I am seeing all kinds of Ronald Reagan-Sarah Palin comparisons careening around the blogoshere over the last seventy hours (perhaps the most eerie from Mike Reagan). Any validity? Maybe. I see some similarities.

Truly, she has a Reagan-like gift for communication. She talks, we listen, and we understand exactly what she means. Moreover, we admire her style even as we process her message. She feels at ease with us--and vice versa. She is confident, sincere, and approachable. Those are rare qualities that Reagan possessed in spades.

A member of the Bosque Boys community, "speakerofdacommoner," recently compared Palin to John Kennedy:

"She is bright, enthusiastic, matter of fact, and easy on the eyes! JFK was able to appear like a regular Joe each time he took center stage almost as if he were having a conversation with just you. Palin did a remarkable job of appearing as real and rooted as anyone since Reagan. She seems trustworthy, honest, and tough yet strikingly feminine: assertive without outright aggression."

"Speaker" is right to NOT shy away from her appealing appearance. The sheer physical beauty of Reagan and Kennedy should not be overlooked in explaining their political allure. Most of us are naturally drawn to beautiful people. Of course, you need to do more than look pretty (ask John Edwards). But an attractive countenance seems a wonderful starting place for a public figure.

One other comparison to Reagan (and this may be important):

She is polarizing. Just about half of us have already fallen in love with Sarah Palin--but the other half seems intent on ripping her heart out. If you remember the Reagan days, you will recall how much the left hated the Gipper. Even as there is a new energy and sense of great expectation on our side about her, our opponents are overflowing with fulmination. You could feel an uneasiness and dread on the part of the Obama nation and the almost intuitive and collective desire on the left to crush Palin immediately. This lady Hercules needed to be killed in the cradle, but, instead, she showed up on Wednesday night smiling and joyfully taunting her tormentors with the carcasses of the unsuccessful character assassins.

One thing about Reagan, the more you disparaged him, the more he smiled. "Well, Jimmy, there you go again." She smiles a lot--even when she is giving her opponent the business. Put me down and I will laugh good-naturedly--but you better be ready for my comeback. You make fun of me for being a small-town mayor, I've got a joke that puts you in your place, buster. And when it is all over, you will wish you had never opened up that can of worms.

One more thing I like: she doesn't look off into space; she looks directly at me through the television set.

One note of caution: we met Ronald Reagan the politician in 1964. We watched him for sixteen years before we elected him president, which included eight years as governor of the most populous state in the Union and two unsuccessful campaigns for president.

We met Sarah Palin eight days ago.