Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Palin's Korea Mixup: "We Gotta Stand With Our North Korean Allies"

12:39 p.m. PSTNovember 24, 2010

Palin was asked during an interview with how she would handle the current situation between North and South Korea.

NEW YORK -- Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin accidentally mixed up North and South Korea during a radio interview Wednesday.

Palin was asked during an interview with Glenn Beck how she would handle the current situation between North and South Korea.

"Obviously we gotta stand with our North Korean allies," she said. "We are bound to treaties."

A few moments earlier Palin had correctly identified North Korea as an adversary, not an ally.

"We aren't having a lot of faith that the White House is gonna come out with a strong enough policy to sanction what it is that North Korea is gonna do."

Debate about the nation's policy in Korea has been fueled by North Korea's recent barrage on the island of Yeonpyeong that killed two South Korean civilians, two marines and wounded 18 others in what U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called one of the "gravest incidents" since the Korean War.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Donald Trump considers taking on Palin in presidential bid

11/18/10 - USA Today
By Evan Agostini, AP

Donald Trump is getting more serious about his run for the presidency in 2012.

"I am thinking about things," he told George Stephanopolous in an interview on Good Morning America this morning. "I love what I'm doing, but it could be fun because I'd like to see some positive things happen for the country. ... We cannot let the rest of the wrold beat us up. We're like a whipping post right now."

Trump, who said last month he was considering running, launched a website - - on Friday to gauge interest in him as a candidate. He said on GMA he is a Republican and would run as a Republican.

What about Sarah Palin? "She's very interesting. Don't underestimate her," he said. So, he'd be running against her? "If I ran, I would have no choice. I'd take her on. I like her, but I'd take her on." Trump said he will make a decision by June.

Sarah Palin: I Could Beat President Obama in 2012

November 18, 2010 | Poll Vault

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been named one of Barbara Walter's 10 Most Fascinating People of 2010. During the special, set to air December 9, Palin said she has a shot at becoming the first female US President.
"I'm looking at the lay of the land now," Palin said. "Trying to figure that out, if it's a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it's a good thing."
When asked by Walters if she could beat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, Palin replied, "I believe so."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sarah Palin, the Truth Called. It Wants Its Books Back

John Shore
Award-winning author and blogger

Being honest is a good starting point in building trust. - Sarah Palin

On a Barnes & Noble display table I came across yesterday, a short stack of the paperback edition of Sarah Palin's Going Rogue.

(You know how at a Barnes and Noble, or at any big bookstore, they have all those books displayed on tables? No one who works at the store decided to put those books where they are. Book publishers pay a great deal of money to have their books so displayed. The closer the table is to the front of the store, the more it costs. Rather than honest recommendations, those books represent paid advertising space. Isn't that... special?)

I've never before looked at Palin's book. But in passing it yesterday, I noticed that on its cover, following Palin's name, there was no "with" or "and."

You know, as in "with Lynn Vincent," or "and Lynn Vincent." As in acknowledging Lynn Vincent, who was Palin's co-author on the book.

Everyone in the book business knows that Lynn Vincent had a great deal to do with writing Going Rogue. And few if any of them at all sweat that; they all know that it's practically unheard of for Famous People to write their own books. Writing is, after all, exceedingly difficult -- so difficult, in fact, that it's a given that no one has time to master writing and do whatever they did to make themselves famous enough for a publisher to gamble that they can make a lot of money from a book with their name and face on its cover.

Besides, who really cares about the writing of a book? That's a detail handled readily enough. You can always hire someone (like me, actually) to tend to that for you.

Though a book's denoted author and publisher might naturally enough care to downplay the fact that it had a co-author, they always at least acknowledge that co-author. You see it on the cover of countless books: [Famous Person -- in big type] with or and [person you've never heard of -- in small type]. (By the way, there's a world of difference between that with and and. But... too much detail, I'm sure.)

If a publisher and author really want to hide a co-author's involvement with a book, they can include the co-author's name nowhere on the book besides its copyright page. But that's the bare minimum acknowledgment. Outside of using invisible ink, there's no lesser way to include a co-author's name.

Lynn Vincent -- who, again, was, shall we say, extremely instrumental in the writing of Going Rogue -- didn't even get that. Her name's most definitely not on the book's cover -- and on the book's copyright page (which you can view right here) it says nothing but "Copyright, 2009, Sarah Palin."

That's it. One author listed. (And that is the author's call, by the way. If Palin wanted Lynn Vincent's name on the cover or copyright page of her book, you can trust it would be there.)

It's no secret that Lynn Vincent's writing was literally indispensable to Going Rogue. While Vincent was working on that book, she and I were both on the "faculty" of a Christian writer's conference. She was the full-on rock star of that conference: she was collaborating on Sarah Palin's much-awaited book!

