Constitutional education, history, commentary, reform, compliance, and interpretation.
I predict history will conclude the Election of 2008 was decided when Obama unwisely chose Biden as his running mate and McCain brilliantly chose Palin. There are few more revealing tests of a candidate's judgment than his personnel choices, and for a presidential candidate the main such choice is the vice-presidential candidate.
Palin has much to learn on constitutional construction, but she is a quick study and we can work on trying to get her to attend to that.
I am not yet prepared to vote Republican myself, partly because there is still a need to move public policy in a constitutionalist direction and there is no better way to do that than by having the Libertarian Party get a lot of votes, but also because I vote in Texas which is safely Republican, so a Libertarian vote here will help libertarians, such as our friends in the Republican Liberty Caucus, take control of the Texas Republican Party, and even move the Texas Democratic Party our way.
Palin is being groomed as an eventual president, and while we might like a president to be a constitutional scholar of world repute, it is more important to be an inspiring leader, choose good advisers, and make appropriate nominations to the Supreme Court.
Sarah Palin may have an "ordinary" middle-class background and chosen lifestyle (until her selection for VP Friday), but she obviously has a natural talent for leadership and good judgment that is worth more than years in public office. That talent has now brought her to the center of power, and as she learns and grows, she will be doing things that are well beyond the capabilities of ordinary people. We can hope that she will not be corrupted by power the way so many others have, and I suspect she won't be. Whether that will cripple her prospects for ascending to the presidency, because the Establishment doesn't like people they can't corrupt, will remain to be seen.
During the weeks until the election, and afterwards if her ticket wins, she will be coached in policy issues to prepare her for campaigning and debate. We can hope that part of that will be on constitutional compliance. Now if she will break away from the Republican Convention to speak to the Campaign for Liberty rally nearby, she can solidify hopes for her as an emerging libertarian constitutionalist. We can speculate whether one of the factors causing McCain to pick her may not have been the growing strength of the Libertarian Party in the polls. If so, then the Libertarians will have moved public policy in their direction before the election even takes place.
The most encouraging sign that Palin may be a constitutionalist, or at least one in an early stage of development, is this quote:
[The Alaska Constitution is] my bible in governing. I try to keep it so simple by reading the thing and believing in it and living it. It's providential. Some of the crafters of the Constitution are still alive. They're my mentors, my advisers. I get to meet with these folks and ask, 'What did you mean by this?' And it makes so much sense. Interview by Dimitri Vassilaros for the Pittsburgh Review-Tribune, conducted July 12, 2007, published July 16, 2007
[The Alaska Constitution is] my bible in governing. I try to keep it so simple by reading the thing and believing in it and living it. It's providential. Some of the crafters of the Constitution are still alive. They're my mentors, my advisers. I get to meet with these folks and ask, 'What did you mean by this?' And it makes so much sense.
As several have noted, I think we see the first female president, and it is likely the lineup in 2012 will be Palin/Jindal, which will be as close to a libertarian, if not constitutionalist, dream ticket as we are likely to see in this generation.
Now if we can just get more libertarian constitutionalists elected to Congress....