If all you know about Sarah Palin is what you read in the media, says Tony Lee in The Atlantic, you probably think she's "just a money-hungry ex-politician devoid of conviction." But listen to the former vice presidential candidate speak, and you'll see she's far from the "bumbling dolt" her critics make her out to be. She is warm, funny, full of "unapologetic feistiness," and relishes attacking President Obama and other Democrats. Liberals dismiss Palin — but that's because deep down they fear her. Palin, you see, has "the makings of a potentially transcendent and transformational figure not only for the conservative movement but for American politics." An excerpt:

"Just as Obama spoke the language of Black and urban America in churches and on the stump, Palin speaks the language of social conservatives. Her personal experiences, especially the birth of her son Trig, and those of her daughter, Bristol (in a lighthearted moment, Palin told the audience that Bristol advocates abstinence by telling teenagers they should hit 'pause before play'), make her testimony about being 'pro-life' more powerful and moving. When Palin shared some of her more personal experiences and struggles with the audience, the room became hushed, the audience noticeably captivated. To state the obvious, these stories signal to social conservatives that Palin has walked the walk."

Read the full article at The Atlantic.