“Sarah Palin’s Career Was Born By Committing ‘Career Suicide’


UPDATED: 10/8/11

“Sarah Palin’s Career Was Born By Committing ‘Career Suicide’

That’s Why I Say Don’t Count Her Out…”  

In the last minutes before Palin announced she wasn’t running, I was emailing Chris Boese, a liberal web consultant in NYC who grew up in Alaska and played basketball against both Palin and her older sister, Heather, who she’d been friends with back in the day.

I wanted to do an article on Boese’s blog posts regarding Palin’s time as Governor.  It seemed that Chris’s posts, even as a Democrat, were fair, level-headed and underscored many of the themes in “The Undefeated”.

I wanted Stephen Bannon’s blessing because his film was mentioned in the article, so I emailed his assistant — and she said to”hold off” at 1 PM October 5th.

I also emailed some O4P/C4P peeps as I’d done with other articles in the past couple of months (special thanks to Karen Allen/Stacy Drake/Ron Devito/Thomas Schmitz — I will miss the special Palinista nature of those relationships).

That afternoon, Chris Boese (who worked with the Clinton team in Arkansas, no stranger to politics) DM’d a lot of insights into Sarah Palin; she’s given me permission to post the following about her decision not to run.

I’m posting part of what she said without trying to pump up false hope in Palinistas:

ChrisBoese   Understand, her career was born in committing career suicide. That’s why I say don’t count her out…

…It was career suicide BECAUSE in blowing the whistle on oil deals (AK energy commission), she burned a bridge with the LEADERS of the state Republican Party.

Officially, her GOP career should have been over. She ran for Governor with minimal state support from her own party.

Normally, one does not win when one does that.  It was a complete upset, winning the governor’s race.

TwoLegsGood  Perhaps it takes an Alaskan to understand an Alaskan

I think she has an odd karma, like some football running backs have, where openings appear out of nowhere.


Sarah Palin’s Basketball Rival Speaks

(An Honest Alaskan Liberal Underscores Bannon’s themes in THE UNDEFEATED)

It’s really nice in this day and age to find an honest Democrat like Chris Boese, a NYC web consultant.

Chris was point guard on the Palmer High School basketball team in Palmer, Alaska in the early eighties.  Palmer’s arch rival was…Wasilla High.  And Chris’s rival was the Wasilla point guard, Sarah Palin.

In her blog posts, going back to 2006: http://www.serendipit-e.com/blog/ — Chris describes Sarah Palin from an Alaskan point of view, adding many personal touches:

Sarah is an unorthodox political original, I’ll give her that. If anybody tries that sexist crap with her, she’ll find a way to knock them back on their asses. I’ve been knocked on my ass a few times by her, and I can vouch for that.

Chris emailed me, saying she had been friends with Sarah’s sister, Heather, back in high school — they were in the same year.  Chris played against Heather for five years and “captained” against Sarah, who was a year behind.

Here are some pics of Palin that Boese posted out of the Palmer Year Book: http://www.serendipit-e.com/blog/2008/10/found-some-old.html

Her blog articles written in 2006 and 2008 are a perfect counterpoint for THE UNDEFEATED, underscoring who Sarah Palin was before anyone in the lower 48 knew her name.

In Stephen K. Bannon’s interview with Todd Palin this past Sunday in THE VICTORY SESSIONS, Todd recounted the import of the Governor’s swearing-in ceremony in Anchorage at Alaska’s 50th anniversary; and Chris Boese’s second article below, posted December 7, 2006, details more about that inaugural speech.

Chris Boese’s in-the-moment views on Sarah Palin are invaluable in the Palin time line, coming before the MSM got in the mix.  Hat’s off to Chris writing about Palin’s strengths even though Boese disagrees with Palin on many issues.  Boese writes how she “was pumped” Palin was McCain’s V.P. pick — even though she was for Obama by 2008.

They sure grow ’em honest in Alaska.  (TwoLegsGood)

10 PM PST 10/5/11 EDIT: Sarah Palin stated she would not run for the Presidency this afternoon…

November 08, 2006



By Chris Boese

I was staying away from election blog posting, but I can’t leave this one out, because it’s personal. A 42-year-old woman has just been given the job of running one of the most energy-rich states in the nation.