She actually knew Sarah Palin! In fact, she had actually left being holed up with Palin to attend the conference! Sarah Palin was actually waiting for her to get back!

Can you imagine what that's like to a bunch of would-be (Christian) authors? People were positively swooning around Ms. Vincent, who seemed a nice person. Very sweet.

She did, however, tell us in no uncertain terms that she wasn't free to say much if anything about Going Rogue. She intimated that its publisher had made it very clear she'd be in hot water if she did.

Here is Lynn Vincent's personal Web site, which she uses to promote her services as a co-author.

The most famous book she's ever worked on -- one of the best-selling books in the country -- isn't even listed.

I'm no particular fan of Sarah Palin's; I think she's no more suited for public office than I am to being a prison guard. And if she ever gets elected to anything more than winkin' slogan-slinger, I'd be very happy to be proven wrong about that.

But this is a woman who sells herself on how forthright, and morally upstanding she is. And yet, she's very clearly done virtually all she can to take full credit for a book she didn't even write -- one that's all about her.

Palin has a new book out next month: America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag. It "celebrates the enduring strengths and virtues that have made this country great."

Though acknowledging that America by Heart will have a collaborating writer, this time around HarperCollins (who also did Going Rogue) is keeping entirely mum about that writer's identity.

They do, however, assure us that the book is written in Palin's "own refreshingly candid voice."

[Update: I've just learned that Lynn Vincent's name does appear in Going Rogue. At the end of the book, under Acknowledgments, in the middle of the fourth paragraph down (after Palin has thanked thirty-seven other people -- and a few sentences down from "I appreciate the opportunity to write a book!"), we read, "Thanks as well to Lynn Vincent for her indispensable help in getting the words on paper." I'm actually astounded more by such a buried, cursory, and calculatingly dismissive reference to the book's ghostwriter (what a difference there is between writing and helping to "get the words on paper"), than I was to think that Palin had chosen to simply ignore Vincent altogether.]

Watch Sarah Palin Desecrate a Flag

A Guardian reporter interviewed Sarah Palin while she was giving autographs to her fans. Sarah put her Sharpie marker on a book, a hat, and an American flag. The latter of which is against the law!

Salon blogger Emma Mustich caught the flag desecration at 1:35 in the below video. Palin autographs a star-spangled banner, then waves it and smiles.

According to extant law, "The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature." Rallying against flag desecration is a perennial right-wing rabble-rousing technique, but I have it on good authority that Sarah Palin—who once wrote a book about "family, faith, and flag"—had her fingers crossed when she did this, so it's probably fine. Just stand in front of a mirror at midnight and chant "Bloody Hussein Obama" three times, and all sins against state will disappear.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Whither Sarah Palin? (And four other storylines to watch in today's primaries)

By Chris Cillizza | August 24, 2010; 7:44 AM ET

With Arizona, Alaska, Florida, Vermont and Oklahoma voters heading to the polls in the last major primaries of the summer, we at the Fix are turning our Morning Fix over to five storylines to keep an eye on in these states.

1. Whither Palin?: Outside of the candidates actually on the ballot today, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin probably has the most to gain or lose in the results.

Palin has endorsed four candidates running today: Sen. John McCain, Joe Miller in the Alaska Senate race, Allen West in Florida's 22nd district and Paul Gosar in Arizona's 1st district.

Out of that quartet, McCain and West look like sure winners and Gosar is favored. Palin deserves real credit for helping McCain weather a difficult patch in his primary race against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth; she campaigned for her 2008 ticketmate back in the spring when he appeared to be in genuine peril, testifying to his conservative bona fides.

Palin's endorsement successes today will likely be overshadowed by a likely failure in Alaska where Miller, an attorney, looks to be headed to a convincing loss against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R).

Palin's decision to wade into the primary race in her home state was always somewhat puzzling. Murkowski is not beloved among all Alaska conservatives but neither did she create the sort of animosity within the base that a Sen. Bob Bennett, for example, did in Utah.

Many neutral observers chalked up Palin's decision to get involved in the race to a longstanding tension between the Murkowskis and the Palins; Palin beat Murkowski's father, Frank, in the 2006 gubernatorial primary.

Whatever the reason, a Miller defeat is sure to be painted as a blow for Palin with the "she can't even get someone elected in Alaska" storyline too obvious for most of the media to resist.

And, it comes at a time when Palin's endorsement strategy -- to the extent that one exists -- has fallen on hard times. Since June 8 when Palin-endorsed candidates Carly Fiorina in California and state Rep. Nikki Haley in South Caroline won contested primaries -- wins clearly aided by the former Alaska governor's support -- her preferred candidates have struggled.

