For the last week, The Usual Suspects have tried to belittle every aspect of Gov. Sarah Palin’s political life and, sadly, her personal life as well. On the political front, one of the most pointed criticisms about her has been in response to the claim made by McCain campaign staffers and surrogates that she is the CIC of the Alaska National Guard. Predictable liberel blogs like the HuffPo have led the ridiculing of this claim by pointing to information that is incomplete, by referencing half truths, and in some cases just by flat out lying.
Last night on Greta Van Susteren’s show on Fox, Major General Craig Campbell, who is the head of the Alaska National Guard, deflated a lot of what the far left has said in response to the claim about Gov. Palin’s role as CIC of the AK NG (h/t: Jennifer Rubin):
Maj. Gen. Campbell’s defense of Gov. Palin won’t by any measure stop the whining and blubbering currently being engaged in by people who wouldn’t support the Governor if she’d had 30 years experience in government at a state level, but for people with an open mind who have wondered, “Just what responsibilities does being the CIC of a state’s National Guard entail?” – now you have a good idea.
The YouTube video is above is just part of the story Van Sustern did on Gov. Palin. She interviewed the current mayor of Wasilla in addition to Campbell. Here’s the complete segment, via Ed Morrissey:
In an article trying to downplay Gov. Palin’s experience as CinC of Alaska’s NG, the LA Times (perhaps inadvertently) included information that helped bolster the case that it’s not just the figurehead role some have made it out to be (h/t: Memeorandum):
Commanding the Alaska National Guard is hardly an insignificant job, military officials say. Still, they acknowledge that it provides little, if any, foreign policy experience.
Overseeing a state Guard is a “chief executive role” with real management responsibilities, said Mark Allen, a spokesman for the National Guard Bureau, the federal office that coordinates state National Guards.
“I don’t think people should think it is a casual relationship, or is like the king putting on the medals,” Allen said. “It is not that at all. But the role of the governor is to use the Guard to help the citizens of a state, as opposed to declaring war on a neighboring state.”
National Guard officials said visits such as Palin’s trip to Iraq may be important because state officials can lobby the federal government for better training and more equipment if they are needed. There is no indication that during her trip Palin found major problems with how the Alaska Guard was trained or equipped.
Closer to home, the bread-and-butter duties of most state National Guards are natural disasters. During Palin’s 21 months in office, there has been one declared disaster: widespread flooding in June and July this year. Palin quickly signed a disaster declaration, officials said. The Guard’s role was limited to providing two water tanks and 30,000 sandbags to local authorities.
The Alaska Air National Guard, with 1,946 service members, is involved in an exceptional number of search-and-rescue missions. Since Palin became governor in December 2006, the Air Guard has flown 521 missions, saving 200 lives and assisting with the rescue of 77 more people, said Kalei Brooks, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
To my knowledge, no one within the McCain campaign has ever said that Palin’s role as CIC of the AK NG involved commanding troops to go to war in a foreign land. Duh. Doesn’t everyone know that’s the President’s job? Apparently everyone but the mainstream media and many far left liberal critics who – surprise – don’t really “get” the military anyway, because they despise it. Gov. Palin’s role as AK CinC is just one of many important parts of her role as chief executive of the State of Alaska, and it’s one more reminder of the executive experience that Senator Inexperienced Obama can’t claim for himself … that is, unless he really does believe he’s already president, and the evidence is mounting up that he does – considering the faux presidential seal, the “diplomatic” overseas tour …