And I knew her in high school. I posted about this earlier here, when she beat incumbent governor (and the former senator) Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary. That was a tough race, but she had to fight this one too, I bet. Democrat Tony Knowles is a very well-known state politician, former mayor of Anchorage, and a former governor too.

Sarah got 49 percent of the vote last time I checked, and Knowles got 41 percent. More votes may have been counted since then, tho. I’m linking to the Anchorage Daily News story about her win, and last week or so, I found a really neat long piece on Sarah, on Pajamas Media. Gotta go find that again. Nope. What a badly designed site. The article isn’t in there, doesn’t have a permalink. E-VILE!

I liked that article because it talked about how her competitiveness as a high school basketball player brought her on this path. As somebody who often had the job of guarding Sarah Heath, point guard to point guard, I can vouch for that.

Truth is, Sarah was a better basketball player than I was. I think I even played against her in junior high too, and I think you’re allowed to be just a so-so player in junior high, so we were probably more on par then, esp. since she was a year younger. The year after I graduated, she went with Wasilla High to the state basketball tournament, went up against the favored big Anchorage teams, and little old Wasilla won state, 1982. (I still feel whiney because the Wasilla team would all go as a group to summer basketball camp in Hawaii, and our school, Palmer High, never had the money or the leadership to do anything that cool).

I like how she’s run as an outsider and a reformer on the GOP ticket. I got an Alaska buddy I may get blogging soon, and he might take a different tack, but he went to school with her too, at Wasilla High.

Does she know enough about politics, what they went after her on during the campaign? I don’t know. Career-groomed politicians scare me. Citizen politicians, like citizen journalists, public intellectuals, that’s far more interesting to me. And her dad was a high school teacher. I used to see him around school too, back in the day.

Link: adn.com | Governor Race : It’s Governor Palin.

It’s Governor Palin

Candidate of change resonated with voters

Anchorage Daily News

Published: November  7, 2006

Voters chose change over experience Tuesday night, making Republican Sarah Palin Alaska’s next governor and the first woman to hold the job.

On a night of political upheaval across the country, Democrat Tony Knowles couldn’t stop the wave of anti- establishment momentum that carried Palin from her small town roots in Wasilla, past incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in the primary and into Alaska government’s top job.

With 98 percent of the precincts counted this morning, Palin had clinched the race with 48.7 percent of the vote to Knowles’ 40.5 percent. Independent Andrew Halcro had 9.6 percent.

Palin, 42, claimed victory late Tuesday.

Palin won with lukewarm support from her own party establishment. But by promising new energy and a fresh face, she whupped a well-known, longtime Alaska politician for the second time in a row.

Earlier, Palin told supporters at the Captain Cook hotel that the campaign had drawn on all political persuasions, regions and walks of life. “I think this is unlike anything Alaska has seen before.” She added in an interview: “If it holds, it truly is a mandate for change. No more politics as usual. We started this campaign talking about trust and transparency. And that’s where we’re ending it.”

One of the Palin faithful, Kevin Peterson, who wore a pro-Palin sandwich board while running Mount Marathon last summer, offered this on the growing political power of the Mat-Su valleys: “People always thought of Wasilla as a small bedroom community, hicks. We’re not hicks. There are a lot of smart people out there, and Sarah’s one. Real, true Alaskan.

[I like seeing the Mat-Su Valley empowered, but I’m not saying I find all of Sarah’s positions palatable. Alaska tends to elect Republicans with a Libertarian streak. Tony Knowles I remember as a lukewarm governor. I don’t know if Sarah will do better, because Juneau has been corrupt for so long, and that’s gotta be tough to go against. If Sarah had come through as a young Democrat instead of a Republican, would she be electable in Alaska?  I don’t think she’d even land a spot on the ballot.

It looks like the Democrat (Knowles) outspent the Republican (Palin), in this race. That says a lot, both in how the big money folks wanted Knowles in, and also how lukewarm the support was for Sarah in her own party. But she won.

