GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is effectively turning over questions about her record as Alaska’s governor to John McCain’s political campaign, part of an ambitious Republican strategy to limit embarrassing disclosures and carefully shape her image for voters in the rest of the country.
That’s the lead in from the Anchorage Daily News story about the latest GOP strong-arm tactics to perform what many Alaskans feel is an outside political takeover of the state’s Troopergate investigation. A pack of high-powered east coast lawyers are the new artisans of the Palin “image”. If anyone has a question about Palin’s 20 months as governor, ask the McCain campaign, because apparently no one else can give you the answers.
This is not going over well in Alaska. I’ll use my usual caveat that there are lots of Alaskans who happily subscribe to the “Sarah right or wrong” mentality, and will continue to do so. However, the progressive take on this whole latest mess is only slightly short of taking torches and pitchforks and surrounding the Attorney General’s office, demanding an end to the stonewalling. I’ve watched Alaskan progressives that I personally know go from saying, “Wow! I can’t believe I voted for a Republican!” to, “She’s doing OK. I don’t agree with everything, but I don’t regret my vote” to being so furiously seething angry they just can’t say anything.
This means that there’s a shift, and shifts tend to bring along all people to a certain degree. If there’s one way to tick off Alaskans it’s by bringing in ‘outsiders’ to try to control state affairs. Imagine if you will how a small independant nation would feel being invaded by the superpower next door. It’s like that.
I’ve even lived to see the day that Republican State Senate President Lyda Green (often vilified by Democrats over the years) agreed to do an interview on the local progressive talk radio station, and was practically hailed as a hero. Why? For simply stating the investigation should and will move forward despite the fact that the Attorney General, under the influence of McCain lawyers, said that state employees would defy their subpoenas. “Nothing has changed,” she said. “Our job is to find the truth.” Real integrity coming from either side of the aisle is what Alaskans want. It’s in desperately short supply these days.
And again, and again, I hear Alaskans quoting that now infamous promise of our governor (who is still our governor by the way) to run the state with “ethical, open and transparent” government.
It remains to be seen how effective the so-called “Truth Squad” is in ‘shaping her image’ in the rest of the country, but they are not doing her any favors here at home. I’ve never heard so many people say they can’t wait to see her new approval ratings.
Meanwhile, the opposing side, not to be outdone by a goofy name, has come up with “Alaska Mythbusters,” a nod to the popular television show. This white hat version of the Orwellian “Truth Squad” is made up mostly of elected officials who have opposed or know Palin and who criticize her work.
So what does the Attorney General Talis Colberg have to say for himself? I know a couple people who know Colberg, and respected him deeply until recently. I heard from a friend of his that this whole thing is really taking a toll on him. “He’s really a decent guy,” says my bewildered friend. So, what say you sir? Hello? Are you there?
Oh. Talis Colberg just went “on vacation” to Kansas. You can’t make this stuff up.
Beware of tornadoes, falling houses, and flying monkeys! Nothing would surprise me any more.