This much we know for sure: Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's choice for his running mate for vice president, is a woman.
There are a few other things we should know. "Sarah was raised amongst the tribe," reports Mudflats, a blog that prides itself in tiptoeing through the Muck of Alaskan Politics, "that believes creationism should be taught in our public schools,
homosexuality is a sin, and life begins at conception. She’s a gun-
toting, hang ‘em high conservative."
So now we know why McCain picked her. We also know that McCain's maverick cred is about as valid as George W. Bush's curiosity cred. But here are some other things we need to know. For example, her own stepmother, Faye Palin, is not sure she's going to vote for her. Her foreign experience boils down to her being in charge of the Alaska's National Guard--with a grand total of 1,875 men and women. And that we should, "Be afraid...Be very afraid," if McCain wins this election, according to the Angry African on the Loose blog because "We are in serious danger if McCain wins this election. Serious danger."
Angry African's blog posts a series of YouTube virals to make his point, while Mudflats runs it all down. Here's the beginning to the Alaskan-based blog.
“Is this a joke?” That seemed to be the question du jour when my phone started ringing off the hook at 6:45am here in Alaska. I mean, we’re sort of excited that our humble state has gotten some kind of national ‘nod’….but seriously? Sarah Palin for Vice President? Yes, she’s a popular governor. Her all time high approval rating hovered around 90% at one point. But bear in mind that the 90% approval rating came from one of the most conservative, and reddest-of-the-red states out there. And that approval rating came before a series of events that have lead many Alaskans to question the governor’s once pristine image.
There is no doubt in my mind that many Alaskans are feeling pretty excited about this. But we live in our own little bubble up here, and most of the attention we get is because of The Bridge to Nowhere, polar bears, the indictment of Ted Stevens, and the ongoing investigation and conviction of the string of legislators and oil executives who literally called themselves “The Corrupt Bastards Club”.
So seeing our governor out there in the national spotlight accepting the nomination for Vice Presidential candidate is just downright surreal. Just months ago, when rumors surfaced that she was on the long version of the short list, she was questioned if she’d be interested in the position. She said she couldn’t answer “until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day. I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here….”
There is no doubt that Palin has fierce territorial loyalties. When elected governor there was much concern because she came right out and said she would favor her own home town of Wasilla (where she was mayor) and its surrounding environs collectively known as “the Valley” while leading the state. And it’s obvious from her statement that Alaska was on her mind when accepting the VP nod (see my emphasis above).
So what is it that we’re “trying to accomplish up here”?
- Palin is currently in the middle of a controversial gas pipeline project in Alaska. She’s favored the ‘Trans Canada’ proposal that will run the pipeline through Canada, in effect shipping US jobs over the border. Many Alaskans, including former governors, have favored the “All Alaska Route”.
- She is also sueing the federal government over listing the polar bears as a threatened species. The science was even compelling enough to convince the Secretery of the Interior that the bears needed to be listed. But acknowlegement of this issue, and the potential disruption to development on Alaska’s oil-rich north slope spurred Palin to attempt to stop the listing.
- Does she want to open ANWR? Yes. Every politician in Alaska wants to open ANWR. It’s basically a requirement if you ever hope to get elected for anything. Even Mark Begich, the progressive Democrat running against the indicted Senator and Alaskan institution Ted Stevens, is pro-drilling. That’s the sea we swim in up here. There are a few anti-drilling folks, but you have to look hard to find them, and work hard to have them admit it.
Will all this wash with voters in the ‘Lower 48′? Time will tell.
To read more of what Mudflats reports, click here.
To see all of what Angry African on the Loose posts, click here.