Strategically, she took the best route, but here’s the bit I don’t like:

Unlike Palin, Knowles and Halcro both support abortion rights, stem cell research, benefits for same-sex couples and a rural preference for subsistence hunting and fishing rights, for example.

Here’s a bit from a different Anchorage Daily News article on how people react to her:

Link: adn.com | Palin’s win finds favor even with former unbelievers

Palin’s opponents may have scoffed at her as a political lightweight who spoke in vague generalities. But voters didn’t buy those barbs. They elected Alaska’s youngest governor — and the first female in the state to hold the office.

Torrie Ruhle of Anchorage was among the early converts, although she would have been OK with Knowles, too, had he won, she said. But she’s glad her official vote paid off. She likes the fact that Palin is a mother, like herself. And she’s looking forward to having a leader with “more feminine touches.”

Most of all, she believes Palin is willing to work with everyone, regardless of their political leanings.

Palin’s win called up some mixed feelings in Dave Klein, a biology professor emeritus with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Klein, who voted for Knowles, said he worries that Palin doesn’t have enough governmental experience. Also nagging at him are her fundamentalist beliefs and anti-abortion views.

But Palin stood up to Republican heavies, including Gov. Frank Murkowski, whipping him in the GOP primary. She repeated the same feat with seasoned pros like Knowles and independent Andrew Halcro, a former Republican state legislator.

“She was obviously able to pull off an amazing win for a woman who had relatively little governmental experience,” Klein said. “She’s a very intelligent woman, and she certainly demonstrated she was someone who would not go along with Gov. Murkowski, and that demonstrates something.”

Susan Steele lives in Wasilla, Palin country. Even though she admires Palin and everything “she stands for,” Steele voted for Knowles. She thought Palin might be too naive to deal with Alaska’s big players. She wasn’t sure she could hold her own in negotiations with oil companies over a proposed natural gas pipeline from the North Slope.

“But again, she beat Murkowski, she beat Knowles, so maybe this is a wonderful thing,” Steele said.

December 07, 2006



By Chris Boese

You get a sense of honoring historical context here, while also sending a not-so-subtle message to Juneau.

The gubernatorial inauguration was held for the first time ever in Fairbanks, to honor the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the state constitution, where it was ratified, in Squarebanks. Sure, it wasn’t Willow (site chosen a a more centrally-located state capital, by popular state initiative). And it wasn’t Anchorage (largest city). I suppose they could have picked Seward, which was I think the first capital of the state, one of the earliest thriving cities, but devastated by the tsunami from the Good Friday earthquake of 1964.

So she honored the past, and my mom tells me, spoke movingly about the state and its future. It’s like she’s giving folks hope, which all politicians would like to do (except Frank Murkowski, who appears to have lost his marbles totally in his last days in office, see below). So is it political lip service? Look at the first article below, at what she’s doing with the big three oil companies, who in many ways own the state in the same way Kerr McGee once owned Oklahoma.

Go Sarah! I’m still rooting for you. And I found this old basketball picture from the Anchorage Daily News. Ooh, did we really wear those awful shorts back then?!

Ah, but that’s better than that topless beauty pageant shot from the late 1980s, what I found on the Wonkette site. It appears the Washington naughty political talk site has deemed Sarah the “hottest” governor in the U.S., a “hottie,” or a “GILF,” what the site somewhere calls the “Governix I’d Like to Fornicate.” (I’m quoting the Wonkette site. I don’t mean myself.)

I just gotta say, this scene with Libby Riddles as Emcee for the inauguration is just classic.

Palin era begins at inauguration

By KYLE HOPKINS Anchorage Daily News

Published: December  5, 2006

FAIRBANKS — The applause built for a full minute after Sarah Palin took the oath making her Alaska’s new governor Monday. Then, from somewhere high in the seats of the Carlson Center sports arena, the chanting started: “Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!”

“OK, the governor said cease and desist,” said the event’s emcee, Libby Riddles, quieting the crowd of thousands.

