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I Can See Clearly Now

September 25, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Really, I don’t get the fuss being made over Sarah Palin’s suggestion that because Alaska is close to Russia, she has some expertise on the country. Seems reasonable to me, as she explained to Katie Couric.

I grew up on Long Island. On many summer weekends during my early childhood, we would go to Jones Beach, one of Long Island’s famous barrier beaches. As I stood ankle-deep in the water and looked across the Atlantic, I imagined seeing France. (Well, okay, I would have had to look over my left shoulder, but that’s not the point.) Our family had, and would continue to develop, a close connection to France. My father arrived in Normandy just a few days after June 6, 1944 and spent quite a few months there. A woman he met in Reims during his stay would come to New York a decade later as an Air France executive and became a regular visitor to our home before her return to France a couple of years later. I stayed with her and her husband in Paris a little over a decade after that. My sister married a Frenchman in 1980 and has lived in France ever since. My niece and nephew are native speakers of French. My son is a French major. In August 1999, my wife and son and I visited my sister and her family in La Baule, on the Atlantic coast, where they used to spend their annual August vacation. We stayed at the Hermitage Hotel, on the beach, along with fellow vacationer Nicolas Sarkozy, then mayor of Neuilly. (My sister told us way back then that he might some day be president.) We even sat poolside with him one afternoon.

Who can doubt that my close relationship with France and the French people began on Jones Beach?

Let us give respect where it is due. I have my doubts about Palin in other areas, but not Russian affairs.

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