Sarah Palin came upon Alaska’s state political stage with her run for Lt. Gov. She proved an able opponent, much to the chagrin of Sen. Loren Leman. Sarah came within a hairs breadth of defeating him for soon to be Governor Frank Murkowski’s Lt. Gov. seat. Murkowski gave justice to Sarah’s showing by giving Sarah a responsibility reserved for the political elite: a seat on the Oil and Gas Commission. A pricey salary of $105,000 per year went with it.
Randy Ruedrich was also appointed to that commission. Ruedrich, out of the people appointed at least had experience in the industry he was overseeing. However, as the Republican Party Chair, it is beyond me how Governor Murkowski could not see the conflict of interest on Ruedrich’s part in taking the position. That was an appointment that should never have been made.
Palin was a former Mayor of Wasilla with a journalism degree.
What happened next made Alaska political history.
Palin and Ruedrich did not get along. Palin called Randy down for using State computers to conduct party business. Murkowski initially chose to ignore the issue, and Palin resigned, setting the stage for the greatest political upset in Alaska history.
The Palin campaign was belittled by the competition from the beginning. “Little princess”, “cheerleader” and “little girl” were terms used liberally during the Primary. Demeaning, and denigrating rhetoric on the part of the pundits and the Murkowski faithful was the order of the day.
No one took Sarah seriously . . . until her poll numbers starting going up.
The harsher the criticism, the higher the poll numbers went.
Ruedrich’s breach of ethics became a battle cry and a rallying point for the Palin faithful. Her resignation from the Oil and Gas Commission became the stuff of legend.
Murkowski was the ideal “straight man” to Sarah’s presence and “Alaska First!” theme. Big and usually polite, Murkowski rarely went where Palin’s critics went with their remarks.
I can remember only one comment on Murkowski’s part; otherwise he played the gentleman opponent to Palin’s Joan of Arc.
Then came the Primary. An incredible rout for Murkowski and the Republican old corps Murkowski supporters. These party faithful were those whose blind faith fed and condoned a breach of ethics on the part of elected officials unprecedented in Alaska history that has comprised the reputation of the Republican Party in Alaska.
The General Election was more low key, in terms of attacks from the Democrats. The Democrat election machine had the Murkowski Republicans and alleged conservative pundits to do their dirty work. Former Gov. Tony Knowles, like Murkowski, kept to the high ground where criticism of Sarah was concerned. Unfortunately for Tony, Tony was just out of date and no match for Sarah’s increasing popularity. The Palin Revolution was well under way and Tony and the dems were blown away at the polls.
Sarah’s most critical naysayers were those who supported Murkowski. They just could not get over Sarah’s one ups-man-ship over their hero. Since, it has been more of the same.
Was that criticism justified?
Sarah campaigned on a fiscal conservatism, smaller government is better, pro-development, get rid of activist judges, pro-family, traditional value, pro-life largely conservative platform.
Once in office, she made up to Randy Ruedrich, and forgot what she sold us.
Does her record demonstrate her campaign rhetoric as the foundation of her legislative and policy initiatives?
Ascendency to national notoriety showed us a Sarah that we all knew. McCain picking Sarah Palin was brilliant, and immediately put his lackluster campaign back into the running.
I attended a rally in Cedar Rapids, IA, while working a job near there. Sarah’s acceptance was incredible. A very conservative message was given by Sarah Palin and those folks loved it.
Unfortunately, what Sarah says on the public stage is not supported by her record.
The sad soap opera that Sarah Palin’s detractors put her family through, of which no small part belongs to her ego and penchant for mucking it out with her detractors, was disappointing and sad to see.
By her resignation as the Governor of the Great State of Alaska, Sarah Palin no longer has the standing to speak for Alaska. To step down as governor, after what she sold us, was an insult of the highest order. She rejected Alaska and Alaskans for ego and money.
Evidently, just being our Governor was not “good” enough for Sarah Palin.