Sarah Palin came upon Alaska’s state political stage with her run for Lt. Gov. in 2002. She proved an able opponent, much to the chagrin of Sen. Loren Leman, a well respected member of the Alaska Senate. Sarah came within a hairs breadth of defeating him for the Lt. Gov.’s seat.
Newly elected Governor Frank 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 Alaska Republican Party Chair, Ruedrich’s appointment raised some concern. This was an appointment fraught with potential conflict of interest.
What happened next, made Alaska political history, and created the Palin legend of standing for integrity and principle.
Palin and Ruedrich did not get along. Palin called Randy down for using State computers to conduct party business. Gov. Frank Murkowski initially chose to ignore the issue, and Palin resigned from the AOGC, setting the stage for the greatest political upset in Alaska history and an early end to the Murkowski Administration.
Ruedrich was fined $12,000 by the Alaska Public Offices Commission for his breach of ethics.
With her resignation, Sarah Palin established herself to Alaskans as a moral person of integrity and principle. Joan of Arc of Alaska is what I called her.
It was too bad that Frank Murkowski was demonized so heavily over the Ruedrich mess. Murkowski’s Administration was addressing some vital issues to Alaska, including the novel idea of actually building roads to gain access to Alaska’s potential mineral and potential oil wealth beyond the North Slope development.
From the beginning of the race against Murkowski for the governor’s mansion, the Palin campaign was belittled by the competition. “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. This harsh and demeaning rhetoric was constant.
No one took Sarah seriously amongst the old guard in the Republican Party of Alaska . . . 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 Alaska 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 demeaning comment on Murkowski’s part; otherwise he played the gentleman opponent to Palin’s Joan of Arc.
Then came the Primary election. This was an incredible rout for Murkowski and the Republican old corps Murkowski supporters.
These rubber stamp it as long as it is Republican, except Sarah Palin, party faithful were those whose blind faith enabled a breach of ethics on the part of elected representatives to Alaska’s Legislature unprecedented in Alaska history that comprised the reputation of the Republican Party in Alaska. This disaffection of integrity from the ranks of ‘conservative’ legislators led to gains in the Legislature, thereby eliminating a Republican majority that owned the House and Senate.
The General Election where Sarah ran against former Gov. Tony Knowles 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. Even after the Primary election, these alleged conservatives continued the attacks against Palin, unabated by the fact that the benefactor was the Democrat opposition!
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 during the campaign for governor.
Her administration started off by reappointing most of Murkowski’s cabinet, along with a few retreads from past Democrat administrations. The end result was confusion, a lack of direction, and dissent within the governor’s office about who was in charge. Sarah fired her legislative liaison, John Bitney, one of the ardent insiders during the campaign. She eventually fired two of her Chief of Staffs, keeping the last.
Sarah’s record is one of contradictions.
Sarah campaigned on a platform of fiscal conservatism. She then promoted the largest budget in State history in the face of declining oil production. She added $200 to the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend check as a freebie for fuel costs. Sarah grew government, failing to address the bloated, horribly expensive State bureaucracy for which she criticized Murkowski and Knowles.
Once in office, Sarah forgot the all Alaska pipeline route that even she admitted she had voted for and supported during the campaign, through AGIA and a Trans-Canada pipeline.
Sarah raised taxes on the oil companies, resulting in a regulatory morass that has all but eliminated oil and gas exploration Alaska. In Alberta, 10,000 wells drilled last year is considered a bad year. In Alaska, one can count the number of new wells drilled last year on two hands.
Sarah’s cabinet included the addition of a climate change sub-cabinet comprised of those whose job was to promote a fallacy upon Alaskans. There is nothing this cabinet has done that has resulted in any plan or direction that benefits Alaskans. Worse, is the fact that Miss 10th Amendment State’s Rights to the death Sarah put a FED in charge of the cabinet. An EPA employee runs a State of Alaska cabinet department.
Sarah appointed a liberal minded judge to the Alaska Supreme Court that was on the board of directors for Planned Parenthood! So much for her rhetoric about activist judges.
Yet, during the campaign for Governor, pro-life, anti-abortion Sarah Palin decried activist judges and the attack upon parental rights.
