On my first post that surreal morning when I awoke to the news of Sarah Palin’s unlikely choice as VP candidate, before I had even made a cup of coffee, or rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, I said, “Didn’t McCain hire a fact checker?” Was she vetted….at all?
It’s been over 48 hours, and now….seriously…was she vetted at all? The possibility that the answer is no, is almost inconceivable. But we Alaskans have found out that background checks are sometimes optional when hiring important government officials. Just look at Palin’s unlikely and inappropriate choice of Chuck Koppto replace Dept. of Public Safety Chief, Walt Monegan, the center of the “Troopergate” controversy.
As soon as Kopp appeared before the public….literally on day one, something smelled fishy. The revelation of a previous sexual harassment charge and subsequent reprimand and reassignment reared its ugly head. And Alaskans were left asking ourselves, “Didn’t Palin vet this guy?” If she did, obviously not well enough. Kopp’s explanation, after his now iconic denial, “I am not a sex harasser!” was that no one had asked him, so he didn’t volunteer the information…figuring that everyone already knew.
So, is it possible that since no one askedSarah Palin if she was in the middle of an ongoing ethics investigation, she just didn’t feel obligated to volunteer that information? I mean, no one ASKed her if she was, or what the investigation might find, or if there were any other skeletons in her closet that might come out and start dancing in front of the national media. I mean all you’d have to do is read the Anchorage Daily News and there it all is. They obviously knew and it didn’t bother THEM…so….why mention it? And sitting in the private jet, flying out to accept the nomination, did she think “Oooo. It’ll sound really good if I said I stopped that Bridge to Nowhere! I’ll say THAT. No one will check, I bet.”
Because, now, a scant two days after the nomination, the “gates” are already starting to swing open: Troopergate, Bridgegate, and now Babygate. Babygate? I’ve stayed away from this one because, frankly, I don’t know anything for sure, and I don’t want to speculate about the smarmiest of ‘gates’ yet. I’ll leave that to the professionals at the National Enquirer. The rumors, though, say one of two things: either Sarah’s new baby is actually NOT her baby at all, but her 17-year old daughter Bristol’s baby, or the new baby is hers, but Bristol, a senior in high school is now pregnant. Ugh, either way.
If the first case is true, then the grandma governor has been perpetrating a blatant lie on her constituents, and now the world. If the second is true, then what 44-year old woman in her right mind would have travelled so late in her pregnancy and after her water broke and labor had begun, delivered a speech in Texas, boarded an Alaska Airlines flight with a stop-over in Seattle and bypassed the two main Anchorage Hospitals that are minutes from the airport to deliver in the local hospital near her home, almost an hour away by car. In either case, bad judgement.
But now the cleanup crew has started. Palin’s praise of the Obama energy plan that was on her website? Scrubbed. Photos on the website during the time period she was supposedly to have been pregnant? Allegedly scrubbed too. John McCain’s organized vetting team? Supposedly on their way to Alaska right now. (Note to McCain staffers: Vet FIRST…it works out better that way.) The National Enquirer? Supposedly all over this already. Photos of the pregnant (or not) Palin are circulating everywhere. One thing is certain, the rumor mill has started, and there’s no getting this toothpaste back in the tube.
And if it’s true that Palin did not undergo a vetting process, then what are we all to think of a presidential candidate, the oldest ever, with a history of cancer, choosing a running mate he had spoken to only once before offering her the nomination, and not even vetting this candidate? If this is true, then the choice was not ‘bold’ or ‘exciting’ or ‘a maverick choosing a maverick’. It demonstrates not just poor judgement, but recklessness.
Keep watching because the Palin onion is going to be peeled in the national media in the coming weeks, layer by agonizing layer. Welcome to Veepgate.
UPDATE: Press releases of Palin’s response to Obama’s energy plan still available HERE (Hat tip to Clever Else)