Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Palin's career one surprise after another: Gov. Sarah Palin |

Palin's career one surprise after another: Gov. Sarah Palin |

Another example of great local coverage. This is a long look at Palin's history in Alaska politics written as only local reporters are able to do.


  1. This was interesting to see where she was before she hit the spotlight last August. The more I read about Sarah Palin, the more I think I understand her motives. I think that I somewhat buy into her desire to clean up politics and to honestly do the right thing. I don't think that she is by any means trying to anger and frustrate so many people. I think that she is honestly trying to make everything (ie: politics, the media, etc) more ethical. Perhaps this is why she is always in the media. I mentioned in an earlier post that she doesn't seem to let anything go while President Obama seems to not get razzed by anything that happens. Maybe this is her way of trying to stand up against "mean" and "dishonest" people. For example, maybe she stood up against Letterman's joke about her daughter to try and send a message to everyone that any jokes pertaining to this subject matter were not tolerable. Though many perceive her as dramatic, maybe she is really just doing the right thing. Unfortunately, many people are still not convinced that these are qualities a leader should have.

    Should a leader fight every battle that comes their way to prove a point, or should they let some things slide in order to remain calm and focus on the larger things? This is something we should think about when considering the personality of the leaders we choose.

    - Luke D

  2. I agree with Luke in that we should consider what the action of our chosen leader is best seen as. Leaving the scene is a good way to step away form more attacks, but despite her long local record, some of these things need not be addressed. The media is the media, and any good politician should know that. As a presidential candidate, one should be trained to believe that the cameras are watching all the time, if not just to see the candidate. It is part of the job, making appearances and the like are all going to draw good and bad attention.
    Although there are some skepticisms to this whole ordeal right now, I think that Palin is doing what is best for her in lue of not being able to fully accept the media's behavior, and not being able to handle it either. She criticizes Obama, well what do you thinkk would happen to her if she was President of VP? The same! Its America!

  3. I also think it is interesting how well respected Sarah Palin was in Alaska prior to the 2008 presidential campaign. She was working with Democrats and Republicans to pass massive ethics reforms and other important statewide legislation. It is too bad that her rise to national politics was such a disaster. I wanted to respond to Luke's posted question here: Should a leader fight every battle that comes their way to prove a point, or should they let some things slide in order to remain calm and focus on the larger things?

    I think a leader needs to remain calm, cool, and collected the majority of the time. Getting angry at all the little things just distract a person from the big picture. Sticking to your overarching goals while also being able to compromise and let things slide are the signs of not only a great politician but a great person. Being rigid and unchanging gets you far if you are a talking head on a cable news channel, but not on Capital Hill.

    My favorite Palin quote is, "Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities." If she can dish it out, she should be able to take it as well.

    Jake V

  4. I agree that this article was very fascinating to read. I cannot say that I am Sarah Palin's biggest supporter but I found her ethics before the presidential election to be fascinating. When she resigned from the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which I can imagine to be a prestigious position to hold in Alaska, because she accused a commissioner of unethical practices, that is the mark of a good politician backed my good ethical ideals.

    Yes, she brought life to the republican party but I do not think it was the greatest attention in the end. In my opinion a vice president that not only does not have involvement with international decisions (other then the pipeline) if she was elected, that would not help our country. The fact that she described her position as a "community organizer" makes me nervous that if she looks at running government as just organizing people and deals, then she may not really be ready for the position. Maybe for governorship of a rural state such as Alaska that is a good perspective to have; but as vice president "national organizer" would not be a good way to describe its responsibilities.

    I think it was a very noble thing for Palin to resign the governorship since Alaska was spending so much on untrue allegations against her and that there were too many critics holding up the political process. However, in response to Luke's question I think politicians need to focus on the larger issues, especially in this case. As Palin was taking trips to Republican gatherings and promoting herself into a possible presidential candidate position for 2012 I think this lessened the state's views of Palin. Do Governors always make decisions exactly how everyone wants them? No, absolutely not; I mean look at the criticisms of our state budget and Governor Doyle. However, if she was in the state maybe she would not be as questioned about the federal stimulus money or Palin's appointment of a non-native to rural affairs positions as badly as she was. Or she should have focused on the larger issues of problems needed to be fixed inside the state the second she got back rather then personal problems. A sign of a great leader is multi-tasking responsibilities and prioritizing them. Alaska should have been first and it does not seem like it was. In great positions of power overall you need to put the views of thousands that you represent (larger issues) over the few of your personal circle (minute issues in comparison or retrospect even). If I lived in Alaska I would have felt like I was being abandoned by our governor for "bigger and better things." So if Palin has greater aspirations then governorship she should have resigned if she is defending herself more then the state.