Palin has endorsed 13 candidates in primaries since June 8 and has just three wins (Tom Emmer in the Minnesota governor's race, Mary Fallin in the Oklahoma governors race and John Koster in Washington's 2nd district) to show for it. Her candidates have lost high profile governor's races in Georgia and Wyoming during that time.

Palin won't likely get the credit she deserves for stabilizing McCain and will get more blame than is fair for Miller's expected loss. But, with the narrative already being built that her endorsement power is waning, a defeat in her own political backyard won't be helpful to her 2012 prospects.

2. Self Funders' Fates: The Florida Democratic Senate race and Republican gubernatorial primary each feature a free-spending self-funder trying to use millions to get to the party nomination.

Businessman Rick Scott in the Republican gubernatorial primary seems to have the better chance and had spent more money while billionaire real estate developer Jeff Greene, who is running in the Democratic Senate race, has been hamstrung by amazingly bad press.

Both men jumped into their respective races late in the game (in Greene's case, mere hours before the filing deadline) and both have the kind of baggage that would sink most typical candidacies; Greene has had to contend with a steady drip of negative press surrounding his financial dealings and lavish lifestyle, while Scott has fended off
questions about a fraud scandal surrounding his former company, Columbia/HCA.

But as demonstrated by their spending, neither man could be described as a "typical" candidate. Scott has pumped nearly $40 million into his bid against state Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) while Greene has poured $23 million into his race against Rep. Kendrick Meek (D).

Self funders have a short -- and not very successful history in the state and Greene seems almost certain to wind up not making a very good investment in himself. Polling is all over the place in the governor's race and those following the race closely acknowledge either man could win.

If both Scott and Greene lose, they'll serve as evidence of a storyline that's played out in
countless other races: even spending vast amounts of money on TV advertisements can be enough to overcome severe weaknesses as a candidate.

3. Party Unity: Given the nastiness of the two Florida races, party unity will be a buzzword come Wednesday morning as each contest will be hotly contested this fall.

For Republicans, McCollum has the backing of most of the party establishment and Scott has down everything he can to thumb his nose at the institutional forces lined up behind his opponent.

The Republican Governors Association has stayed out of the race, but it took the unusual step last week of calling on Scott to take down an ad that tied McCollum to indicted former state Republican Party chairman Jim Greer -- a move that signals that national Republicans have become increasingly worried that Scott's attacks crossed the line.
Recent polling suggests that the extended and nasty attacks that McCollum and Scott have traded have hurt both men. The latest Quinnipiac poll showed Scott's unfavorable rating at 40 percent; McCollum wasn't much better at 37 percent.

If Scott wins, how quickly -- if at all-- will state (and national) Republicans rally
around him given that state CFO Alex Sink (D) is gaining momentum thanks to the bruising GOP primary ? What will the RGA do? (Worth noting: One plus for the RGA if Scott wins is that his ability to self-finance may save the committee some tough financial decisions in the very expensive Sunshine State.)

Meanwhile, Greene has tried to score political points by highlighting the fact that Meek has yet to say whether he would support the billionaire if he wound up as the nominee. (Meek -- again -- refused to say in an appearance on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" yesterday whether he'd support Greene as the nominee.

Greene failed to gain any traction on the issue, however, and given that he seems headed to a double-digit loss today, it's likely a moot point.

More interesting is what -- if anything -- national Democrats do in the immediate aftermath of Meek's win to show whether or not they will put any money behind his candidacy in the fall. Our betting is they ultimately won't spend money in a race they remain unconvinced he can win -- but they may not make that decision public right after a Meek win.

4. Do Republicans get their preferred candidates?: A number of House candidates with either the overt or behind the scenes backing of the national Republican party face very tough primaries on Tuesday.

Washington Republicans have been rooting for businessman Bruce O'Donoghue to win the primary and with it the right to face 8th district Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.). Ditto businessman Craig Miller or Winter Park City Commissioner Karen Diebel in the primary to face 24th district Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.), former state Sen. Jonathan Paton to face Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), and dentist Paul Gosar to face Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz).

O'Donoghue faces someone the national GOP initially tried to recruit - former state Sen. Daniel Webster - among others. But O'Donoghue has struggled on the campaign trail, while Webster has the backing of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Miller and Diebel (also backed by Huckabee) are both at the second stage of the NRCC's "Young Guns" program for top candidates, but a third candidate, state Rep. Sandy Adams, could factor into the race.

In Arizona, Paton faces Iraq veteran Jesse Kelly, and Gosar who has the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, faces a bevy of Republicans, including 2008 nominee Sydney Hay.

Florida state Rep. David Rivera, who is a top member of the Young Guns program, is not expected to have a problem winning the GOP nomination in the state's 25th district, which Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) is vacating to run for the 21st district of his retiring brother and Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R). But Rivera has run into problems in recent days and Democrats will likely seize on any sign of weakness in a battleground open seat were 2008 nominee Joe Garcia will be the party's nominee.

