I don’t know a person I have so much in common with as I do Sarah Palin. I, like Sarah, grew up in small town Alaska. My parents were both public school teachers. I am the oldest of three sisters. We went to church on Sundays and again on Wednesday nights. I grew up commercial fishing. I hunted moose and bear with my father. My family owned snowmachines. I did the pageant thing; won Miss Congeniality as well. I don’t know any person that has as similar background to my own. When I started covering Govenor Sarah Palin on my local progressive radio show, I was fascinated how someone I had so many similar roots with could be so fundamentally different when it came to politics. We were raised by the same wolves, and now she wants to shoot them out of planes.
When Sarah Palin defeated Tony Knowles for the Alaska Governorship, I was willing to give her a shot. Alaska first, I thought. She ran on the promises of replacing the brand new oil friendly and corrupted net profits tax with a fairer and more manageable tax on gross oil revenues; of restoring the longevity bonus to Older Alaskans; of state revenue sharing to cities, and selling former Governor Frank Murkowski’s unpopular state jet. Sarah Palin promised to run Alaska’s government with openness and transparency. This after four years of a corrupted, closed, secretive, unpopular and arrogant business-as-usual Murkowski Administration. Most legislation Palin signed into law was hard fought against many in her own party. Legislation she is most proud of was passed due to the bipartisan efforts of the Democrats. Sarah Palin got plenty of “atta girls” from the Left, but she traded them for the ire of the Right who labeled her a “Liberal Socialist.”
Some ask if Governor Palin is qualified to be Vice-President. She can learn anything. She is smart, and she’s an Alaskan woman. I have no qualms whether she could do the job, but how she would do it. Her patterns are similar to George W. Bush; her fundamentalist beliefs; her policy decisions; how she treats her opposition; her ability to keep secrets; her risky behaviors and fiercely loyal insiders some call Palinistas. I have no doubt that Sarah Palin can unite the Republican Party much like Ronald Reagan did. However, the Republican Party’s unification is not at stake, the country is. Sarah Palin will unite the party, Obama will unite the nation.
The snark, drivel, innuendo, and salacious rumors surrounding Palin are just that. This is the story of an Alaskan woman who could rule the world. The National Enquirer is crawling all over Wasilla looking for dirt that sells. Money for stories. It gives a new perspective on what John and Elizabeth Edwards went through. Because his dirt, the recommitment to “The War on Poverty” is lost; the soldiers lined up to fight the battle disbanded.
People in Alaska are forgiving. We are forgiving because we need forgiveness. I am really grateful for the second, third and more chances afforded to me. People didn’t talk about this stuff during the governor’s race because it wasn’t relevant. Our kids go to school together. We shop in the same grocery stores. Go to the same churches. Attend the same movies, concerts, and hockey games. In Alaska, there’s not a lot of room to burn bridges, even if you think they may lead to “Nowhere”.