Riddles was the first woman to win the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and it’s no coincidence she was asked to host the swearing-in ceremony of the state’s first female governor.

“She was an underdog. She was a risk-taker, kind of an outsider,” Palin said in describing Riddles, but also defining her own rise from a small-town mayor and Republican Party maverick to the state’s top political job.

Palin takes Alaska reins

By MARY PEMBERTON  The Associated Press

Sarah Palin is first governor to be sworn in in Fairbanks.

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Unabashedly promising to defend the interests of all Alaskans as the state increases its energy-production role, Sarah Palin was sworn in Monday as the ninth person to lead the state since Alaska was granted statehood in 1959.

“I will unambiguously, steadfastly and doggedly guard the interests of this great state as a mother naturally guards her own,” she told an overflowing crowd at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.

“We must have reserves and explore for more to energize our homes, our businesses, for new industry to come alive, to heat our economy and allow self sufficiency while gifting our nation with safe domestic supplies,” she said.

“Couple this with ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] oil and inexhaustible alternative-energy sources, and Alaska can lead the nation in a much-needed U.S. energy plan,” Palin said.

She asked why Alaska couldn’t fuel the nation and lead the world.

“America is looking for answers. She’s looking for a new direction, the world is looking for a light. It’s Governor [Walter] Hickel that reminds me, that light can come from America’s great north star; it can come from Alaska,” she said.

She plans to meet today and Wednesday with 12 companies or groups interested in building the pipeline before she moves to the Governor’s Mansion in Juneau later this week.

The meetings will include the three big oil companies that negotiated with Gov. Frank Murkowski on a natural-gas-pipeline contract — ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and BP PLC, the companies that also own the leases to the gas. The Legislature never ratified that contract.

Palin promised that her pipeline-contract negotiations would be open and transparent, and has told the companies any information or documents offered would be public. Murkowski was criticized for negotiating secretly with the oil companies for several years.

Palin is the state’s first female governor and, at age 42, also is the youngest person to hold the office. She also is the first not to be sworn in in Juneau, the state capital.

She chose Fairbanks for the ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the Alaska constitution, which was drafted in Fairbanks three years before statehood in 1959.

And then there’s this:

Palin to examine last-hour job blitz


His ex-staff chief was appointed to a gas pipeline authority he bucked.

By ANNE SUTTON  The Associated Press

Published: December  6, 2006

JUNEAU — Gov. Sarah Palin will revisit 35 appointments made by her predecessor in the hour before he left office this week, especially one she called “bizarre.”

The appointment is that of Murkowski’s former chief of staff, Jim Clark, to the volunteer seven-member board of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority.

At least one board member said Clark — Murkowski’s right-hand man in the failed negotiations with oil companies on a $25 billion natural gas pipeline — has bucked the board’s decisions since its inception.

Board member Scott Heyworth questioned Murkowski’s motives as well as Clark’s support for the authority.

“To do this at the 11th hour and then appoint his chief of staff who’s been at odds with ANGDA since Day One, it’s amazing,” said Heyworth.

Palin’s spokesman, Curtis Smith, said he told Palin of the appointment minutes before she took the stage for her swearing-in at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.

“It’s an issue she will revisit when the events of the day settle,” Smith said Tuesday as Palin was involved with reopened pipeline negotiations.

Palin has the final word on appointments to any of the state’s boards and commissions.

Murkowski also ended his term as he began it, with the appointment of a family member. He named his son-in-law, Leon Van Whye, to the board of the Alaska Railroad.

Van Whye is married to Murkowski’s daughter Eileen.

Frank Murkowski opened his administration in 2002 by naming another daughter, Lisa, to the U.S. Senate seat he vacated after winning the governor’s office.

Like I said, Murkowski appears to have gone off the deep end over having to leave office.

-Chris Boese

August 29, 2008


By Chris Boese

The governor has roots in local government, serving two terms on the Wasilla City Council and two terms as the mayor/manager of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, a town of 6,700 people whose average family income is $53,000.

RealClear Politics gives this background for the Alaska Governor:

When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her fierce competitiveness.

