She’s Baa-aack! Palin in Alaska. What She Didn’t Say.

11 09 2008

Sarah Palin returned to Alaska yesterday, and was greeted in Fairbanks by a crowd of 3,000 cheering fans.

She said a lot of what you’d expect. She giddily told the crowd about everyone in the Lower 48 chanting “Drill Baby Drill!” everywhere she went. Remember that Alaska is a pro-drilling crowd of the highest order. One of the reasons John McCain came in dead last in the Republican primary, after Ron Paul, is his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He also didn’t wow evangelical voters either. But he seems to be tip-toeing his way in the “pro-life”, pro-drilling direction lately. Go figure.

Palin also made reference to the $1200 energy rebate that’s about to land in the bank account of every Alaskan man, woman and child. This amount is in addition to the $2069 permanent fund dividend check from oil profits in the state that also goes in to the bank account of every man woman and child. As you can imagine, handing out wads of cash to people doesn’t hurt your approval ratings. The Permanent Fund Dividend (pfd) is something Alaskans have gotten every year since 1980, and has ranged from a few hundred dollars to this years biggest check ever. The energy rebate, though, is something new. Energy prices in Alaska are outrageously high. Despite our proximity to all this fossil fuel, we have the highest gas prices in the nation, and rural communities out in bush Alaska can be paying $6-$8 a gallon for gas. Winter is just around the corner here, and people are justifiably nervous about staying warm.

She talked about how this type of energy rebate is “unheard of in other states”. That one had to be for the national media, because, of course it’s unheard of in other states… the only reason we’re getting it is because the price of oil is so high, and as the oil companies make more money, so does our permanent fund, and so do we. We all know that. It got applause anyway – it’s cash. She went on to say:

“But we believed that you believed you could spend that money better than government could spend it for you.”

Also a bit strange, because Palin’s original idea was to give Alaskans an energy debit card that would have a certain amount each month and had to be used for energy expenses. Eventually, she was talked out of it, and just decided to stick with cold hard cash… which means many Alaskans are probably going to be getting big screen TVs and freezing their butts off this winter. But that’s another story.

So what didn’t she say? She didn’t use her famous, “commyuunity orrrganizer” line, and pulled back on the snarky comments about Obama. Obama won 75% of the caucus votes in Alaska, and turned the state (until recently) into an actual ‘swing state’ for the first time in memory. Don’t underestimate Obama’s support in Alaska.

She also didn’t say, “And I said ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ on that Bridge to Nowhere.” It’s tough to lie to the home town crowd. Besides, it wasn’t on the teleprompter.

Another thing that wasn’t seen was the crowd of Obama supporters that showed up at the rally. One Mudflats reader in Fairbanks estimated the Obama crowd at 70 or more. The Anchorage Daily News said it was more than two dozen. I guess 70 is more than two dozen. Either way it’s a good turnout considering only Palin supporters were encouraged to attend. One rally-goer, who made it into the hangar where Palin was about to speak, held up a sign that said “Palin: per diem fraud.”

Alaska State Troopers subdued him and escorted him outside at the request of the rally’s hosts, the state Republican Party.

“Subdued” him? I don’t have any details on that, but it doesn’t sound like, “politely asked him to leave.”

So, fellow Alaskan Republicans must have been really excited to see one of their own become such a rising star, and the darling of the Republican Party, right? Let’s hear from Fairbanks Republican Representative Jay Ramras who was at the event. What do you think about our Sarah, Jay?

“It’s dangerous up here to do any truth telling — we all want to have a future and she’s going to control the state for the next four years whether she’s vice president or governor or senator or turning the wheels from home in Wasilla. I mean she’s a powerful woman.”

Hmmmm.

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Palin is on Her Way Home.

10 09 2008

Palin is officially on her way back to Alaska. It’s been less than two weeks since she scurried out of the state to meet the McCains at their Sedona, Arizona home. (I think that’s home #3, right?) After accepting McCain’s invitation to join her on the ticket and addressing the adoring masses at the Republican National Convention, she’s been avoiding the press like the plague, and appearing at campaign stops around the country.

I wonder if Republican voters see the irony of non-stop media coverage, tens of thousands of Republicans waiting on line for hours, and chanting Sa-rah Sah-rah. It’s almost like she was a……(ominous organ music)……celebrity. And we all know how we feel about celebrities, and the mindless, fawning, wide-eyed ‘followers’ that worship the ground they walk on.

I digress.

There’s a big “Welcome Home” rally planned for her in Fairbanks tonight. Tomorrow she will speak at the deployment ceremony for the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Wainwright. Her son, Track, is about to deploy to Iraq with that unit.

At the end of the week, she’ll return to the Mat-Su Valley, but no public events have been scheduled, and she has refused to meet with any local media. At some point during her travels, she will de-bunker herself and meet with Charlie Gibson of ABC news for “exclusive interviews.”

There is some talk of a rally on Saturday in Anchorage, but nothing is official yet. There is, however, another type of rally. There’s an email circulating inviting Anchorage women, and the men who love them, to a rally hosted by the newly found group “Alaska Women Reject Palin”. It is being touted as a bipartisan group whose purpose it is to make it known that Palin does not have the support of all Alaskan women, and that this election is a matter of issues, not gender, or personality.

UPDATE:  The AKWAP (Alaska Women Against Palin) group is meeting at noon on Saturday in front of the Loussac Library in Anchorage.  Wear hot pink and black….if you have it.