Friday, August 29, 2008

What the?

I know this isn't a political blog, but Sarah Palin? Hol-ee cow.

Two years ago, she was the mayor of Wasilla, population 8,000, and a long-shot primary candidate against an old guard Republican governor. Then she beat Frank Murkowski in the primary, beat a Democratic former governor in the general, came into town, and every once in a while I'd see her walking down the street as I was pedaling through downtown.

We're gonna miss you in Juneau.


  1. Too bad she is running with the neocon devil.

  2. You have to admire McCain for picking Sarah. Brilliant. I think I changed my vote.

  3. I was floored by this news when I woke up this morning. Brilliant choice, I have to say. US politics always keeps us Canucks entertained.

  4. Jenn,

    I thought so at first, too. In her two short years as governor, she's established herself as an individual who is not afraid to run against party lines and buck the old guard. Plus, she's a woman. People will say that doesn't matter, but I can guarentee you some Clinton votes will head McCain's way.

    However, she has a long fight ahead in the U.S. media. Her inexperience will be a huge liability, since that is McCain's main arguement against Obama. She's a former beauty queen. She will be skewered, probably more so than even that poor hapless Dan Quayle who couldn't spell potato. It will be really interesting to see how this plays out. When she first became governor in 2006, I thought it was the apocalypse, but I've grown to respect her, even though she supports issues I strongly disagree with (ANWR drilling and aerial hunting.)

    Dang, I was going to head out for a ride early today, but I am glued to the computer. This is better than the movies. I really don't want to make my blog potitical, so I will keep my opinions to the comment section, because it is fun for me to discuss this.

  5. I think McCain made a wise choice. I mean what a contrast to himself. It makes me feel a bit better that Jill, who appears to be a fairly liberal individual at least has respect for her governor. This is going to something to watch, but I predict she will be no Quayle. She will get kicked around some on experience but will end up being VP.

  6. It’s a fascinating choice. Takes some of the historic first out of Obama's sails. But as you say Jill, McCain forfeits his inexperience card with this one, and he's been riding that one.
    I would love to have a woman P or VP but gender alone won’t get my vote. Don't know much about Palin but at a glance she seems so conservative gun toting oil drilling you know, republican. I respect and admire McCain and probably will feel the same for this hottie Alaskan Gov you guys got, once I get to know her. But, I can't wait to vote for a dynamic and smart, well spoken democrat who seems ready and able to garner the rest of the world’s good will that we shat on of late. And I will be extremely pleased to vote for a black man for president (there, is said it).

    btw JH, first thing I thought when I heard the news - "wow, I bet this has had a big impact on the day of my virtual friend - journalist juneau jill" :-)

  7. Yeah, Aucilla, now I have to go into work on my day off. #$%@!

    I won't get my long training ride this weekend, but at least now I have my own card to play up front when I lobby for some much-wanted unpaid time off in October. To politics!

  8. Not sure how this takes any of the "historic first" away from Obama. Palin's not the first major-party VP nominee.

    However, I think it is going to make it hard for McCain to play the "inexperienced" card against Obama/Biden. Think of it this way: if, keynahore, the president dropped dead the day after inauguration, would you think Biden or Palin would be more ready to step up?

    I'm also hard-pressed to see how Palin's anti-choice credentials are going to win many women (at least Hillary supporters), and how her pro-creationism is going to win any smart people.

  9. I must admit, Jill, I too thought of you and your work with this morning's announcement. Shouldn't her inexperience (or "newness" and "change") be a good compliment to McCain's old skool candidacy? Isn't that why Obama picked Biden, to make a well-rounded package? I agree - some Clinton votes will go Palin's way, especially because 4 years ago I recall McCain being rather liked by independents and some democrats.

    All that said, I think Obama is a great candidate and I just hope you Americans put him in the White House this fall. I don't get to vote (obviously) but your politics affect ours and I'd like to see the US lean a little further to the left in order to influence our (likely) upcoming fall election.

  10. She is a mom of five, including an infant with Down's syndrome. How will she ever find the time for all of this?? Not to say that moms can't have important demanding jobs, but I think many women will use this against her. I also think that a VP need more credentials then just being a woman.

