On March 9, 2009, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin called on registered Democrats who live in Alaska’s Senate District B to send a letter of interest and a resume to her office by close of business Friday, March 13, 2009 (State Senate, 2009, Â¶1, Â¶4). The seat, which serves the Juneau area was left vacant by Kim Elton who took a patronage job in the Obama administration following his oversight into “the fairness of the Troopergate investigation.” Governor Palin” has already received more than two dozen unsolicited recommendations and applications for the seat” (State Senate, 2009, Â¶1).
The local Democratic party ordinarily submits three names when a State Senate seat prematurely becomes vacant, but only sent Governor Palin one name. She has until April 1 to make the appointment, which the Alaska Senate Democrats must approve (State Senate, 2009, Â¶3).
“We know there are many qualified Alaskans who would fill this post enthusiastically,” Governor Palin said. “I appreciate those who believe in public service and would like to serve in this capacity” (State Senate, 2009, Â¶2).
At first glance this appears to be more a political move than an executive accomplishment; however, navigating political waters, political cleverness and acumen are a significant component of an effective executive. Politics is much like a chess game. Governor Palin had 16, going on 17 years to develop and hone this skill, which she uses with telling effect. An executive who is unable to maneuver politically is ineffective.
The Governor could have accepted the sole nominee that was foisted upon her by the local Democratic Party. She could have rebelled and hand-selected one of her own choosing from the unsolicited batch and used the appointment to make a political grandstand. Instead, Governor Palin made a Reagan-esque move invited Democrats in the former State Senator’s District to apply for the job in addition to the pool of over 24 applicants available to her. The Governor will do what she always does — she will review the resumes, interview and vet her finalists. She will pick the person she thinks is best for the job and submit the appointment for approval. Whether the Governor’s appointment will be ratified is quite early to determine. Additionally, this author does not know what would happen should Governor Palin’s appointment be denied, as that is a matter of Alaska state law. But, this author knows that Governor Palin will do exactly as she did with her judicial appointments: put politics aside and appoint someone who she believes will be an effective legislator.
The Governor by doing this has once again put her many years of executive experience on display. Contrast this nomination with the Caroline Kennedy train wreck orchestrated NY State Governor Patterson when former Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton became Obama’s Secretary of State. That mess culminated with the pick of Kirsten Gillibrand, a purportedly conservative Democrat whose views more than likely will evolve under the tutelage of Senator Schumer.
Once again, Governor Palin shows us how it is done. Most people do not realize that the Governor has an MBA in addition to her Journalism degree. Governor Palin earned her MBA from the School of Hard Knocks.
Governor Palin receives, solicits applications for vacant Senate seat. (2009, March 9). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 10, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1696