Defending Against the First Attacks on Sarah Palin

Defending Against the First Attacks on Sarah Palin

By Patrick J. Casey

As John McCain has shocked pretty much everybody with his pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, it’s important to prepare for the attacks on her that will be launched, starting this afternoon, by the Democrats and the media. For attack they will, relentlessly. And they’ll start with these three things:


First – “Palin has no experience”.
That’s an easy one to dismiss. Sarah Palin has had more executive experience, meaning experience in running either a business or a government, than either Barack Obama or his running mate, Joe Biden. She has more executive experience than even her running mate, John McCain. Governor Palin served as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska from 1999 to 2002. She was elected as President of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. She was elected as Governor of Alaska in 2006. And she has quite a few concrete achievements, considering the amount of time she’s been in office.

 

Second – “Palin’s part of the corrupt GOP establishment in Alaska (Stevens, Young, etc.)”. That’s an even easier one to dismiss. Governor Palin has always run as the anti-corruption candidate. She served as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004, when she resigned in protest over the actions of her fellow Alaskan GOP leaders, including then-Alaskan Governor Frank Murkowski. She was furious over the fact that they ignored her reports of rampant GOP corruption. When she chose to run for Governor, the GOP establishment ignored her and supported the incumbent Murkowski. Palin beat him, and went on to beat former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles with no support from Alaskan GOP leadership. She has actively supported and helped the GOP primary opponents of current indicted Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens and Representative Don Young, and denounced both of them often in public.

 

Oh, and the forthcoming claim that Palin’s in the pocket of big-oil? Her ethics complaints were filed against people who really were in the pocket of big oil – she was on the outside, investigating.

 

Third – “Palin used her position as Governor to get back at the man whom her sister was divorcing, and fired the man who refused to fire her sister’s ex-husband”. This is the slimiest attack that the Democrats and the media will launch. It concerns a current investigation into allegations that Governor Palin fired former Alaskan Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because he would not bend to her will.

 

When Palin fired Monegan, her office gave no reason for her decision. As the Commissioner serves at the discretion of the Governor, no reason is needed. In an effort to save his job and get back at the person who fired him, Monegan claimed that he was fired because he would not fire an Alaskan State Trooper, Michael Wooten, who was going through a messy divorce with Palin’s sister. Recently, the Associated Press ran an article about some tapes that surfaced regarding phone calls made by some of Palin’s staff worried about Wooten – and worried about the safety of the Palin family:

 

JUNEAU, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday said at least two dozens calls were made from her staff members to Department of Public Safety officials questioning the employment of a trooper who went through a messy divorce with Palin’s sister.
But Palin maintained none was done at her direction, a claim backed up by one administration member caught on tape.

 

…The Palins have accused Wooten of drunken driving, illegal hunting and firing a Taser at his 11-year-old stepson, Palin’s nephew. These allegations led to an internal investigation, which occurred before she ran for governor.
Todd Palin has said the family was concerned about the governor’s safety, claiming Wooten threatened to kill Sarah Palin’s father and made vague threats to her. Todd Palin has said he took concerns about Wooten directly to Monegan.

 

So, the tapes seem to prove that Governor Palin was unaware that anyone from her office was aware of this, which should take care of questions about Palin’s possible complicity. But we should go past that, and look at the facts of the entire situation. Even if this investigation shows that someone in Palin’s office did pressure the Public Safety Commissioner to fire Wooten, this is a fight that we should relish having with the white male hierarchy of the Democratic Party and the drive-by media. Let’s get all of the dirt about Wooten out in the open. Show that the police union and the Commissioner were protecting him, and then ask why? What would any American do, if faced with the same situation – an overt threat to their family?

 

Over the years, many of the allegations against Wooten – including the fact that he Tasered Palin’s sister’s 10 year old son and threatened the life of Palin’s father – have turned out to be true:

 

Grimes suspended Wooten for 10 days. He also was punished for illegally shooting a moose and using a Taser on his 10-year-old stepson. The trooper admitted to using the Taser on his stepson in a “training capacity” and said he shot a moose on his wife’s tag, but didn’t think the act was illegal.
…Wall’s investigation did find that Wooten threatened Palin’s sister, Molly McCann, with shooting her father if he hired a lawyer to represent her. Wooten denied making the statement, but Palin, McCann and Palin’s son all confirmed that he did.
Wall said the act wasn’t a crime because Palin’s father was not present when Wooten made the statement.

 

Who the heck uses a Taser on a 10 year old kid!? It appears as if Wooten’s gotten off scott-free so far, and it’s those that are protecting him that should be ashamed. And once the facts of the entire situation come out, the voters will largely agree. I can’t wait until Keith Olbermann attempts to use this!

