Alaska Governor Sarah “Barracuda” Palin

Posted by: ST on July 29, 2008 at 8:45 pm

There’s been a lot of talk about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin over the last several weeks as people are weighing in on who they think McCain should pick as his VP running mate.  While I think she is short on experience at this stage in her political career, I believe she has a bright future in politics, and perhaps we may one day see her on the national stage. 

Last July, while the primary campaign season was just warming up and way before any talk of VP selections, the Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes wrote a good piece on who Palin is, where she comes from, and some of the things she’s done over her short career in politics.  It’s a good starting point for anyone truly interested in learning more about her.  Here’s a little bit of what Barnes wrote:

Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle–especially to transparency and accountability in government–can produce political success. And by the way, Palin is a conservative who only last month vetoed 13 percent of the state’s proposed budget for capital projects. The cuts, the Anchorage Daily News said, “may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history.”

As recently as last year, Palin (pronounced pale-in) was a political outcast. She resigned in January 2004 as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after complaining to the office of Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman.

State law barred Palin from speaking out publicly about ethical violations and corruption. But she was vindicated later in 2004 when Ruedrich, who’d been reconfirmed as state chairman, agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for breaking state ethics laws. She became a hero in the eyes of the public and the press, and the bane of Republican leaders.

[…]

Her first major achievement as governor was lopsided passage by the legislature of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, which is designed to attract pipeline proposals this summer. The state is offering $500 million in incentives, but the developer must meet strict requirements. The oil companies have said they won’t join the competition.

Palin’s tough spending cuts drew criticism from Republican legislators whose pet projects were vetoed. But her popularity doesn’t appear threatened. “It’s not just that she’s pretty and young,” says Dittman. “She’s really smart. And there’s no guile. She says her favorite meal is moose stew or mooseburgers. It wouldn’t shock people if that were true.”

Things clearly look bleak for the GOP now but Palin, along with LA Gov. Jindal and former MD Lt Gov. Michael Steele are examples of the fresh faces the GOP desperately needs in the near future as it tries to get back on its feet, not only to re-invigorate frustrated conservatives as well as bring new ones into the fold, but also to try to win back the trust of those middle of the road voters on both sides of the aisle who have lost faith in the GOP’s ability to govern effectively.

Oh, and as to where I got “Barracuda” from:

Gov. Palin grew up in Wasilla, where as star of her high school basketball team she got the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” for her fierce competitiveness. She led her underdog team to the state basketball championship. Palin also won the Miss Wasilla beauty contest, in which she was named Miss Congeniality, and went on to compete in the Miss Alaska pageant.

Make sure to read the whole thing.

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7 Responses to “Alaska Governor Sarah “Barracuda” Palin”

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  1. Ted says:

    Palin as McCain’s Veep is a game-changer both for McCain and the GOP. In all likelihood McCain WILL tap Palin. Therefore, things are NOT bleak for the GOP.

    Q&A

    1. Which McCain Veep pick is SIMULTANEOUSLY the safest AND boldest?

    ANSWER: Sarah Palin

    2. How can McCain SIMULTANEOUSLY attract both Hillary AND Bob Barr voters?

    ANSWER: Sarah Palin

    * * *

    And there’s this from the Conservative Voice:

    “Desperately seeking Sarah
    July 26, 2008
    By Stephan Andrew Brodhead

    Desperately seeking Sarah
    Americans need a little Palin Power

    Sarah Palin the current Governor of Alaska is John McCain’s ultimate choice for VP. I do believe a woman is next in line for the presidency. All Conservatives like her. She is popular in Alaska. Hillary supporters would relish her. She would solidify a 12 or possibly 16 year Republican executive.

    John McCain’s boring campaign is wearing thin. I need a little Palin Power to get me interested again. They would say ‘but she is only a half term Governor!’ And your point is?”

  2. I still think Palin needs more experience under her belt before becoming first-in-line for the Presidency, though she shows a lot of potential. The situation with Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens shows a good way for her to do it, too: It’s too late for Palin to register as a candidate in the primary, but, assuming Stevens wins it, party heavyweights could persuade him to withdraw, letting a special committee of the Alaska Republican Party appoint her in his place on the ballot. With her approval ratings, Palin is a near shoo-in. She would save a “safe” seat that’s now seriously threatened, and she could gain national exposure.

    Sounds like a good deal to me. :d/

  3. SJ Reidhead says:

    I think Sarah Palin is the perfect pick. The problems is out of control conservatives will find something wrong with her.

    The real problem is the fact that conservatives are so out of control and so busy looking for their own second coming of a Reagan who never existed that they have become the most intolerant bunch of nay-sayers I’ve seen in many years.

    I think it is time to stop bad-mouthing the GOP and start looking for positives. The more this continues, the happier the Dems are.

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo

  4. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    McCain’s problem is not “out-of-control conservatives” (to use Pink Flamingo’s overheated phrase). Rather, it is the lackluster, meandering campaign that he has run so far. The closeness that we see in the polls is due less to any strategy McCain has employed than to the extraordinary weakness of the Messiah. Think about it – after the rock star World Tour of He Whose Middle Name Must Not Be Mentioned there is at least one poll that shown McCain suddenly in the lead. Who wudda thunk it, given the MSM’s hagiographical coverage of the Messiah?

    And as for you advice to “stop bad-mouthing the GOP and start looking for positives”, this intolerant nay-saying independent conservative does not attend Kool-Aid parties given on behalf of any candidate. One of the truly creepy things about the Messiah is this Maximum Leader gestalt that He and His followers want to create for Him. No criticism (racism), no humor (again, racism), no comparison (once again, racism), no examination (guess what – racism again). Just become good little citizens of the Peoples’ Democratic Republic of Hopenchange.

    The GOP does not suffer from too much internal criticism – rather, rank and file Republicans have too often been silent when they should have spoken up about the dangerous drift of the GOP leadership. They cannot campaign like Republicans, govern like Democrats, and then expect no negative consequences at election time. I don’t expect McCain to change his position on issues like immigration and global warming, but unless he makes clear distinctions between himself and the Chosen One and continues to hammer Him on those differences no matter how much the MSM shrieks, McCain will be on the short end of a devastating landslide (good news – a 57-state sweep is probably not in the cards).

  5. Wayne Gordon says:

    Sorry Anthony(L.A.), but I’ll take GOVERNOR Palin

    any day compared to little ol Sen. Messiah.

    Her executive experience as a Mayor and a Governor

    is far superior to a “community leader and 143 day

    Senator”.

    If he is “qualified” to be President, she is MORE than

    qualified to be VP

  6. Good point, Wayne. But I don’t think the Obamessiah is qualified by experience yet, either. :)