The Republican establishment has for the past eight months been promoting the meme that “John McCain having picked Gov. Palin to be his Vice Presidential running mate was a mistake.” The latest specimen in this barrage of lies comes from the CBS News article: McGovern’s VP choice offers Romney a cautionary tale. The story starts out well enough. In 1972, Democratic candidate George McGovern picked Sen. Thomas Eagleton to be his VP running mate. He did not properly vet Sen. Eagleton, who was “flabbergasted” at his own pick. It could accurately be said that he did not vet Sen. Eagleton at all. Eighteen days later, Sen. Eagleton stepped down. The good Senator, it turned out was receiving shock therapy for mental illness. The article’s unnamed author made the point that the Romney campaign was doing a thorough job vetting potential running mates to ensure a similar mistake does not recur.
What does Sen. Eagleton have to do with Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin? Absolutely nothing. But, somehow, the writer felt a great need to bring her into the subject, and that is where the eight months of lies about her VP candidacy come into play. The “Game Change” bilge was dredged back up with the disgusting implication that Gov. Palin is somehow in the same class and category of unfitness for Vice President or President as a mental patient receiving shock therapy.
This follows on the heels of former Vice President Dick Cheney saying that picking Gov. Palin “was a mistake” because she was “only governor for two years,” – which is two years longer than him, because he never held the office. Gov. Palin held the office in fact for two years and eight months. In that time, she overhauled the state’s tax system, ushering in Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES); she spearheaded the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), which will build a 1,740-mile pipeline from the North Slope to a terminus in Alberta Canada, so natural gas can be brought to the Lower 48. She brought about ethics reform. Gov. Palin was also at every troop deployment and home-coming; expertly handled crises in her state; created a budget surplus, and improved the state’s credit rating.
She accomplished more in her 32 months, than seven New York State governors have in 50 years. She was the state’s Commander-in-Chief, including control over missiles intended to intercept ICBMs headed to us from places such as Russia, China and North Korea. Her office was like Grand Central Terminal for foreign consuls and diplomats with whom she met to discuss trade agreements and treaties. Then, there was the day-to-day stuff. If picking someone with this background was a mistake, then what’s a successful pick? Kudos to Liz Cheney who went against her own father, stood up and did the right thing on Twitter by defending Gov. Palin.
John McCain, who was at the top of the ticket said – again – that he was satisfied with picking her. He said he was proud of Gov. Palin and her work. He was the one at the top of the ticket. If he was proud of Gov. Palin and her work, that should end the conversation right there….
The Republican Party elites have had a fixation with getting this message out, even though it is patently false. “Game Change” was made specifically to push this lie. What exactly does Gov. Palin’s own party fear now? She announced nearly 10 months ago that she is not running for President. Gov. Palin remains a private citizen not running for any elective office. She may or may not even be personally present at the GOP Convention in Tampa next month. All we have right now is that SarahPAC put a $4,500 deposit on a rental space in nearby Channelside Bay Plaza. Her staff will be in the space, but that does not necessarily mean she will be there. So, why target her like this? Since Romney became the presumptive nominee, the Republican establishment has been working double and triple overtime to slime Gov. Palin as the 2008 VP nominee. The central themes are:
- “Romney should not even think of putting Gov. Palin on his ticket.” With all the talk about Gov. Palin being such “a horrible VP candidate” for McCain, one would think Romney was openly seriously considering her. He is not, she knows he is not, and anyone who even remotely follows either of the former governors knows he is not, so why make an issue of it? Perhaps, these people are fearful that he could put those differences aside, consider her and that she would accept? If she were such a bad VP candidate in 2008, the record would speak for itself. Critics would not have to spend eight months building a case.
- “If Romney even puts a woman on his ticket, she could be too ‘Palin-like’ and a ‘big no-no.’ We saw today how Florida’s Pam Bondi is being positioned now as a “blonde Sarah Palin.”
- “Romney should not even put a man on his ticket who brings about ‘too much excitement’ or who could be considered ‘Palin-like.’ Thus, we endured weeks of why Marco Rubio would supposedly be a lousy choice.
The Republican establishment is sending a clear message: “Gov. Palin and those who share her same qualities are not welcome and will not going to go places in this party.” You see, Sarah Palin took on the establishments of both the Democrats and her own Republican Party – not just as Alaska’s Governor, but as the Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC), as Wasilla’s Mayor and as a City Councilwoman. As Chair of the AOGCC, she brought down Randy Reudrich on numerous ethics violations. Reudrich was the Chair of the state Republican Party and a member of the RNC.
Gov. Palin does not just say “sudden and relentless reform” in speeches. She’s executed it for the past 20 years. The GOP knows it. This is why they fear and loathe her. This is why they have slimed her for eight months with a bald-faced lie about her “VP candidacy being a mistake” and continue to do it. This is why they have the gall to compare her VP candidacy to that of a mentally ill Senator receiving shock therapy. Gov. Palin may not be running for any elective office, but with her down-tickets, she is purging the existing establishment and building a new one.
The members of the existing establishment are not stupid and see the handwriting on the wall. They want nothing more than for her to disappear and go away. Gov. Palin will go to war for people who stand up and do the right thing. For those who do wrong, she is a force to be feared and respected. Those who “mis-underestimate” her do so at their own peril and those who learn it always find out way too late. She is a very powerful threat to the Republican establishment, perhaps even more so as a private citizen than if she had run. Gov. Palin is not nicknamed “Barracuda” for nothing.