    -Lauren C.

  5. Although I am not a supporter of Sarah Palin, I will give her credit for her success in Alaska before she became a Vice Presidential candidate. If she had not accepted John McCain’s offer of becoming his running mate, she would probably still be supported widely throughout Alaska. And given more time, she may have been able to more properly work her way up to a national level. Who can blame her for jumping on board with John McCain for an experience of a lifetime? I think what she really has going for her is the idea that, “our president represents the meritocratic ideal — that anyone, from any background, can grow up to attend Columbia and Harvard Law School and become a great American success story. But Sarah Palin represents the democratic ideal — that anyone can grow up to be a great success story without graduating from Columbia and Harvard” (Ross Douthat). Given more time and more experience, she would not have put herself in such embarrassing situations.
    -Sarah K.

  6. Though not a mind reader, I would like to personally believe that Sarah Palin once had nothing but good intentions for the state of Alaska. I consider myself more of a liberal than what Palin represents, but I most definately have seen what policies she has fought for since becoming governor and cannot say that I always disagree with her. But I think there is a difference between when she ran locally for mayor, which I'm sure she no doubt knew what the public was concerned with, especially given her position on the local PTA and being a mom. However, I think it is when someone who is underqualified begins to act as a representative for a given area that this becomes a major problem. Not a graduate of a highly ranked institution, not someone who has "climbed the ladder," not someone who has received wide-spread respect for her policies prior to running for VP, Palin was just underqualified for this level of politics. Don't get me wrong, as a small-town girl, I believe that the lack of money and geographic location should prevent anyone from reaching their goals, but I think there is a better to gauge whether or not one is qualified or even more simply, "ready" for a position such as governor and VP and even President. I commend her spirit and drive...afterall, would she have tried this hard from the start if she didn't really care? Most likely not. People fight for what they are passionate about. But Palin, I believe, needs to take a long hard look at what she has, and rather has not, accomplished to see if she would actually be the best person for the job, which does not look good given her recent decision (as far as I'm concerned). If she cares as much as she says she does, she would know when to just accept the lack of experience or rather, she should've made the decision to stay in office and "climb the political ladder" to gain more relevant experience for the "big kahuna."

  7. I think it’s interesting to read everyone’s comments about this article and find that they give Palin some “credit” for her work in Alaska. The Vanity Fair article that most people read prior to this really bashed Palin and drew a negative light on her. I think that Palin really does bring a “different message and different leadership” to the party. She is not that rich, white, GOP CEO that people picture. The hockey mom image truly brings her down to earth at a time when some of our highest elected officials seem more like glorified Soviet leaders than leaders elected by the people and for the people. Some of the facts in this article are amazing: taking out Murkowski in 2002, and Renkes’ in 2004 sounded like huge deals. Party loyalty didn’t stop her – she was determined and on a mission to clean up Alaska. For that, I give her a lot of credit and a chance in the future as a federal official; I would love to see corruption in Washington decline, and from the sounds of it, Sarah is the woman to get the job done. I truly think that Palin has seen what she has the capability to do at the national level and wants to accomplish those goals as quickly as possible. While it was unorthodox how she left the position of governor, I give her credit for seemingly following her goals and dreams. From what I saw at the Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C. this past February, Palin certainly has a great amount of support and could possibly shake up some national election, especially with some of the relatively unknown determination and political skill that was demonstrated to one by reading this article. While I am not sure if the White House is the place for her, I am confident that she will have an effect somehow at the federal level. On a final note, I also think it was great, as Professor Franklin alluded to, that we have this great local news source for the rest of America to learn about the significant political events in Alaska and the more accurate story behind Sarah Palin, rather than the bias that protruded from the Vanity Fair article. It will be interesting to see just how much she intends to shake up the national political scene.


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