Sarah Palin supported the creation by a previous referendum, the same referendum that she supported with her vote, of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority. Earlier this year, she cut funding for ANGDA and appointed a natural gas pipeline czar with no experience in natural gas anything. That’s our Sarah.
Sarah Palin entered office with a greater than 80% majority vote in the general election. She massacred the competition. Instead of going to the Legislature with the power of that mandate, she waffled, commiserated, and failed to get her agenda put into effect. Unfortunately, that agenda was not what we who worked, contributed, and supported her during the campaigns thought it was.
We believed her conservative, pro-life, pro-family, fiscal conservative, and ‘Alaska First!’ rhetoric.
Sarah Palin failed as a leader to carry the day. Her few months in office were marked by an ongoing soap opera that was embarrassing to watch while she seemingly ignored the mandate that she had going into office.
Then came the Presidential campaign.
McCain picking Sarah Palin was brilliant, and immediately put his lackluster campaign back into the running. That pick was so “off the wall”, and so out of the political mainstream of rehashed hacks, that McCain’s campaign took on a new life. Unfortunately, his choice for VP became the VP from hell.
Ascendency to national notoriety showed us a Sarah that we all knew.
In September, 2008, 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. Sarah received louder cheers and louder calls for her than did McCain. McCain stood there next to the podium and smiled, but he had to wonder whether or not in the form of Sarah Palin he had created a monster that would eclipse him.
I will say this for John McCain. For a man who had the living daylights beat out of him every day for five years in the Hanoi Hilton, he had a very good military bearing. He stood with a straight back.
The campaign soon degenerated into a bash Sarah assault on the part of the media that almost worked to the detriment of those bashing her. Her poll numbers rose instead of falling. Had it not been for the revelations regarding the economy, McCain would have won and Sarah Palin would be in the V.P.’s office.
The assault on Sarah’s family was the most disgusting and insulting attempt to discredit, defame, and destroy a candidate for high office since the attack on Barry Goldwater when he ran against Lyndon Johnson. There, the press lied, but did not attack his family. What happened with Palin was a travesty and has sullied the press for ever more.
Since returning to office from the VP run, Sarah has not been able to gain any traction. She has been continually hounded by irrelevant and specious ethics complaints. Had she used her mandate, she could have made the Legislature change the law to eliminate many of types of specious and outrageous allegations made against her that were found to be baseless. Sarah took the office of the Governor to new lows in her continued focus on those complaints instead of Alaska’s business.
Sarah Palin plainly spoke at her handover of power that she was resigning to avoid the “lame duck” disadvantage and stigma upon her administration. With 15 months to go in her first term, she was a “lame duck”?
Granted she was rendered ineffectual, but ineffectual by her own conduct and failure to act as would a leader. Murkowski endured many criticisms during his tenure, many from Palin herself. Yet, he did not put his family on public display or put them in the line of fire time and again.
Meg Stapelton told the Anchorage Daily News that Sarah had no plans, nor any designs in place for further political activity after leaving office. Yet the same paper also reported that Sarah was to speak at an event in California on 8 August. Prior to that, Sarah admitted that she is also going to speak in support of other like minded candidates—both Republican and Democrat.
How’s that for not having a position?
Sarah Palin will do whatever she intends to do. She is ambitious and will spin a track on anyone or anything that gets in her way.
Unfortunately for her ambitions, what Sarah says on the public stage is not supported by her record. Sooner or later, people will begin to question the rhetoric and why she quit her job as Governor.
The disgusting 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.
Sarah Palin is a conservative sound bite, but an all too typical politician. ‘Sarah First’ is her war cry. Those who supported Sarah Palin found out that the self-described ‘pit bull with lipstick’, otherwise known as ‘Sarah Barracuda’, was all hype.
Fame and fortune are Sarah’s bent. Once cannot blame her for going for the gold ring. One can blame her for forsaking her sacred duty to Alaska and Alaskans. She ran for governor, made promises, and, now she quits?
By her resignation as the Governor of the Great State of Alaska, Sarah Palin no longer has the standing to speak for Alaska or Alaskans. 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 Alaska’s Governor was not “good” enough for Sarah Palin.
Sarah is a quitter and undeserving of any further attention.