. She graduated from her state's flagship school, and I personally am very fond of such places. The point is that she went to five different colleges before graduating. Two, ok, but at three you start to wonder. But doesn't the fact that she went to five tell us something about her ability to follow through--to finish something? Hasn't her past behavior been a pretty good predictor of current behavior, and therefore likely of future behavior?