Palin, careful to avoid attribution (a move that got Joe Biden kicked out of a Presidential race two decades ago), quoted Pegler in her acceptance speech, saying, "We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity."
Now Pegler was a foam spewing columnist of the old school, who called down lightning on do-good politicians like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and who saw Jews and others as being in cahoots against freedom-loving Americans like himself.
Wrote Rich: "Pegler was a rabid Joe McCarthyite who loathed F.D.R. and Ike and tirelessly advanced the theory that American Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe (“geese,” he called them) were all likely Communists."
Robert Kennedy, Jr., for his part, is pained that Palin seems to love a guy who wanted Kennedy's father assassinated.
Wrote the son in a blog: "[Pegler] expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that 'some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies.'"
As for Palin's motives in lifting Pegler, who died in 1969, from obscurity, Rich says she probably knows little or nothing about him.
The suggestion here, then, is that Palin was simply spouting the words given her by her speech writer, Matthew Scully, who, keep in mind, is a senior speech writer for George W. Bush.
But Robert Kennedy, Jr., seems to suggest he believes Palin knows and likes Pegler.
"It might be worth asking Governor Palin for a tally of the other favorites from her reading list," Kennedy, Jr., wrote.
If Palin knows of and likes this guy Pegler, and if she includes him on her favorite reading lists, that's something to take seriously.
(Keep in mind that this Palin once tried to ban books from libraries in Alaska, maybe books by old civil rights activists and supporters of Social Security.)
This race, excuse the other entendre, is really getting interesting.