5. Incumbents likely safe: No incumbents are expected to lose today. Nonetheless, it will be worth watching to see how four of them - Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) - fare.

McCain has blown former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) out of the water with a $21 million primary spending blitz. A July poll showed McCain leading by 35 points. It's hard to see him winning by that much given the deep animosity within some segments of the GOP base toward him but anything beyond 20 points would be a pretty strong statement.

Murkowski is in a pretty similar situation. She hasn't spent near as much as McCain, but attorney Joe Miller hadn't even crested $200,000 in spending in his pre-primary report with the Federal Election Commission.

Boyd, who holds a conservative Florida Panhandle seat, has taken a McCain-like approach to his primary challenge from state Sen. Al Lawson who is black; the inucumbent has dropped $2.2 million on the race so far although much of Boyd's spending has been geared toward a tough impending general election race.

Young, who nearly lost his 2008 primary to now-Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, looks to be in stronger shape this time around. He faces businessman Sheldon Fisher, who has spent about one-quarter of the $600,000 Young has dropped on the race. Young also got a boost earlier this month when the Justice Department dropped its investigation of him.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sarah Palin Blames Environmentalists For Gulf Oil Disaster

In her latest note on Facebook, Sarah Palin is blaming "extreme 'environmentalists'" for causing the gulf oil disaster that has been unfolding for over a month. Her logic is that because environmentalists push for tougher drilling regulations onshore in places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (also known as ANWR) it forces oil companies to explore deeper offshore drilling which has more risks.

Palin writes:

With [environmentalists'] nonsensical efforts to lock up safer drilling areas, all you're doing is outsourcing energy development, which makes us more controlled by foreign countries, less safe, and less prosperous on a dirtier planet. Your hypocrisy is showing. You're not preventing environmental hazards; you're outsourcing them and making drilling more dangerous.
Extreme deep water drilling is not the preferred choice to meet our country's energy needs, but your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas. It's catching up with you. The tragic, unprecedented deep water Gulf oil spill proves it.

You can read her full note on Facebook here.

This is one of several comments about the oil spill Palin has made that has caused a stir, including a tweet in which she said we said we shouldn't trust BP because it is a foreign oil company. Palin's husband Todd worked for BP for 18 years.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sarah Palin Says "Drill, Baby, Drill" Was Right, Backs Alaska Senate Challenger

Posted by Brian Montopoli

Sarah Palin today took to social networks to make the case that the GOP slogan "Drill, baby, drill" was right despite the oil leak in the Gulf - and to endorse a challenger to an Alaska senator with whom she has had a rocky relationship.

Palin wrote the following on Twitter: "Extreme Greenies:see now why we push'drill,baby,drill'of known reserves&promising finds in safe onshore places like ANWR? Now do you get it?"

What Palin appears to be arguing is that is that the oil spill shows that it makes sense to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which, she suggests, is safer than offshore drilling.

Of course, Palin has always maintained that offshore drilling is safe - and has in fact called for such drilling to be expanded.(She later expanded on the argument, writing to environmentalists that "Extreme deep water drilling is not the preferred choice to meet our country's energy needs, but your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas.")

On Facebook, meanwhile, Palin posted an endorsement of Senate challenger and former federal Magistrate Judge Joe Miller. Miller is taking on Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary.

"I share Joe's belief that we are at a critical time in our nation's history and the status quo will no longer do," she wrote. "Unfortunately, Lisa Murkowski and much of the political establishment have recently evolved into being a bigger part of the big government problem in Washington, and they've strayed from the principles upon which they had espoused."

Palin, whose political action committee had donated to Murkowski's campaign, denies in the post that there is "some sort of feud or bad blood between Lisa and myself." But it's worth noting that the two are not exactly close: When Palin resigned as Alaska governor midway through her term, Murkowski put out a very terse statement about how she was "disappointed" that Palin quit on Alaskans.

And that's not where the differences began: Palin gained the governorship by defeating Lisa Murkowski's father Frank, the Republican incumbent, in the 2006 election. More recently, the two split over John Bitney, Murkowski's current campaign manager.

As CBS News' Scott Conroy reports, in her book "Going Rogue," Palin describes Bitney, who orchestrated her successful 2006 gubernatorial campaign and went on to become a top aide in her administration, as hopelessly inept, after the two had a personal falling out. Palin even goes as far as to denigrate Bitney, who remains well respected in Alaska politics, as "a Blackberry games addict who couldn't seem to keep his lunch off his tie."

Speaking of Murkowski in her Facebook post, Palin writes, "I've always wished her well, but it is my firm belief that we need a bold reformer who is not afraid to stand up to special interests and take on the tough challenges of our time. Joe Miller has stepped forward."

