Meet Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin, Governor of the largest state in the USA, is now the Republican nominee for Vice President.  The McCain campaign did a great job of avoiding leaks, so that this was a surprise until a few hours before it happened.   I would trust his administration not to leak secrets.  Most Americans do not know her very well, since she is far away from Washington, but I was not surprised by this pick. 

Here are some things you should know about her, before the political spin machines get into action.  I just looked at Wikipedia, and it is already being rewritten:

1.  She was born in Idaho, but moved to Alaska as an infant.  Her father was a teacher and track coach, and her mother was a school secretary.  She is from a family of avid hunters, and her parents were out hunting caribou today, when the announcement came.

2.  In high school, she was the point guard and captain of the basketball team.  She led the team to the state championship, and hit a critical free throw in the last seconds of the game, while playing with a stress fracture.  Her nickname was “Sarah Barricuda.”  (I wonder if they will play the Heart song of that name at the Convention.)

3.  She also won the Miss Wasilla Beauty Contest.  She was second in the Miss Alaska pageant, and won a college scholarship from the competition.  Here is her picture from back then:

4.  Today is her 20th anniversary.  She married her high school sweetheart on August 29, 1988.  They eloped, and when they found out they needed witnesses for their civil wedding, they recruited two residents of the old age home nearby.  It probably made the old folks’ day.

5.  Her husband has worked for BP in the oil industry, and his family owns a commercial fishery.  He has won the 2,000 mile “Iron Dog” snowmobile race 4 times.

6.  She is now a mother of 5.  Her youngest son was born with Down’s Syndrome.  80% of all Down’s Syndrome babies are now aborted when the disability is discovered.  On the day she gave birth to her newborn son who has Down syndrome, Governor Palin sent an e-mail to family members and close friends. Written as if it came from God, Gov. Palin signed the e-mail, “Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.” In her e-mail, Palin wrote: “Many people will express sympathy, but you don’t want or need that, because Trig will be a joy. You have to trust me on this. Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome.”  [HT: BaylyBlog.]

Their oldest son is now in the military, and is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq soon.

7.  She got her start in politics on the Wasilla City Council, where she served 4 years.  She then ran for mayor, defeating the incumbent as a critic of wasteful spending and high taxes.  as mayor, she cut her own salary and reduced property taxes by 60%.  She was elected President of the Alask Conference of Mayors.

8.  Governor Frank Murkowski appointed her Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.  This was the second biggest mistake of his career.  His biggest mistake appointing his daughter to replace him in the Senate.

She served there for a short time, then resigned to protest  the lack of ethics of fellow Alaskan Republican leaders.  After resigning, she began to expose them.  

9.  She then ran for Governor on a clean government campaign.  She upset incumbent Republican Governor Frank Murkowski in the primary, and then defeated former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles in the general election.  She was outspent by her opponents and had little support from the state Republican Party int he general election.

10.  She has spent much of her time in office fighting corruption, much of which was funded by oil money.  She has gone against her own party on many occasions, including her run for office against Frank Murkowski and her support for the primary challeng to Rep. Don Young.   She is very popular up there right now.

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14 thoughts on “Meet Sarah Palin

  1. I am really excited about Sarah Palin being on the ticket. Not because she’s a woman; I really don’t see the relevance. It’s her record as a strong conservative that is important. Why is it relevant (still) to have someone “of race of gender” in office? That seems very superficial and not exactly without discrimination. Having a mulatto president or female VP does not matter to me one way or another. Having strong conservative leadership certainly does. Heaven only knows the GOP desperately needs it.

  2. It doesn’t matter to me that she is a woman either, although I think that a strongly pro-life woman may be more successful in attracting votes than an equally pro-life man.

    And she may be the only candidate able to both pick up some disgruntled Hillary supporters, and encourage conservatives like me.

  3. Excellent profile of Governor Palin. Couple comments. Her husband, Todd, is half Yupik Eskimo. His Yupik grandmother went on the gubernatorial campaign trail with Sarah to drum up support from among Native Alaskans, who make up about one-fifth (?) of Alaska’s 660,000 population.

    Former Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski, who served in the U.S. Senate from Alaska for 22 years, then appointed his daughter Lisa, a former state legislator, to his vacant post in the Senate after he successfully ran for governor, merely appointed her to the State Oil and Gas Commission as a member. There is no such title as “Ethics Commissioner.”

