Many of Sarah Palin’s critics have something in common: They haven't met her. Virtually everyone who has come into the governor’s presence leaves impressed, writes Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. Even Alaska politicians she’s quarreled with say she’s smart and capable. “Her politics aren’t my politics,” said SNL’s Lorne Michaels, but meeting her, “you can see she’s a very powerful, very disciplined, incredibly gracious woman.”
But Palin’s harshest critics, including conservatives like Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, and David Brooks, have never met the woman. So who’s the better judge of Palin—those who know her, or those who don’t? “The answer is a no-brainer,” says Barnes. Of course, Barnes is probably biased: He’s met Palin multiple times. Needless to say, he was impressed.