Sarah "Sara America" Palin is gearing for a presidential bid in 2012, says Cindy Adams. With a personal PAC and everything. This is what I wrote a few months back:
Palin starts with megacelebrity, a Saturday Night Live-proof magnetic personality, and a crawl-across-broken-glass base in the party among women and social conservatives. During the campaign, she has revealed some core principles: a desire to cut taxes, cut spending, win wars, and kill terrorists. A good start with GOP-ers, I would assume. But clearly she needs to flesh out her thinking a smidgen. To start that process, perhaps she should spend 2009 and 2010 reading one book a month, 24 total, on economics and foreign policy in preparation for her 2011 announcement. Here are two dozen off-the-top-of-my-head picks:
1) The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9-11 by Lawrence Wright. There is no better book about the rise of militant Islam and the threat it poses to western civilization.
2) The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy--If We Let It Happen by Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Peter Tanous. A timely and cogent analysis of the risks posed to the U.S. economy by the abandonment of Reaganomics.
3) Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order by Robert Kagan. Shows what a fool’s errand it is to expect our Old Europe NATO allies to support our 21st-century foreign policy goals.
4) The Way the World Works by Jude Wanniski. Why are taxes such a critical element to economic performance? The late Wanniski puts their role in historical context in this seminal work of supply-side economics.
5) The Writing on the Wall: Why We Must Embrace China as a Partner or Face It as an Enemy by Will Hutton. We’re all in this together, folks, and shepherding China to full-scale democratic capitalism is critical to our economy and national security.
6) An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths by Glenn Reynolds. Lays out how technology is making Big Anything an endangered species. And, no, the bailout doesn’t change that.
7) Surprise, Security, and the American Experience by John Lewis Gaddis. Explains that the Iraq war and pre-emptive military action are firmly rooted within the American foreign policy experience.
8) Rational Exuberance: Silencing the Enemies of Growth and Why the Future Is Better Than You Think by Michael Mandel. Mandel expertly illustrates the importance of technology-led innovation and productivity growth to America’s economic future. Growth is good.
9) Great Powers: America and the World After Bush by Thomas P.M. Barnett. This one isn’t out yet, but Barnett has a great track record. His general thesis: Expanded globalization and economic connectedness, with an assist from the U.S. military from time to time for security, can create a more peaceful and prosperous world.
10) The Growth Experiment: How the New Tax Policy Is Transforming the U.S. Economy by Lawrence B. Lindsey. A forgotten classic on the power of the Reagan tax cuts. It shouldn’t be.
11) The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity and What to Do About It by Philip Longman. Why pro-natalist policies are important to U.S. economic growth and how they can be constructed.
12) Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care by Arnold Kling. Though you would never know it from reading and viewing the MSM, there are free-market approaches to healthcare reform. This is a great place to start.
13) Winning the Oil Endgame by Amory B. Lovins. Washington elites love to act like energy independence is a fantasy. Lovins shows it isn’t.
14) Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam. Not only a great history of the American conservative movement but a blueprint for a more family-focused GOP.
15) Cowboy Capitalism: European Myths, American Reality by Olaf Gersemann. Why big-government Old Europe hasn’t found the magic economic formula.
16) The Pro-Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity by Gene Sperling. The liberal approach to economic growth. If Obama wins, expect more than a few of the ideas in this book to pop up.
17) The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth by Benjamin M. Friedman. Why good growth helps makes good societies. That’s right--economists, at least some of them, are doing the Lord’s work.
18) The Third Century: America's Resurgence in the Asian Era by Joel Kotkin. This was written in 1988, but its insights about America and what makes us great are still relevant.
19) The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama. Know your opponent, of course.
20) The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy by David Smick. Thoroughly lays out the risks to globalization and the prosperity it brings.
21) American Abundance: The New Economic & Moral Prosperity by Lawrence Kudlow. A hymn to everything that is right and good with America and democratic capitalism.
22) The Power of Productivity: Wealth, Poverty, and the Threat to Global Stability by William W. Lewis. Why are some nations rich and others not? It’s all about productivity. This book is a must-read on the topic.
23) On the Wealth of Nations: Books That Changed the World by P. J. O'Rourke. A funny dissertation on the ur-economics book.
24) Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan by Edmund Morris. It is the best book on Ronaldus Maximus out there.