Friday, August 29, 2008

Republican Veepwatch: The "Grave" Reaches Out To The "Cradle"; John McCain Places Alaska Governor Sarah Palin A Heartbeat Away

If the selection of the 65-year-old Joe Biden by the 47-year-old Barack Obama can be characterized as "the cradle reaching out to the grave", then the selection of 44-year-old Sarah Palin by 72-year-old John McCain can be characterized as the "grave reaching out to the cradle". McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, reported nationally on CNN, has stunned the nation and triggered discussion far beyond the normal venues, to include seemingly unlikely venues such as the Vanguard News Network Forum and Stormfront.

And Alaskans, including myself, are just as stunned as most other Americans at this selection. I genuinely believed that what chances she actually ever had died with the onset of the scandal unleashed beginning with the firing of former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Then she compounded that error by hiring former Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp as Monegan's replacement without properly vetting him; he turned out to have had a past as a sexual harasser, and he also resigned, under fire.

And many Alaskans, in particular Andrew Halcro (view all his posts on Palin HERE), remain strongly critical of Sarah Palin's Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) as well as her legislatively rubber-stamped decision to select Trans-Canada to build the pipeline, even though Trans-Canada, by their own admission, will not begin construction until 2015, AFTER their Canadian gas lines are built and AFTER the value of Alaskan gas is weakened by the expected flood of Canadian gas.

The customary national pundits, some of which are referenced in my previous post where I predicted Mitt Romney would get the nod, just about all missed this selection as well. However, in reviewing all my previous posts on Sarah Palin, there was one development revealed by WorldNetDaily on August 19th that obviously portended the selection of Sarah Palin. You can read the full WorldNetDaily story HERE. The url for the site is At the time, it was strictly a "static shell", displaying only political advertising and the statement, "Welcome to–the best source for information on the John McCain - Sarah Palin 2008 Republican Presidential Ticket. Stayed (sic) tuned for important announcements." Obviously, the website will now become far more than a shell.

The governor's spokesman, Bill McAllister, said Kris Perry, a longtime friend of Palin's and head of Palin's office in Anchorage, may have been the only person who knew this was in the works. He's not sure if others knew, but "not many." The news comes as a surprise to nearly everyone in the governor's office, he said.

The Anchorage Daily News addresses the issue as to who will be in charge here while she's campaigning. Palin flak Bill McAllister said, "It would appear that legislative business for the year is concluded. There is, of course, the administrative business, but we have commissioners for that. There shouldn't be any disruption in state business".

However, the issue is a bit more complicated. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell is awaiting the outcome of Tuesday's Republican primary for Alaska's U.S. House seat. He trails incumbent Rep. Don Young by 151 votes, with questioned and some absentee votes yet to be counted. Thus it is possible that both Alaska's governor and lieutenant governor will be elected to federal office this fall, politically "decapitating" the state's executive branch. But neither is a guaranteed possibility, and the election of Sean Parnell to Congress appears most unlikely now.

The Anchorage Daily News has just published an article addressing succession. If the McCain-Palin team is elected, Sean Parnell would move up to governor and state Attorney General Talis Colberg would become lieutenant governor. However, if Sean Parnell ALSO wins his election to the U.S. House, Colberg would replace Palin as governor. Under state law, he would then be required to call an election for within 60 to 90 days for Alaskans to pick a permanent replacement governor.

Analysis: Despite Governor Palin's political troubles, she maintains a high approval rating. Recent polls indicate an approval rating in the 70s, a decrease from the 85 percent rating she enjoyed during her first year and a half.

The issue at question in the evolution of the Walt Monegan scandal is not so much character, but competency. If Governor Palin cannot handle a simple termination of a commissioner, how will she handle being a "heartbeat away" from a President who's already in his 70s? The selection of Palin obviously was designed to appeal to the Hillary Clinton PUMA crowd, but is it in the best interests of the country? I still believe Mitt Romney would have been a better choice.

Here's a list of other Alaska media links highlighting Alaskan reaction:

- Anchorage Daily News: Anchorage residents react with shock
- Anchorage Daily News: Troopergate inquiry lurks
- Anchorage Daily News photo collection HERE.
- ADM Alaska Politics blog: Video and transcript of Sarah Palin's acceptance speech
- Voice Of The Times: Palin selected as John McCain's running mate.
- Mat-Su Frontiersman: Nation asking "Who is Sarah Palin"
- Mat-Su Frontiersman: Valley buzzing over Palin veep nomination
- Juneau Empire: UPDATE: McCain tells Brownback veep pick will unite party
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: What others are saying about Alaska Gov. Palin being chosen for GOP ticket
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Analysis: Palin's age, inexperience rival Obama's
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Palin a historic choice for vice president, and all but unknown outside of Alaska
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Palin's parents surprised by vice president nomination
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: McCain picks Alaska Gov. Palin as running mate to help him 'shake up Washington'


  1. Your head must have been stuck in a "snow bank" on this one.

  2. Does anyone have any information on Gov Palin's foreign policy stance? Is she in favor of "Comprehensive Immigration" which is amnesty? I hope not.

  3. Anonymous #2 - Hell of a good question. My preliminary research reveals no public statements on immigration by Sarah Palin so far.

    However, when you consider that she agreed to become McCain's running mate, this implies that she cannot differ significantly from McCain's position on immigration. Based upon that, as well as her socially conservative positions, I think it reasonable to assume that, for the time being, Palin supports better enforcement of existing laws. However, since McCain supports a "path to citizenship" for "productive" illegals, we cannot exclude the possibility that Sarah Palin may also support a path to citizenship. However, this is STRICTLY my own conjecture only.

    This looks like an excellent subject for another blog post. Thanks for bringing it up.