"Joe is unashamedly and unequivocally pro-life; Lisa is not and has voted to use taxpayer funds to support abortions and embryonic stem cell research," Palin writes. "Joe is against granting amnesty to illegal immigrants; Lisa has voted for it. Joe is against cap and trade...Lisa believes Al Gore's insistence that man-made global warming is fact, so she's on record as being open to cap and trade legislation to address weather changes."

"These are just some of the major differences between these two candidates," she adds. "I believe Joe is the better choice for Alaskans."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Palin: Obama Would Ban Guns If He Could


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin warned NRA members Friday that President Obama wants to gut the Second Amendment and told a separate gathering that "mama grizzlies" will help Republicans win this November, sweeping away the Democratic agenda.

Palin, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, told National Rifle Association members during their annual meeting that the only thing stopping Obama and his Democratic allies from trying to ban guns is political backlash.

"Don't doubt for a minute that, if they thought they could get away with it, they would ban guns and ban ammunition and gut the Second Amendment," said Palin, a lifelong NRA member who once had a baby shower at a local gun range in Alaska. "It's the job of all of us at the NRA and its allies to stop them in their tracks."

Palin, the GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee, also praised tea party activism as a "beautiful movement," drawing a rousing applause from thousands of NRA members who gathered in an arena used by the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.

During an event earlier Friday in Washington sponsored by an anti-abortion group, she challenged Republican women to help the GOP "take this country back" and elect anti-abortion lawmakers. She praised female leaders of the tea party movement and invoked the 2008 acceptance speech where she compared herself to a pit bull.

"You don't want to mess with moms who are rising up," Palin said at the Susan B. Anthony List event. "If you thought pit bulls were tough, you don't want to mess with mama grizzlies."

Palin said she understood how some women might consider abortion, citing her own experiences as the mother of a child with Down syndrome and the parent of an unwed teen mother. Last year, Palin said that "for a fleeting moment" she considered having an abortion when she learned of her son Trig's prognosis.

But she said Friday that abortion is morally wrong and women should carry a fetus to term.

"It may not be the easiest path, but it's always the right path," she said.

She said Obama is "the most pro-abortion president ever to occupy the White House" and asserted that the health care law would fund abortions.

In fact, Obama's health care law would not allow federal dollars to pay for elective abortions. Catholic hospitals and organizations of Catholic nuns backed the measure. U.S. Catholic bishops and major anti-abortion groups opposed it, arguing that federal dollars could end up paying for abortions.

Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, said Palin talks a good game, but her version of what American women want doesn't honor freedom and independence. She mentioned the Democratic lawmakers whom Palin had targeted for their votes for health care overhaul.

"First she puts targets on their back, then she wants the government in their bedrooms — what is Sarah Palin doing to Western women?" said Schriock. EMILY'S List helps candidates who back abortion rights.

Palin also criticized the media, singling out their coverage of her daughter Bristol, whose pregnancy was announced days after Palin was named the vice presidential nominee. Bristol Palin is a single mother who works on an abstinence-only campaign.

She said some young women would see what happened to Bristol and perhaps be encouraged to seek an abortion instead of facing similar criticism.

Palin also said Friday that the United States should continue to drill for oil despite the Gulf spill. She made the comments in an interview with ABC News.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sarah Palin: American Law Should Be 'Based On The God Of The Bible And The Ten Commandments'

Sarah Palin joined Fox News's Bill O'Reilly recently to condemn the critics of the National Day of Prayer, saying that the Judeo-Christian belief was the basis for American law and should continue to be used as a guiding force for creating future legislation.

According to Palin, the recent backlash against the National Day of Prayer is proof that some people are trying to enact a "fundamental transformation of America" and to "revisit and rewrite history" in order to shift the Christian nation away from its spiritual roots.

Palins's advice: "Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant -- they're quite clear -- that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the ten commandments.

"What in hell scares people about talking about America's foundation of faith?" Palin continued. "It is that world view that involves some people being afraid of being able to discuss our foundation, being able to discuss God in the public square, that's the only thing I can attribute it to."

Palin had also recently criticized the decision to dis-invite the Rev. Franklin Graham from a Pentagon prayer service over concerns about his past inflammatory rhetoric about Islam, saying it was driven by a desire to be overly politically correct.

WATCH the interview:

Sarah Palin 2012 Opposed By Majority Of Alaskans

Sam Stein | HuffPost Reporting

A majority of Alaskans would oppose Sarah Palin if she were to run for the presidency in 2012, according to some intriguing if not surprising poll numbers released on Tuesday.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Alaska found 48 percent of respondents said they would not vote for their former governor in a 2012 presidential election. Just 41 percent said they would vote for Palin. Eleven percent said they were undecided.

