* British View on Sarah Palin
London Daily Mail
A pistol-packin' Looby Loo: the Left's worst nightmare
Frank Sinatra would have got the joke. In the words of the great political philosopher, they all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round.
They're all laughing, too, at John McCain for choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. The usual suspects took one look at this pistol-packin' momma and reacted like John McEnroe to a disputed line call: you cannot be serious!
Certainly, the pick came, as the Americans say, out of left field. But Sarah Palin is centre stage now, and suddenly it's game on.
Stern, God-fearin', gun-totin' Sarah Palin. Will she get the last laugh?
At the very least, McCain has got a wonderful sense of mischief - a quality sadly lacking in most politicians.
The way the L eft, both here and in America , are contorting themselves is a joy to behold. Sarah Palin is every Guardianista's worst nightmare.
It's reminiscent of how they used to patronise Mrs Thatcher 30 years ago. What did this small-town girl know aboutanything?
How could any woman expect to run a country and raise a family? What does she know about foreign affairs?
Of course, they weren't saying that a woman couldn't be Prime Minister, you understand. Just not this woman.
Shirley Williams would have been fine, but this ghastly, lower middle- class Snobby Roberts woman from Grantham, of all places - AAARGH!
It's been hilarious watching the sisterhood tie themselves in knots over Sarah Palin.
They've been in full Glenda Slagg mode - dontcha just hate her, dontcha just love her?
On the one hand she's a feisty, capable woman shaking up the political establishment, while juggling a family and career. I don't know how she does it.
But on the other, she's a Godfearing, gun-totin', good ol' girl. She hunts, she fishes - she's a Republican, for goodness' sake.
Sarah Palin is every red-blooded redneck's fantasy figure, every randy schoolboy's Mrs Robinson. She could have stepped straight out of one of long-lost cousin Michael's Ripping Yarns.
Cheerleader, beauty queen, dominatrix of the Harper Valley PTA, mother of five, mayor, governor and now a heartbeat away from the Vice-Presidency.
You couldn't make her up. Law And Order's Fred Thompson, once a presidential candidate himself, hit the baby seal on the head when he said the Left were in a blind panic over what to do about Palin.
Joke's on you: John McCain, displaying a sense of mischief rare in politics, with his choice of Sarah Palin, surrounded by her family, as his running-mate
What they are doing is what they usually do when confronted with something which offends their world view - character assassination. Every 'liberal' newspaper and TV network has sent hatchet men north to Alaska to dig for the dirt beneath the tundra.
What they discovered is that 80 per cent of Alaskans think she's doing a great job.
A supermarket tabloid is claiming she had an affair, which she denies. Apart from that, the worst the scandal-hounds have come up with is that Palin, as governor, put pressure on a police chief to fire her former brother-in-law.
Gi ven that said brother-in-law had beaten up her sister and threatened to kill her father, I'd say that far from abusing her office, she showed considerable restraint. I'm surprised she didn't put a bullet in his head.
The big talking point is the pregnancy of Palin's 17-year-old daughter, Bristol , who is soon to marry her boyfriend. That's what I call a shotgun wedding!
Still, it kills the wild rumour that Bristol is really the mother of Palin's Down's syndrome baby, Trig.
You've just got to like a woman who calls her son after a character in Only Fools And Horses. Although it's probably fair to assume she doesn't have a working knowledge of Cockney rhyming slang, otherwise her daughter would never have been christened Bristol .
When Palin talks about shattering the glass ceiling, the sisters are supposed to chee r - except most of them suspect her idea of shattering a glass ceiling would be with a both barrels blast from a 12-bore.
She epitomises the 'God and guns' mentality at which Barack Obama and his supporters sneer. They use 'small town' as a pejorative term. That's not how Middle America sees it.
John Mellencamp wrote his hit song Small Town as an ironic take on Hicksville , USA . He even performed it at an Obama rally earlier this year.
Back at you: Democrats say Sarah lacks the experience for the top job - but neither do Obama or Biden
But that hasn't stopped Middle Americans adopting it as an anthem. Mellencamp must be just as horrified as Springsteen was when Ronald Reagan purloined his anti-war Born In The USA as a campaign song.
It's not that the Americans don't do irony, as European 'sophisticates' always maintain.
It's just that sometimes, my dear, they don't give a damn. A good song is a good song - and to hell with the message.
Most Americans were born and raised in a small town. Her values are their values.
The mantra from the Obama camp is that she lacks the experience to be VP. In truth, she has more executive experience than either Obama or his Neil Kinnock-impersonator sidekick mate Joe Biden, neither of whom has ever run anything.
But, wail the sceptics, what about foreign affairs? Admittedly, Palin has never slagged off her country at a mass rally inBerlin. But Alaska 's next door to Russia . She's got more experience of dealing with Russians than anyone outside of corporate hospitality at Stamford Bridge .
Who is Putin more likely to be wary of - Barack 'we must negotiate with dictators' Obama, or Looby Loo packing heat?
To paraphrase the Duke of Wellington, I don't know what she does to the enemy, but she scares the life out of me.
Palin reminds me of the old joke about what's the difference between the IRA and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with the IRA.
What she does have in spades is experience of the energy industry - the number one concern right now. Palin would drill, drill and drill some more - polar bears or no polar bears. And when the oil companies got greedy, she imposed a windfall tax. Unlike Gordon Brown, who'd keep it, she gave every Alaskan a $1,200 rebate.
With all the hoop-la, it's easy to forget that she's running for Vice-President, not President. Not yet.
Sarah Palin: The next Margaret Thatcher? Time will tell...
That's what really frightens her condescending opponents. Not that we've a leg to stand on in Britain . We've got Harriet Harman a chewed fingernail away from the top job - and she 's never shot a moose in her life.
Remember, they all laughed at Margaret Thatcher.
But ho, ho, ho, who had the last laugh?