“I said, ‘You know, Sarah, within 10 years you could be governor. She replied, ‘I want to be president.’ ” – Laura Chase, Sarah Palin’s campaign manager during Palin’s 1996 first run for mayor, recalled the night the two women chatted about her ambitions.
The Sunday New York Times printed a scathing front page article on Sarah Palin, ‘Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes.’
This article examined the ‘swift rise and record of Palin as mayor of Wasilla’ and Alaska governor. It addressed ‘her visceral style and penchant for attacking critics.’ She called her local opponents ‘haters.’ The article says that ‘throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance …”
Palin does have many supporters. Her accomplishments, unquestioningly, benefited her constituents – at least on the surface. In Wasilla, they saw paved roads and a new ice rink and of course a $20+ million debt. As governor, she received credit for taking on the political corruption in Alaska and increased the taxes on the oil companies returning the money to the Alaskan residents. John McCain is against these windfall profit taxes on the oil companies but it has proven very successful and popular in Alaska
“Everything she does is for the ordinary working people of Alaska.” – Alaska Lt. Governor Sean Parnell.
She has raised money for now-indicted Senator Ted Stevens. She ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2002, finishing second in the Republican primary.
Palin was appointed to chair a state commission overseeing oil and gas drilling by Governor Murkowski. She discovered that Randy Ruedrich, a commission member and Alaska Republican leader, was ‘conducting party business on state time and favoring regulated companies.’ ‘Murkowski failed to act on her complaints’ so Palin quit and went public.
But there is also the negative side to her political career. Many have come out publicly while other items have not – yet. I am still waiting on my election ethics story to come out – where the Republican Governors’ Association illegally paid for a mailer to Alaskan voters and for a television ad that ran for 47 days. The RGA was fined for the latter. [Read here]
By now, we’ve all heard about Trooper-Gate and how just 2 days ago the McCain campaign announced that Palin will not cooperate with the investigator in this case. There is a similar situation that the Times broke in this article. (Trooper-Gate II?)
The more we learn about Sarah Palin and her political career, the more it sounds like a teen movie and Palin is the head cheerleader. Wasilla High School Cheerleaders go to Washington.
There has been much banter about Palin talking of banning books from the Wasilla library. I think it is clearly understood that no books were actually banned and it had never progressed past the discussion stage – or had it?
The Alaskan Republican Party leader Randy Ruedrich, as mentioned above, was taken down because he conducted party business on state time. It was discovered that Palin was doing something similar.
Questions on her knowledge and understanding of policy
If you have seen the Palin interview last week with Charles Gibson, you most probably noticed that Palin had little understanding of policy beyond the verbal regurgitation given to her by her tutors. Watching her, I was reminded of President Bush as she parroted his position on many issues. The giveaway was the use of the word ‘NUCULER.’
During the 2006 Governor forums with former two-term Democratic governor Tony Knowles and Independent challenger Andrew Halcro, she used ‘hand-written, color-coded index cards strategically placed behind her nameplate.’
As Secretive as Bush – Cheney?
Above all, this should frighten us the most. The excessive secretive behavior by the current administration will be legendary. They repeatedly cite executive privilege for issues that shouldn’t be covered by it.
Palin has ordered Wasilla employees not to talk to the press. As many examples as I hear, none are more amazing than the following:
She eloped with Todd without telling anyone.
She kept her pregnancy with Trig a secret until her seventh month – keeping it even from her family.
Her parents said they found out that their daughter was a candidate for the Vice Presidency when a reporter called them just before John McCain introduced Palin as his running mate.
I expect my politicians to be able to keep a secret, but she seems to be more obsessive about it than most.
More to come . . .