In this world of Mayors who hire call girls and presidential candidates who are willing to throw their former spiritual leaders under the bus for a few percentage points in the polls, it's nice to have some positive politicians to focus on from time to time.
Alaska governor, Republican Sarah Palin has taken the political world by storm, completing what many have called a "startling first year in office."
During her first year in office, Palin distanced herself from the old guard, powerful Republicans in the state GOP, even calling on tight-lipped veteran U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens to explain to Alaskans why federal authorities were investigating him.
She asked Alaska's congressional delegation to be more selective in seeking earmarks after what came to be known as the "Bridge to Nowhere" turned into a national symbol of piggish pork-barrel spending.
She stood up to the powerful oil industry, and with bipartisan support in the statehouse she won a tax increase on oil companies' profits.
She also found time to pose for the fashion magazine Vogue while she was pregnant, and she has been mentioned as a potential running mate for presidential candidate John McCain.
But it is not only her startling political rise that people are talking about. In December, Palin and her husband found out that the child they were expecting had tested positive for Down syndrome. Having never had any complications with her four other children Palin was faced with a life and career altering decision.
"It took a while to open up the book that the doctor gave me about children with Down syndrome, and a while to log on to the Web site and start reading facts about the situation."
Once her husband got the news, he told her: "We shouldn't be asking, 'Why us?' We should be saying, 'Well, why not us?'" There was never any doubt the Palins would have the child, and on April 18 she gave birth to Trig Paxson Van Palin. "We've both been very vocal about being pro-life," Palin said. "We understand that every innocent life has wonderful potential."
Three days after giving birth, Palin returned to work in her Anchorage office, accompanied by Trig and her husband.
This was not a mother's typical visit to the office to show off the new baby; instead, she was serving notice that a child of special needs would not hinder her professional commitments. "It's a sign of the times to be able to do this," she said.
So my hat is off to Sarah Palin for standing up for what she believes in and proving to the world that there are some politicians left in this country who still maintain their integrity.