Bursting on to the national political scene like a bull moose charging out of a grove of trees, Alaska Governor-cum-Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has dominated the news cycle since her introduction as Senator John McCains running mate. Becoming an instant media and ratings sensation, not even the full fury of Mother Nature in the guise of Hurricane Gustav could long hold the medias attention as news of the pregnancy of her 17 year-old daughter, Bristol, broke as the storm made landfall last week. With both the media and the Democrats having been caught off guard by Palins selection, the media has been clamoring to instantaneously vet the Alaskan Governor while the Obama campaign scrambles for a consensus on how best to handle the mother of five and moose-hunting hockey mom. As polls place the impact of the post-convention bounce for the McCain-Palin ticket from a statistically insignificant 1 percent lead in Rassmussens Daily Tracking Poll to a truly impressive 10 percent among likely voters in the USA TODAY/Gallop poll with an average of 3.2 percent in the Real Clear Politics poll summary, concerns are rising in both the Democratic and Republican parties about the long term impact of Palins selection and growing celebrity. The photogenic former beauty queen has inspired fear among the Democratic faithful for a growing number of reasons. Compounding the fear that she will attract disaffected Clinton supporters to the Republican ticket, Democratic anxiety levels are rising because- -She is genuine. Unlike Senator Kerry that had to hold a poorly contrived and pathetically executed hunting photo op, Governor Palin is the proverbial real deal. After sharing her my father taught me shooting behind my grandfathers cottage story, Senator Hillary Clinton was naturally asked when the last time was shed fired a gun. Caught off guard, she replied that it was not a relevant question in this debate Being the proud holder of a lifetime membership in the NRA, Palin can not only immediately answer when the last time was she fired a gun, I would dare venture she can recite the gauge or caliber of each one her family owns. -She is a successful woman that places her marriage and family as the centerpiece and foundation of her life. Standing in stark contrast to hardnosed feminists that believe marriage is legalized slavery; Palin speaks glowingly of her high school sweetheart husband, saying .two decades and five children later hes still my guy. The mother of three strong and kindhearted daughters, a son in the Army about to deploy to Iraq and a perfectly beautiful baby boy with Downs syndrome, Palins life is a testimony to womens ability to have a full home life while at the same time experiencing career success. Palins life boldly says to women, You can have it all and not feel guilty or incomplete. -Family values are more than just a campaign slogan to Palin; they are a way of life. When prenatal testing disclosed that baby Trig had Downs syndrome, Palin carried on with the pregnancy nonetheless. Informed by her strong religious convictions and anti-abortion beliefs, the Palin family celebrated the birth and the unspeakable joy that God had granted them. When news broke about the pregnancy of 17 year-old daughter, Bristol, Sarah and her husband, Todd Palin, issued a statement saying they are "proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents." "Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family," the Palins assured. Being an ardent supporter of abstinence and opponent of sex education in public schools, it would naturally be assumed that her daughters pregnancy would be an embarrassing political bombshell that would derail the McCain-Palin ticket before it had even left the station. To the contrary, it made Palin more human and appealing; both for sharing the difficult situation confronting families across the nation and for addressing it with a love and emphasis on family that finds blessings even in trying circumstances. Palins decisions and actions say, Principal matters and is not situational. -She destroys media stereotypes of Conservative women as either shrill shrews or hapless hillbillies. Neither Ann Coulter nor Daisy Duke, Palin is confident without being boorish; intelligent without being arrogant; principled without being archaic and sexy without being tawdry or cartoonish. Palins style and image says, Conservatives can be cool, sexy and intelligent all at once. In a word, she is dangerous. In contrast to Democratic fears over Palins potential appeal, Republicans are more concerned about her stilettoed Achilles heels. Among the anxieties keeping ponderous pachyderms awake at night are- -Fear of the unknown. With questions about the thoroughness of McCains vetting of his running mate having been suppressed by the wagon-circling rallying effect it generated in the base, in the wake of the revelation of Bristol Palins pregnancy, Republicans are wondering if and when the next shoe will drop. As the media rush has left rental car lots vacant in Alaska, fear of what other skeletons lie in the Palin closet has left many Republicans as uneasy as they are enthusiastic. Is there college experimentation with marijuana? Are there tasteful and artistic nude photographs lying in wait? Has she in fact abused the power of some of the public offices shes held as some have alleged? Does she have a Reverend Wright or a George Allen Macaca problem? -Does she have substance as well as style? Palin has left no doubt she looks good and can deliver a speech with ease and enthusiasm. The question is, though Is she more than just an attractive middle-aged Conservative version of Gidget? Can she think on her feet? Can she stand toe-to-toe with the Delaware Destroyer, Joe Biden? Can she handle the media feeding frenzy once the McCain camp lets her wade in the water by herself? Can she take a punch and recovery quickly, or does she have a political glass jaw? The anxiety tormenting Republicans is that with the Partys newfound enthusiasm and energy being tied directly to her, and millions of voters giving the McCain ticket a second look because of her, could another unexpected controversy or series of stumbles and lackluster performances by Palin damage the ticket just as significantly as she as reinforced it to date? When so much emotion and enthusiasm is invested in an individual the depth and devastation of their fall from grace and glory is potentially even greater than the inspiration and wonder of their rise. Having resurrected Republican hopes from the electoral grave in less than a week, Palin could just as quickly put them back in the cemetery of failed campaigns and fallen dreams. Again; dangerous. While Democrats and Republicans feelings differ when they wonder about Palins potential impact on independent and swing voters, one thing they do share is that fact that the statuesque hockey mom and neophyte to the national scene fuels some of the greatest fears that haunt their electoral dreams. To some a dream; to others a nightmare, faithful readers! Stay tuned for further updates as events warrant and visions of electoral votes fill the dreams of pundits and pols alike.