  11. How will she be doing this with five kids? Same way she's been doing it -- with a lot of help! You'll note her oldest daughter Bristol had Trig for the announcement...her mother and father regularly care for the kids...and her husband, when not working his two-weeks on, two-weeks off schedule is available, too. Wonder if he'll stop working on the North Slope as he did in the first year of her governship? Or did he go back after Trig was born? I don't know.
    Hey folks, for those of us in AK, this is amazing news. So many of us like her (I think of her as a closet Democrat, although it's not really true) because she is full of common sense and has the strength of her convictions. All that being said, I will vote for Obama. With all my heart.

  12. I'm amazed at all the people talking about her 'inexperience'. She has more executive experience than McCain-Obama-Bidden combined and from what Jill and everyone in Alaska is saying she appears to be able to point to some very concrete accomplishments for the people of her state..moreso than Obama can.

    Besides...I dare anyone to tell a 44 year old mother of 5 that she is inexperienced and can't handle affairs of state.

  13. One of the first things I thought of when I was listening to Palin's
    speech on NPR at lunch time was "I guess it's going to be a busy day for Jill in the newsroom today." It's funny how a lot of us readers seem to have had the same thought. I'll admit Palin wasn't on my radar screen before today, but I liked much of her speech today. She seems to have many qualities I respect, despite the fact that she does espouse some views I don't agree with. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

    For some reason, it does make me feel a little better about the McCain ticket, though in spite of being a Democrat I'm not that freaked out by him becoming president. I don't know why, other than after eight years of W I guess anyone seems like an improvement. At least this whole thing gave McCain something else to talk about for a while besides being a POW.

  14. Jill, what's your take on the abuse of power investigation into allegations her office put pressure on to get her ex-brother in law fired?

  15. The disputed quotation attributed to John Garner relegating the Vice Presidency to equivalence with a "pitcher of warm spit" comes to mind. This nomination, if not killed in the general election, presents us with the intriguing possibility of the elderly candidate, owner of multitudes of palazzi, dying in office and elevating the nice lady from Wasilla to power. The fact that voters might actually change their vote based on the slection of the "pitcher" amply illustrates the feeblesness of political discourse in the Republic.

  16. What I want to know is this, Jill: Does Sarah Palin ride a bicycle in Alaska?

    What else can be more important? :-)

  17. Shouldn't those in love with all things egalitarian consider what's between the would-be VP's ears vastly more relevant and important than what's between their legs?

    And when it comes to credentials, don't forget Bill Clinton was merely the governor of the backwater state of Arkansas prior to becoming, not the VP, but president.

    Although I must admit to having chuckled when I first heard Palin referred to as America's first GILF ;-) By Wonkette, iirc.

    Nice picture of Palin on the cover of Vogue a while back.

  18. I saw a video on YouTube where Sarah commuted to work by bike occasionally.

    She's a great pick for veep. She gives the dems all kinds of problems plus she brings energy to McCain's campaign. The debate with Biden will be interesting. Her youth and inexperience will stand out, but I believe she's incredibly strong on energy policy, gov't reform, and ethics. She'll hold her own.

    The other great thing about this pick - it was a firewall after Obama's historic acceptance speech. He was electric in Denver, but the impact was muted with all the talk about McCain's running mate this morning.

    I'm excited about a presidential ticket for the first time in my life (dating back to Bush/Dukakis). With McCain's experience and Palin's resume, they are a formidable team. Parden the sports analogy, but this is election is like the old Steelers-Cowboys superbowls. Powerhouse vs. powerhouse. I'm loving this.

  19. Don't worry about missing her, it's not like she's going to be moving to DC or anything.


  20. Mark Halperin earlier today:

    McCain has failed the ultimate test that any presidential candidate must face in picking a running mate: selecting someone who is unambiguously qualified to be president.

  21. I think it's a brilliant political move, but a poor choice for VP. Sarah was elected because she was pretty. I'm not sure what all these "concrete accomplishments" for our state are, because I can't name any. I don't like her policies; handing out cash as a quick fix to the fuel crisis is mis-management of state funds IMO.

    Furthermore, executive experience is not the same as running a country. She has less than three years experience running a state with a small constituent base.

    Personally, I think McCain picked her so that he would have someone who would bring in the female voters who were sitting on the fence, but he would be able to ignore/patronize her once she's in office because she has little experience.