Rasmussen posits that Alaskans generally are worried that a Palin presidential candidacy would be bad for the state's image -- pointing to 45 percent of respondents who said her candidacy would reflect negatively on the state. By and large, however, the numbers seem to be a reflection of the deep unease the state has with its once beloved governor, who has become a far more divisive and partisan figure since being tapped as John McCain's running mate. Fifty percent of Alaskans had an unfavorable view of Palin (including 37 percent who had a "Very Unfavorable" view).

On a separate front, public opinion does seem to be trending in the president's favor. A poll released by Public Policy Polling, found that, for the first time since October, a majority of Americans expressed approval with the job that Barack Obama is doing.

Fifty percent gave him good marks while 46 percent expressed disapproval. PPP suggests that the numbers may be due in part to the end of the heated health care debate (though the favorable/unfavorable numbers of the legislation passed by congress remain largely the same). Another factor, it seems like, has been generally good news on the labor front, with the economy adding 290,000 jobs in the month of April.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Discarded Palin contract sparks investigation

Associated Press Writer

A document fished out of a California state university trash bin last week has prompted a state investigation into the university's foundation arm and its refusal to disclose details related to Sarah Palin's upcoming speech at the school.

On Tuesday, California Attorney General Jerry Brown said his office would look into the finances of the California State University, Stanislaus Foundation, as well as allegations that the nonprofit organization violated public disclosure laws by keeping details of Palin's contract secret.

Palin is scheduled to speak at a June 25 gala hosted by the foundation to mark the university's 50th anniversary.

Brown's investigation was prompted, in part, by a group of CSU Stanislaus students who retrieved five pages of the contract from a campus trash bin last Friday after hearing administrators were engaged in shredding documents.

The contract detailed the former Alaska governor's requirements for her visit, including first-class flights from Anchorage to California - if she flies commercial. If not, "the private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger ...," the contract specifies.

Palin also must be provided with a suite and two single rooms in a deluxe hotel near the campus in Turlock in the Central Valley. During her speech, her lectern must be stocked with two water bottles and bendable straws.

The document, dated March 16, does not include compensation details for Palin, who commands speaking fees as high as $100,000. Her appearance at the university gala is expected to draw a large crowd, with tickets selling for $500 each.

"This is not about Sarah Palin," Brown said in a prepared statement Tuesday. "The issues are public disclosure and financial accountability in organizations embedded in state-run universities."

The foundation has previously denied requests by The Associated Press and state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, to disclose Palin's compensation package under the California Public Records Act.

Foundation board president Matt Swanson did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Brown's investigation. He previously told the AP that the contract's strict nondisclosure clause prevented him from sharing it, and that university foundations and other auxiliary organizations were not subject to the same public records requirements as the university itself.

Swanson has said Palin's fee and accommodations will be covered entirely by private donations, not state funds.

Jason Recher, a spokesman for Palin, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The students who found the contract document said they acted on a tip that documents were being shredded at the campus administration building on a day when staff members were supposed to be on furlough.

Alicia Lewis, 26, was one of the students who went to investigate. The building was locked and gated, but the students were able to retrieve piles of paperwork, including the contract document, from a nearby trash bin, Lewis said.

Russell Giambelluca, the university's vice president of business and finance, said Tuesday that no one at the university was advised to destroy specific foundation documents, and staff members routinely shred and dispose of paperwork that is no longer needed.

Regarding the excerpt of Palin's contract, he said: "I find it interesting that among shredded documents you find one that's completely intact related to the contract."

Lewis and another student, Ashli Briggs, traveled to Sacramento Tuesday to give Brown office material they said had been thrown out, including two boxes of documents and two trash bags filled with shredded files.

"This is our little Watergate in the state of California," Yee said Tuesday.

Read more:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Sarah Palin Avoids Traditional Prep for 2012 Run

Posted by Brian Montopoli

Sarah Palin may be keeping in the public eye, but behind the scenes she isn't keeping up with her rivals when it comes to laying the groundwork for a potential 2012 presidential run: Palin has largely avoided recruiting the fundraisers that have traditionally been necessary for a serious run at the White House.

That isn't to say she hasn't stayed involved in politics: Palin last week stumped for her former running mate John McCain, and she has continued to weigh in on issues on her Facebook page. She has also unveiled a so-called "target list" of vulnerable Democrats her political action committee is looking to defeat in November and made regular appearances as a contributor on Fox News.

But while potential GOP primary rivals Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty work behind the scenes to garner institutional support from within the Republican Party, Palin has opted to focus largely on other affairs, including her planned television show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska."(She is also hosting a Fox News special Thursday night called "Real American Stories."

Romney is currently on what amounts to a sort of warm-up presidential run, selling his new book at appearances around the country. The latest stop: Iowa, traditionally the first state on the primary and caucus calendar, where he hosted a fundraiser for the state Republican Party and met with the state GOP chairman.

