Palin’s decisions represent the party, not the people

Some people have been saying Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has had a rough road since her return from the unsuccessful bid for the vice-presidency. However, much like our last commander-in-chief, Palin seems to have developed an insular bubble, impermeable by the harsh realities of public opinion.
“Our administration would be ineffective if all I did was try to please those who look for anything to be negative about,” Palin told AP reporter Anne Sutton, remaining upbeat about recent criticisms. So if some of “those” people just so happen to be her constituents, I guess pleasing anyone who takes issue with Palin’s recent lack of leadership must not be a priority for her.
In the past, I’ve made my feelings on Palin abundantly clear-she has my full support as the governor of Alaska, provided the job has her full attention. The problem is that even strictly political news that originates from the Palin camp lately seems to focus less on the state she was elected to govern, and more on Palin’s national celebrity. That’s saying a lot, because there hasn’t been much Palin-directed focus on Alaska since last August.
What there has been an awful lot of Palin focus on, is Palin. By now, we all know about “SarahPAC,” and the rumors of Palin’s higher aspirations for 2012-which she has made no effort to deny. Palin also bristled against President Obama’s stimulus money, and issued a press release to weigh in on Obama’s Special Olympic aside on The Tonight Show.
But where’s the local love? Regardless of the fact that Palin’s ultimate goals are still a source of national speculation, there is still plenty of local political drama to go around.
The governor certainly wasted no time in pointing out Sen. Ted Stevens’ success in his corruption trial appeal. Whether Stevens is guilty or not is no longer an issue, as the entire case was botched so thoroughly by the prosecution.
Palin agreed with the Alaska Republican Party in calling for Sen. Mark Begich’s resignation-in order to hold a special election.
Setting aside my feelings about Sen. Begich or the fairness of Stevens’ trial, what world are Palin and Randy Ruedrich living in, where you can simply call a do-over because public opinion might have changed due to external circumstances? The entire notion is ridiculous.
“I agree with other Alaskans who would like to see an election that’s free from improper influence,” Palin wrote in an e-mail to CNN. First, she’s right-personally, I would love to see ANY election that’s free from improper influence. Second, I’ve learned from personal experience that off-the-cuff e-mails attempting to highlight perceived injustices are a bad idea-you end up looking like either a whiner or a tattling jerk.
In reference to the governor’s statement, Begich spokeswoman Julie Hasquat told reporter Andy Barr “We’re not going to respond to her.” Easier said than done.
Now there’s Palin’s recent decision to campaign for Sen. Lisa Murkowski in her bid for re-election. This action seemed to put to rest the theory that Palin might vie for Murkowski’s seat-either as a step toward a 2012 Presidential Campaign or perhaps simply to continue her ruthless domination of the Murkowski family.
Palin’s support of Murkowski did little, however, to answer the big question of what direction she intends to take next year. It’s been suggested that should Palin decide to run for re-election, and face difficulties, it might hurt her chances of a presidential bid. It’s even been suggested by Don Young-a suggestion I whole-heartedly approve of-that the now unemployed Ted Stevens should pursue the governor’s seat next year.
The question that remains, for me, is whether Palin’s bubble has finally burst. Could it be that her decision to back Murkowski is a form of recognition of her dwindling prospects? Could Palin finally be realizing that her sensationalism is similar to that of a train wreck-and that no one in their right mind would consider voting a train wreck into the White House?
Next year’s Alaskan gubernatorial race could end up being an indication of Palin’s future plans, or it could just be another cause for further speculation. The only thing that’s certain at this point is that Palin has secured herself a place in history-as a lewd reference in a forthcoming Eminem song.
Really.