 

Read as much as you can about Sarah Palin. Her story is remarkable and inspiring. She’s about as solid a conservative as you can find right now. There will be many attacks on her launched in the media over the next 60 plus days, primarily because she is such an excellent pick for McCain. A suggestion – don’t rely on the ads or the pundits, go to the Internet and read the original source material. Then launch a counter-attack, armed with the facts.

 

When this year’s Presidential campaign started, shortly after the 2006 elections, I felt that this would be the last of the old-guard GOP elections. Regardless of who wins this election, I felt that 2012 and beyond would belong to the likes of Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin. As a matter of fact, I was kind of rooting for a one-term McCain Presidency followed by a Jindal-Palin or a Palin-Jindal ticket.

 

I’m pleased that the future of the GOP is coming a little early.

Palin for America: A true conservative: “She knows when to stand up and doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down”

What we know about Sarah Palin

What we know about Sarah Palin

Thomas Lifson

Investor’s Business Daily has had its eye on Sarah Palin for quite some time. They offer some first rate journalism on the woman of the hour, by their ace writer Monica Showalter.

An interview with Sarah Palin on energy

How Palin achieved her gas pipeline

Uncommon Knowledge column on myths about drilling Alaska

Uncommon Knowledge column on timeframes for producing oil

 

The Ticket! First McCain/Palin Ad … McPalin `08!

Speech Videos Added/McCain Picks Pistol-Packin’ Palin! Bio & Pics/ Barry Insane’s Trashy Response

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin   [Yuval Levin]

If it’s truly Palin, as it seems to be, the McCain folks did an extraordinary job keeping a lid on this choice, and even on the fact that she might have been one of the finalists. We were left speculating about Romney, Pawlenty, or Lieberman, while they had this in their pocket.

To my mind, Palin is a risky but excellent choice. The biggest drawback for me is that she has no more foreign policy experience than Obama and fairly little (though, as Mark points out, more than Obama, Biden, and McCain combined) executive experience. I don’t quite agree that foreign policy experience doesn’t matter, and I think concern about that has had a lot to do with the success of the “he’s not ready” charge against Obama—it’s not only because he has so little political and governing experience in general, but also because it’s terribly difficult to see him in charge of American foreign policy in a crisis. It’s at least as difficult to imagine Palin in charge in a crisis, and maybe more so. But on the other hand, Palin is up for the number two spot, not for President, and the guy at the top of the ticket is John McCain, who people certainly have an easier time seeing as a foreign policy expert and decision-maker. A heartbeat away is a real issue, as Jonah says, but it’s much less of a concern than choosing a president who isn’t ready for the job. Her executive experience, meanwhile, while brief is really pretty impressive—she seems to be a tough and serious manager. With her in the second spot, McCain can still push the “is he ready” question, though perhaps a little less effectively, and it would be hard for Obama’s folks to argue in response that, well, McCain’s vice presidential pick is not any more experienced than Obama is.

The unknown (to me, at least) risks, I think, have to do with how ready she is to play on the national stage. Is she a good debater? She certainly knows the energy issue extremely well, but does she know the other big issues and arguments (not only Iraq and the war but health care, entitlements, taxes, etc. which may not be as big in Alaska? Does she talk about politics and policy fluidly and seriously? Does she give good speeches?

The positives, though, are exceptionally great. She will connect tremendously well with middle class parents, at a gut level and not only a rhetorical level. Undecided women are likely to find her very appealing. Her personal story—an athlete as well as a beauty queen contestant in her youth, deeply religious but not overbearing about it, a hunter and former professional fisher(wo)man—is interesting and impressive.  Her family story—from marrying her high school sweetheart the snowmobile racer to the son about to deploy to Iraq, to the wonderful way she has welcomed her Down Syndrome son—is lovely and inspiring. And on the issues, she’s the kind of conservative the country tends like best. Her unabashed but non-confrontational pro-life views will contrast in the most dramatic possible way with Obama and be nicely illustrated by her own life; she opposes gay marriage but is otherwise friendly to gay rights; she’s an ethics reformer and anti-pork fanatic (she killed the “bridge to nowhere”); great on energy, and something of a conservative reformer in general, though she hasn’t said much to my knowledge about health care and taxes—which I suppose makes her a good vehicle for McCain’s positions on those. And while you won’t hear it much from the Democrats or the press, there’s the historic female vice president element too.

Surely not a perfect pick, but a bold pick, and I think a very good one.

 

Palin for America: A true conservative