Holy Crap!

Sarah Heath Palin has just been named Sen. John McCain’s running mate for the highest office in the country!

I know I’m strongly backing Barack Obama now that Hillary is out, but I just HAVE to note this. I mean, it isn’t every day somebody you know from high school has a chance to be a heartbeat away from the presidency of the single remaining global super-power nation (as opposed to global super-power corporations, for instance, which are more powerful than many nations).

Oh Sarah, I wish I could vote for you, but I am SO pumped that you got named for this. Wow. What an amazing life and career you are having!

Link: McCain taps Alaska Gov. Palin as vice president pick – CNN.com.

Palin, 44, is a first-term governor who unseated incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary in 2006 and went on to defeat former Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat, in the general election.

She will be the first woman to be nominated for vice president as a Republican and only the second to run for vice president on a major party ticket, after Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.

Palin also will be the first Alaskan to be on the ticket for either party.

Yeah, people in Alaska woke up to a pretty big surprise today. My mom called, cuz her sister called from Wisconsin to wake her up and tell her. I was on the road, and I stop to type this in a truck stop restroom, after listening to the announcement on the radio.

I’m just trying to imagine how she’ll do in the debate with Sen. Joe Biden. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around. I mean, this is somebody with the same college degree as I got (journalism), whom it was my duty to guard as a point guard for many years, as cross-town rivals. And yes, she generally fouled out more than I did. I attended a basketball camp where her dad coached one summer.

I’m also pretty sure I covered at least one beauty pageant she was in, when I was a photog for the local paper in the mid-80s. That was my beat the summer of ’85, and it was thrilling, let me tell you.

My mom is just freaked out that their little Wasilla mayor is up for vice president!

McCain apparently is making a concerted effort to reach out to former supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton who may be unhappy with the choice of Sen. Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee.  Reacting to the choice of Palin, Ferraro said, “I believe that people will look back and assess how Hillary was treated by the media during the campaign primaries. And it remains to be seen whether or not the ugly head of sexism — in the media — will raise its head again.”

Sarah is an unorthodox political original, I’ll give her that. If anybody tries that sexist crap with her, she’ll find a way to knock them back on their asses. I’ve been knocked on my ass a few times by her, and I can vouch for that.

My friends have wondered how I reconcile my enthusiasm for Sarah’s political fortunes with my own politics, which are quite different from hers. I really don’t have a good answer, because, from growing up in Alaska, I was never that bothered around people with political views widely divergent from my own. That’s just normal up there! Nobody in Alaska marches in lockstep. If you went around breaking with people you disagreed with on X or Y, you’d have no friends left. It is a state of extremes, and that’s why people go there, live there, love it there.

I don’t think McCain will be the best president, and I’m now completely on board with Obama/Biden.

When I was a kid, I dreamed about going to law school, or going into politics. In high school I applied for and desperately coveted the internship with the now-notorious Sen. Ted Stevens. Then along the way, I sort of lost my dream. It didn’t come for kids like me, I was told. My dad was a construction worker, my mom an elementary teacher. I didn’t get into the elite schools. I have student loans up the ass. I took classes that talked about how hard it was to break into those rare air spaces. I just figured, for me, it wasn’t in the cards. I wrote it off as a door that only opens to people of great privilege.

I never dreamed I’d end up working in Arkansas as a journalist, where I met this guy, the governor, and his wife, and later taught at their school for high school gifted kids. And NEVER in a MILLION YEARS would I have guessed that I’d been running up and down the basketball court in high school with a future vice presidential candidate.

(Nor would I have guessed I’d be typing out this blog post on free wifi inside a stinky truck stop rest room in PA, the laptop balanced on top of an overflowing wastebasket! LOL!)

But Sarah, you GO GIRL! I know what theme song they’ll play for you! Heart: Barracuda!

-Chris Boese

View all contributions by

  • Dottie K

    I'm ready to back Sarah Palin whenever and however she needs! It is my hope that some day it will be for President in a time that is good for her, good for her family and at God's dictate! I KNOW it will be good for the Country!