Pawlenty, the governor of Minnesota, has been on the road more than one of every three days during the state's latest legislative session, according to Minnesota Public Radio. Most of the trips have been for political purposes, including fundraising and speeches criticizing the Obama administration.

Palin, by contrast, has largely opted to give paid speeches and has sought the mantle of the Tea Party movement, with which the GOP continues to have an uneasy relationship. She made news Tuesday when a group demanded to know how much she was being paid for a planned speech at California State University.

Palin's inner circle remains small and notably devoid of representatives of establishment Washington Republicanism, with the exception of Fred Malek, who was the finance chairman of John McCain's 2008 campaign. Her apparent new press contact, Doug McMarlin, is a partner at a consulting firm based in Ohio who is not as plugged into the Washington media scene as the communications directors for Romney and Pawlenty.

This isn't to say the Palin isn't planning a run -- or even, in an unconventional way, positioning herself for one, potentially on the backs of the Tea Party protesters who have been the most energized segment of the American electorate for the past year.

But at this point she has very little institutional support among Republicans, and that may not bode well for a run at the White House. In 2000, John McCain ran for the White House as a GOP outsider and was ultimately defeated by the establishment candidate, George W. Bush. When he decided to run in 2008, McCain determined that he could not win without winning over the establishment -- and he promptly set out to do so.

As the race for the Republican 2012 presidential nomination heats up, keep an eye on Palin to see whether she makes the same calculation.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Palin Crossed Border For Canadian Health Care

Sam Stein – Mon Mar 8, 12:26 pm ET

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- who has gone to great lengths to hype the supposed dangers of a big government takeover of American health care -- admitted over the weekend that she used to get her treatment in Canada's single-payer system.

"We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada," Palin said in her first Canadian appearance since stepping down as governor of Alaska. "And I think now, isn't that ironic?"

The irony, one guesses, is that Palin now views Canada's health care system as revolting: with its government-run administration and 'death-panel'-like rationing. Clearly, however, she and her family once found it more alluring than, at the very least, the coverage available in rural Alaska. Up to the age of six, Palin lived in a remote town near the closest Canadian city, Whitehorse.

Officials at several hospitals in that area declined to give out information on patient visits.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Colbert: "Sarah Palin Is A F--king Retard" (VIDEO)

Using Sarah Palin's defense of Rush Limbaugh against her, last night Stephen Colbert proudly pronounced that "Sarah Palin is a f--king retard."

After mocking Palin's speech at the Tea Party Convention (taking the obligatory jabs at the notes on her hand) Colbert moved on to Palin's reaction to Rahm Emanuel's use of the word "retard." Palin not only called for his Emanuel's firing, but also defended Rush Limbaugh's use of the word, deeming it acceptable because it was satire.

After playing the clip of Limbaugh's "subtle" satire, Colbert jumped on the opportunity that his own satirical show presented. An opportunity to call Palin a "f--king retard." Colbert added that her reasoning also explained the note on her other hand: "Retard = sometimes funny."

Sarah Palin Hand Notes Earn Criticism

By Meena Kar
Nashville, Feb 9, (THAINDIAN NEWS)

The former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, who was the candidate for vice-presidential race has come under the limelight, after making a speech during the National Tea Party Convention, on Saturday. As per the reports, the veteran Republican, who had mocked President Barack Obama for his dependence on teleprompter scripted the main points of her Tea Party speech on hand. It has been reported that Sarah Palin, who presented a brilliant speech to motivate people referred to her hand notes so that she does not forget the main issues that she needs to highlight on the occasion.

Reports indicate that people who had gathered to listen Sarah Palin’s speech had not noticed that she had jotted down some notes on her hand. It has been reported that some media representatives noticed this brilliant act of the politician and snapped photographs. When they zoomed the images, they had found some words like, “Lift Americans Spirits”, “Tax”, “Budget Cuts” and “Energy” were written on her palm. The news that Sarah Palin had scripted the major highlights of her speech on hand, once again indicated her as an ‘unorganized’ politician, who is not sure of what she needs to say, when she addresses her countrymen in a meeting.

Sarah Palin is one of the most prominent Republican politicians of the country and it is quite surprising that she used notes while addressing people in a meeting. Though the reports that Sarah Palin referred to hand notes in the Tea Party Convention speech has gained huge attention, no one has yet made any comment on this issue. Sarah Palin also has not responded to this news.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Nation: Fox's New Star, Sarah Palin, May Be Dim


January 13, 2010
Here's another notion with regard to Sarah Palin:

Maybe it isn't fair to focus on her mean-spirited and ridiculously partisan statements.

Maybe it isn't right to harp about her wildly irresponsible assessments of political foes — and even of former political allies.