    I hate to commit one way or the other so early in a political race, but this is definitely pushing me toward the Obama camp.

  22. I think McCain picked her because she is a reformer and a maverick, which fits his "brand." Obviously, her inexperience is a liability and her easiest place to attack, however I'm not sure Obama can speak. She's a VP candidate - not a president. Obama has spent 3 years in the Senate, but has spent the majority of that time running for president. Additionally, her experience is in the executive branch, not in the compromise-ridden Senate.

    She's definitely an interesting pick. I think it is a risky choice for McCain. He'll either be lauded as a genius or a fool. How she weathers the constant media attention will be the deciding factor.

    In either case, props to both parties for choosing candidates that will make history.

  23. The process of winning the nomination has the tendency to disqualify the person for office. Winning the nomination involves power plays, compromise, submission to interest groups, giving oneself to the powers that be, tangling with webs of power, cut throat wheeling and dealing, and the need to raise and embrace powerful money interests. How does palin fall into all this? who is she? is she the best the republicans can offer? It doesn't seem like she has been tainted with the party bull shi%. But who is say what the next three months will bring.

    Pessimist Tom

  24. Finally. Florida is no longer the laughing-stock of American politics.

    Now its Arizona.

  25. I, too, thought of Jill when I heard the news. You're the only Alaskan most of us kinda sorta know, I guess. Plus you're a journalist.

    I am an Obama supporter, and I feel like McCain is pandering. It's obvious he picked her only because she is a woman in an effort to get Hillary's disgruntled supporters, and possibly because of her youth. Still, it makes for an interesting election.

  26. Finally. Florida is no longer the laughing-stock of National politics.

    Now it's Arizona.

  27. Truly, this scares me. I was for Hillary, and was willing to go for Obama to avoid McCain...but this just may tip the scale on what was sure to be a razor-close election anyway. Eek, can McCain-Palin be as bad as Bush-Cheney? Politics make me ill...

  28. you alaskans are a bunch of nutcases. He should have picked yosemite sam. I would have thought you would be a mitt romney fan? your blog has turned into a sham it was a lot more interesting when you talked about problems with your boyfriends What happened to jeff or geoff and all of the others that lurk around you?

  29. For the record, I'm still a greenie liberal and I'm still voting for Obama. I agree that Sarah being a woman means nothing in regards to her ability to lead a country, just as Obama's race has nothing to do with his qualifications. But in my opinion, Sarah has shown a strong ability to lead Alaska around by the nose. She got her TransCanada deal when many state Republicans were against it. She's a strong leader. But it's not hard to be a strong and popular governor when a state is flush with money, like Alaska. Any governor with that kind of money could pave the streets with gold.

    Yokota ... I've heard Palin rides a bike. I've never seen her on one, though.

    Tom .. yeah, Sarah's still pretty pure. Troopergate or not. It won't be long, though.

    Michael ... regarding "troopergate" ... I think it's exactly what it seems - and I also don't think it's a big deal. Her brother-in-law was a bad cop. It seems the reason he didn't get fired was because he was her brother-in-law. Commissioners serve at the will of the governor. I think the investigation is a political play ... a brilliant one at that, given this recent turn of events.

    John and Juancho ... one indicted U.S. senator, one U.S. representative under heavy suspicion, one bridge to nowhere, and several former state lawmakers in prison. I'm pretty sure Alaska still wins the laughingstock prize, even if our governor is hot.

    Mitt Romney is also a governor I've met - back when he was head of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee. Yeah, he was a robot back then, too.

  30. Like RKN said, it is more important what is between your ears (or not) than what is between your legs (or not). In this case, it appears nothing between either. She supports creationism taught in schools. That alone should be enough to keep her far far away from any power position, including governor.

    I am sorry but in order for you to believe that the Earth is only 6000 years old and that dinosaurs and mankind existed together you have to reject pretty much all of reality. These are extreme fringe ideas and those who have them should be kept on the fringe.

    We have already have 8 years of religinut in office, and look where that got us?

    Now, off my soapbox and back to the regular schedule...please:-)

  31. Ok, one more thought then I will shut up...

    This, maybe more than any other election, is an election about the VP.

