In case you’re interested, Daily Intel has a roundup of what the political wonks are saying about Sarah Palin’s abrupt resignation. They range from “well, we’ll never see her again” to “if I squint real hard, maybe I can envision her making a run for President?”
While I’ll patiently listen to most theories about Palin’s future (considering that none of us has a clue), both ends of the “she may/may not still be a viable candidate for President” statements are completely batshit to me. Both for the same reason: she has NEVER been a viable Presidential candidate.
Far as I know, she is one of the least experienced Governors in one of our least-populated states. She has no national expertise whatsoever and exhibited to an embarrassing degree less than a year ago how uneducated she was on a number of policy issues. While I think the “experience” card is generally overrated, the fact remains that she has almost none. No matter your personal feelings about Palin, it’s pretty simple to see he is supremely unqualified to run for President.
Not to mention we haven’t even brought up the obvious fact that she was unmitigated disaster, to an historic level, as the VP candidate. We haven’t forgotten, have we? Suggesting a presidential run after her VP performance is akin to getting your college application to a state school denied, and then turning around and applying to Harvard.
Lost in the shuffle of the Palin resignation — and possibly making this point moot if she disappears from the political landscape (and who could blame her? I can’t imagine dealing with such an enormous amount of hatred can be much fun) — is a fascinating story regarding Palin’s handling of her husband’s membership in the Alaska Independence Party.
As you may know, the AIP is a group that has been organized with the intent of seceding from the United States. Todd Palin was a member for seven years, and when the McCain camp got wind of it, they promptly blanched before advising her to try to not discuss it in interviews. A (quite long) excerpt from the story:
Palin blasted out an e-mail with the subject line “Todd” to Schmidt, campaign manager Rick Davis and senior advisor Nicolle Wallace, copying her husband on the message (all of the e-mails are reprinted below as written).
“Pls get in front of that ridiculous issue that’s cropped up all day today – two reporters, a protestor’s sign, and many shout-outs all claiming Todd’s involvement in an anti-American political party,” Palin wrote. “It’s bull, and I don’t want to have to keep reacting to it … Pls have statement given on this so it’s put to bed.”
Her reference to a single protestor’s sign and “many shout-outs” was indicative of Palin’s occasional tendency to take anecdotal evidence of a minor problem and extrapolate it into something far more menacing. The final of the three presidential debates was just hours away.
Schmidt hit “reply to all” less than five minutes after Palin’s e-mail was sent. “Ignore it,” he wrote. “He was a member of the aip? My understanding is yes. That is part of their platform. Do not engage the protestors. If a reporter asks say it is ridiculous. Todd loves america.”
This clear cut response from the campaign’s top dog carried an air of finality, but it did not satisfy Palin. She responded with another e-mail, adding five more names to the “cc” box, all of whom traveled on her campaign plane.
Palin’s insertion of the five additional staffers in the e-mail chain was an apparent attempt to rally her own troops in the face of a decision from the commanding general with which she disagreed. Her inclusion of her personal assistant was particularly telling about her quest for affirmation and support in numbers, since the young staffer was not in a position to have any input on campaign strategy.
“That’s not part of their platform and he was only a ‘member’ bc independent alaskans too often check that ‘Alaska Independent’ box on voter registrations thinking it just means non partisan,” Palin wrote. “He caught his error when changing our address and checked the right box. I still want it fixed.”
Palin was attempting to bend the facts ever so slightly to fit neatly into her version of events. In truth, the box that Alaskans have the option of checking when registering to vote states the full name of the party, “Alaskan Independence Party,” not “Alaska Independent,” which would make an error by uncommitted voters more plausible.
Clearly irritated by what he saw as Palin’s attempt to mislead her own campaign and apparently determined to demonstrate that the ultimate authority rested with him, Schmidt put the matter to rest once and for all with a longer response to everyone in the e-mail chain.
“Secession,” he wrote. “It is their entire reason for existence. A cursory examination of the website shows that the party exists for the purpose of seceding from the union. That is the stated goal on the front page of the web site. Our records indicate that todd was a member for seven years. If this is incorrect then we need to understand the discrepancy. The statement you are suggesting be released would be innaccurate. The innaccuracy would bring greater media attention to this matter and be a distraction. According to your staff there have been no media inquiries into this and you received no questions about it during your interviews. If you are asked about it you should smile and say many alaskans who love their country join the party because it speeks to a tradition of political independence. Todd loves his country
We will not put out a statement and inflame this and create a situation where john has to adress this.”
“I still want it fixed” = lolskis from yours truly. What a loon. Not only was that comment rude and self-serving, but it makes absolutely no sense, unless McCain’s team had the use of a time machine and could go back and make him not join the AIP in the first place. So many things to love about this sitchyation if you’re a fan of schadenfraude and pointing out the massive egos of our politicians.
Gratuitous postscript: Clearly the AIP is not the crux of the story. However, if you ever hear from Palin again, winking at some podium while offering her standard blowhard BS regarding the “real” America and the importance of patriotism et cetera, remember she is married to a man so anti-American he’d rather secede from the country. Tough to think of many citizens who hate America more than that.