Maybe it isn't wise to note all of her missteps and misstatements as if they are evidence of a cavalier approach to politics and governing.

Maybe, just maybe, Palin is doing the best she can.

Maybe the woman who has just signed on as a Fox News contributor is not quite the bright star her supporters imagine and her critics fear. Maybe she is just a little bit dimmer than we thought.

That's the clear implication of the passages in the new book of the 2008 presidential election, Game Change, by veteran political reporters John Heilemann (New York magazine) and Mark Halperin (Time magazine).

In the book, and in a CBS "60 Minutes" interview, 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain's senior adviser, Steve Schmidt, describes Palin as a stunningly inept and ill-prepared contender for the vice presidency.

Schmidt portrays a rushed process that saw the selection of a political neophyte who was essentially ignorant regarding U.S. history and "a broad spectrum of national-security issues."

"Her foreign policy tutors are literally taking her through, 'This is World War I, this is World War II, this is the Korean War,'" Heilemann explained on "60 Minutes." "This is the — how the Cold War worked. Steve Schmidt had gone to them and said, 'She knows nothing.'"

Palin either did not know truth from fiction, or did not care to distinguish the two, according to Schmidt.

"There were numerous instances that she said things that were — that were not accurate that ultimately, the campaign had to deal with," the McCain aide recalls. "And that opened the door to criticism that she was being untruthful and inaccurate. And I think that that is something that continues to this day."

As an example, Schmidt reflected on Palin's response to an official inquiry that detailed her ethical lapses as governor of Alaska: "She went out and said that, you know, 'This report completely exonerates me.' And in fact, it didn't. You know, it's the equivalent of saying down is up and up is down. It was provably, demonstrably untrue."

McCain aides who were preparing the first-term governor of Alaska for her sole debate with Democratic vice presidential nominee, Joe Biden, were reportedly horrified by Palin's ignorance and lack of focus.

Schmidt recalled a frantic staffer calling his after failed attempts to ready the party's nominee for a face-off with one of the most experienced members of the U.S. Senate.

"(The aide) told us that the debate was going to be a debacle of historic and epic proportions," Schmidt said. "He told us she was not focused. She was not engaged. She was really not participating in the prep."

Among the problems: Palin was unable to remember Joe Biden's name.

Confusing the Democratic presidential and vice presidential nominees, Palin constantly referred to Biden as "O'Biden."

Conscious of the threat of new Tina Fey parodies on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," McCain aides came up with a strategy to avoid having Palin mention Biden's last name.

"It was multiple people — and I wasn't one of them — who all said at the same time, 'Just say, "Can I call you Joe?",' which she did," recounts Schmidt.

Even with the ruse, Palin still referred to her opponent as "O'Biden" at one point in the debate.

So how did Palin end up on the GOP ticket?

McCain and his aides had been leaning toward Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-Independent who backed the Republican nominee, as a prospective running mate. But they feared rabidly right-wing delegates might revolt on the convention floor and divide the party.

McCain's campaign manager trolled the Internet – paying special attention to YouTube videos – in search of a woman who might make a good running-mate. He stumbled across a video of a peppy Palin, liked what he saw, and things progressed rapidly from there.

With almost no vetting, Palin was added to the ticket.

She reacted calmly to this remarkable development, telling Schmidt it was "God's plan."

How did the plan work out?

Schmidt would not say whether he made a mistake, although he suggests that a "Palin for President" run in 2012 would be a nightmare for the GOP.

Rather, the McCain aide suggests that Palin ultimately helped by energizing the party's conservative base. "I believe, had she not been on the ticket our margin of defeat would've been greater than it would've been otherwise," says Schmidt.

On this point, he is half right.

Palin was, undoubtedly, a more appealing running-mate than Lieberman. But what if McCain had picked someone who could speak boldly and effectively about economic issues from a corporate and managerial perspective, such as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney? Wouldn't that have helped when the economy melted down two weeks after the GOP convention concluded?

Or what if McCain had picked a genuine maverick, like South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, who might have steered the campaign toward opposition to what turned out to be an exceptionally unpopular bailout of big banks and Wall Street speculators? Wouldn't that have helped the Republicans build a more muscular campaign than the suggestion that it would be cool to have a "hockey mom" one heartbeat away from an aging president?

Of course, there will be Palin defenders who want to suggest that she really is a smart cookie.

But their case is undermined by Palin's whiny (and ghost-written) autobiography, as well as her bumbling mid-term exit from Alaska's governorship.

In the end, Democrats should probably hope that GOP diehards dismiss the warnings coming from Schmidt and other McCain aides and proceed with their Palin passion.

But the latest revelations suggest that Americans, no matter what their partisan affiliation or ideology, would be wise to consider the prospect that the Republican party and the republic might be better served by a 2012 nominee who could remember how to pronounce Joe Biden's name.