    While still a U.S. Senator, knowing that he was gong to resign his senate seat to run for governor, Frank persuaded the sitting state legislature to enact a law changing the existing law on succession to enable him to appoint his daughter, Lisa, to the seat he would vacate if he were elected governor. He was, and he did.

    The ethics that Sarah brought to the position were her own. While serving on the oil and gas commission, she exposed the nefarious activities of another member, Randy Reuhrich (sp?) even though the governor who appointed her to the commission had also appointed him. He also happened to be the chair of the Alaska Republican Party, and still is.

    The Palins don’t own a fishery, they hold a state permit or license for a commercial fishing site, which they work during the brief seasonal fish runs.

    Saran’s approval rating in Alaska has been in the 90s, the highest for a governor ever in the United States.. It’s presently around 80.

    The $100,000 investigation by the legislature into what role, if any, she played in attempts by her husband and her staff to try to get her commissioner of public safety (head of the State Troopers) to fire a trooper divorced from Sarah’s sister is politically inspired by members of the legislature who have been targets of her successful reform efforts.

    She says she played no role in it and I believe her. The trooper, who has a checkered history, including frivolously tasering a young boy, deserves to be fired. National Democrats are distorting the facts of this matter to try to paint Sarah as “corrupt” because she “is being investigated.” This is incorrect. The incident is being investigated, she is not. She stoutly denies any culpability, and will be fully vindicated.

  4. Hi Joe,
    I got most of my information form the ever-changing Wikipedia article. Apparently it was modified before the announcement, and on the day of the announcement it was modified even more. At one time, it said “when she was born, she was a man.”
    Anyhow, it said her husband was 1/8 Eskimo. I know the Democrats will try to attach the “Big Oil” label to her husband, but it doesn’t look like he worked at a high level for BP.
    I have seen some lovely reactions to her from the loony left already. Someone has suggested that there are no pictures of her pregnant, and her “son” is really her grandson. Someone else has said it was irresponsible for her to have 5 kids. Nice people…

  5. I’ll have to recheck Todd’s Native degree of sanguininity. Wiki may be right. If so, he does not meet the 1/4th quantum needed to qualify for shares under the Alaska Native Land Claims Act of 1969/70.

    Todd works as an oilfield grunt for BP on the North Slope, not a corporate collar.

    Her first year in office, she successfully fought efforts by the Big Oil lobby and its surrogates in the legislature to lower the state’s oil tax income, and instead, much to their chagrin, increased it substantially.

    Because of the enormous spike in oil prices over the past year, the oil tax increases she supported brought the state more than a billion dollars more in oil revenue this year, and still counting.

    She also rejected Big Oil’s (Exxon Mobile, BP and Conoco Phillips) proposal for constructing a $30 – $40 billion pipeline to carry North Slope gas to U.S. markets, selecting instead a Canadian-led natural gas pipeline consortium. I happen to disagree with her decision, but it took real grit for her to face down Big Oil on the biggest single proposed energy project in U.S. history.

  6. Tx for this post… I am linking to it at http://fuanglada.wordpress.com
    where I am getting some Sarah videos together so people can get acquainted with her… but this article is good. I am 70 year old Alaskan and recent blogger. Invite all to come over for some serious as well as humor stuff. I post a cool Alaska pic with each post. It’s 1305 Sunday right now so wait a few for me to get it together.

  7. Thank you Maysman.

    Joe, I suspect that running the pipeline more through Canada makes a lot of sense. If the pipeline went down the Alaska panhandle, there would be more geographic challenges (i.e. the rivers are deeper) to making it safely and less expensively. But even if she is wrong, she had guts.

  8. hi Ray! no worry! you don’t have to cut on it!! I like reading your views here about it….please, don’t do it just for me being on this side of the ocean! lol! I missed that post, will go through all your other “old” posts of a few days ago…tks! i really missed it.

  9. Re #9 – One proposed natural gas pipeline carrying North Slope natural gas to U.S. markets would follow the existing oil pipeline as far as the Alaska Highway (Delta Junction), then swing eastward and follow the Alaska Highway into Canada, then south across the border where it would join pipelines now serving the U.S. midwest and east coast.

    The other proposed gas pipeline wold be contained entirely within Alaska, but would not reach the southeast panhandle. It would follow the oil pipeline to a point farther west on Alaska’s south coast, perhaps Valdez, Anchorage or Kenai,where liquifaction facilities would be constructed to liquify the gas to be loaded on cryogenic (freezer) tankers, to be shipped to markets, not necessarily U.S. markets, more likely to Asian markets (Japan, China, Korea, etc.).

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