It would be the height of churlishness for even the most inveterate leftist to deny the import of someone who made Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" list, and then the Smithsonian Institution's "100 Most Significant Americans Of All Time" list. Both affirmations were earned by former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
To then accept Governor Palin as "American Achiever of the Year 2014" would be for most, if not all on the left (and to be fair, many in the GOP) no doubt a bridge too far. However, such partisanship should not stand in the way of a general acknowledgement of what was a remarkable year for Palin.
Palin achieved what such luminaries as President Obama did not: a place in the Smithsonian's prestigious "Most Significant" list. After being written off by many in the media, and especially the left, as "irrelevant" and predicted by MSNBC's Krystal Ball as "not going to have an effect on the  midterms," Palin's record of success of her endorsed candidates was nothing short of phenomenal.
Governor Palin endorsed 22 candidates for various offices during the midterm finals, including senators, governors, lieutenant governors, congressmen, and attorneys general. Of those so endorsed, an incredible 20 were elected – contrasted with, for example, Hillary Clinton's record of 8 wins out 24 endorsed candidates.
Beyond the success of her endorsed candidates lies a much deeper reason for Palin being seen as "Achiever of the Year": those Palin endorsed in their respective primaries who then went on to win the general election battles. As in the past with, among others, senators Ted Cruz, Kelly Ayotte, and Deb Fischer, and Governor Nikki Haley, who owe their elections in their primary campaigns to Palin's endorsement at a critical juncture, so too could new senators Ben Sasse and Joni Ernst, and new Alaska governor Bill Walker (and, remarkably, his Democrat lieutenant governor Byron Mallott) be considered to owe all or a substantial part of their nominations to Palin's endorsement.
For all her detractors’ cries of "irrelevance" and "she's just a reality show entertainer" (those two being among the nicer epithets), Palin goes on, election cycle after election cycle, populating Congress with her endorsed candidates in a cost-effective manner, and in such numbers that the likes of Karl Rove with his 1% success rate can surely view only with hidden admiration, if not downright envy.
In what is perhaps the most interesting aspect of Palin’s year of achievement, in instance after instance where Palin was ridiculed for a straightforward statement (e.g., "death panels" or the true history of Paul Revere), her most strident critics have agreed, in whole or in part, with her views. But 2014 saw the most impressive of this historical revisionism.
After Russian president Putin invaded the Ukraine and annexed the Crimea, video surfaced of Governor Palin's 2008 speech where she predicted exactly that occurrence should then presidential candidate Barack Obama be elected. Palin sounded a deserved note of triumphalism in March:
"Yes, I could see this one from Alaska," Palin posted on Facebook, saying she said "told-ya-so" in the case of her "accurate prediction being derided as 'an extremely far-fetched scenario' by the 'high-brow' Foreign Policy magazine."
"Here’s what this 'stupid' 'insipid woman' predicted back in 2008," Palin said. "After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."
Palin's post has been shared by more than 16,000 Facebook users and "liked" by more than 70,000.
In 2014, Governor Palin is deservedly the "Achiever of The Year."