    Let's face it. MaCain is 72, and having been a POW for 5 years certainly doesn't add years to your life. The stress of running for office, and then running the country should he be elected may push his health over the edge making the VP more important.

    And I hate to say it, but I do think if Obama wins, his days are numbered. He is a martyr waiting for his assasin.

    I am not a big fan of either party, they have more similarities than differences, but I think Biden would be a better choice to lead the country than someone who entertains creationist fantasies.

  32. Jill - another question. I've read but been unable to verify that during her term as mayor of Wasilla the city budget jumped from $3.9 million in 1996 to $5.8 million in 2002. It included a botched purchase, end ensuing lawsuit, for land to host a sports complex.

    Do you know anything about that?

  33. yeah, what's all this talk about florida and now arizona being the laughing stock of american politics. alaska has to be more absurd politically than anywhere in the world. i mean, sarah palin is pretty much the best we have to offer... that should say something.

  34. one more thing, i can't believe how logical most of the points made in these comments actually are. usually when a see a post on your blog that has 30+ comments at least 20 of them are ridiculous, pathetic, ignorant, or some combination of each. this time there were only a few like that though. considering the subject i found this to be very shocking.

  35. geoff - i agree! i'm VERY impressed that these comments have been mostly logical and on-point. most blog comment delve into personal attacks and never come back.

    jill, maybe this is a testament to your ability to attract thoughtful readers/friends!

  36. Has anyone noticed how the media is attacking Sarah? This is crazy. Daily Kos says that Trig is not her son (they say it's actually her grandson). Huffington Post is talking about her appearance on a local radio "shock jock" show where they talked about a state senator being a "bitch" and a "cancer". ABC is exaggerating Cindy McCain's comments about Sarah's foreign policy experience because Alaska is neighbors with Russia. Plus they're bashing her small town background. I'm appalled by the media's response Sarah. I didn't see this reaction to Joe Biden. Get a grip America......She's a great governor and a great pick for VP. McCain (like him or not) made a great choice!!!!!!

  37. Hard to have much confidence in a candidate who doesn't know (or didn't two years ago when running for governor) that the "founding fathers" had nothing to do with the Pledge of Allegiance. (Scroll down to Q11.)

  38. I don't know if all the comments were as thoughtful as they could be. The best I read was the 'between the ears' thing. And I'd like to add the "voting record" to that. What matters is if a candidate votes the way you'd vote on guns, drilling, choice, religion, energy, war etc.

    Seems like so many of these commenters are "swing voters", waiting to see who wears the better clothes to the debate, or who doesn't put their foot farthest into their mouth in the next 2 months.

    Why can't Americans vote their own issues??? WTH is wrong with people?

    So what if she or Biden are already great "leaders". That's less important than how they will vote and veto.

  39. Hi, Jill,
    I haven't been keeping up as often with your blog for the past couple of months, but one of the first things I too thought of when I heard the Palin announcement was what you had to say about're kind of the rational voice of Alaska for me out here in NC.
    If Palin was chosen in hopes of attracting disillusioned Hillary supporters, I think the McCain camp missed the mark - I really hope that those political fence-riders aren't silly enough to vote for such an ultra-conservative, anti-choice, all eggs in the abstinence basket (yep, some come up fertilized) just because she's a woman.
    That said, weighing her qualifications against her role as mother seems a sexist cop-out. Many many women succeed both in work and at home - and yes, they all owe that success in some part to help from siblings, grandparents, nannies. It takes a village, eh?
    I'm not a fan of her village, so I'll be voting for Obama.

  40. It was the perfect pick for that Old Bush Puppet. He has admitted to voting over 90% for Bushie Ideas.

    He'll swing some of the Hillary woman voters just because of the fact she's a woman. It won't matter what her record is.

    And get ready to re-write the History books to fit her ideals. As she pushes us back into the Dark Ages.

    While she drives big oil rigs onto the tundra for 10 years worth of oil.

  41. Wow!! She was awesome last night. We'll see what happens over the next 60 days, but right now she looks great.

    I don't know, Jill..... your comment about missing her in Juneau might be spot on.

  42. jill

    if you could keep her out of washington we would appreciate it
    not just the washingtonians
    but the country



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