Conventional wisdom states that only twice in recent memory have Vice Presidential candidates swung elections: Lyndon Johnson helping John Kennedy win and Thomas Eagleton causing George McGovern to lose in the most lopsided election in American history.
Sarah Palin stands ready to become the new Thomas Eagleton, an albatross around the neck of John McCain that calls into serious doubt his ability to make decisions. There are three major reasons for my saying this:
Troopergate: The is significent evidence that Sarah Palin misused her authority as govenor of Alaska.
Anchorage Daily News, August 14th, 2008- "Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday revealed an audio
recording that shows an aide pressuring the Public Safety Department to
fire a state trooper embroiled in a custody battle with her sister.
Palin, who has previously said her administration didn't exert pressure
to get rid of trooper Mike Wooten, also disclosed that members of her
staff had made about two dozen contacts with public safety officials
about the trooper.
"I do now have to tell Alaskans that such
pressure could have been perceived to exist although I have only now
become aware of it," Palin said.
Palin said her decision to fire Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan
last month had nothing to do with his refusal to dump trooper Mike
The governor said evidence
of what she called a "smoking gun" conversation, and other calls made
by her aides, only recently surfaced as the attorney general started an
inquiry at her request into the circumstances surrounding her firing of
Monegan. Palin wanted the review because a special investigator hired
by the Legislature is about to investigate the firing and a legislator
has been quoted in a newspaper story talking about impeachment."
Bold is mine for emphasis. Yeah, if you acknowledge that your staff made at least twenty-four phone calls to get your ex-brother-in-law fired, there MIGHT be the perception that you exerted pressure. I am sure that all good Republicans will believe that Walt Monegan's firing when he refused to illegally fire a State Trooper with a clean record was just a remarkable coincidence......
Lets see what Mr. Monegan said: "A few days later, Monegan came forward, stating that he had been pressured by those around Palin to fire Wooten -- but had refused to do so -- a choice that he believes led to his sudden dismissal. Palin denied Monegan's accusations, and a Legislative Council has appointed a special commission to probe the matter."
In an attampt to diffuse the matter, Palin has asked the State Attorney General, who reports to her, to investigate her, in addition to the special prosecutor already hired by the Legislature.
Bridge to Nowhere: Palin's highly touted cost-cutting measure will not stand up to public scrutiny.
Boston Herald, August 31st, 2008- "When John McCain introduced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running
mate Friday, her reputation as a tough-minded budget-cutter was front
"I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere,"
Palin told the cheering McCain crowd, referring to Ketchikan’s Gravina
Island bridge in Alaska.
But Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it.
The Alaska governor campaigned in 2006 on a build-the-bridge
platform, telling Ketchikan residents she felt their pain when
politicians called them "nowhere." They’re still feeling pain today in
Ketchikan, over Palin’s subsequent decision to use the bridge funds for
other projects - and over the timing of her announcement, which they
say came in a pre-dawn press release that seemed aimed at national news
"I think that’s when the campaign for national office began," said Ketchikan mayor Bob Weinstein on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Weinstein noted, the state is continuing to build a road
on Gravina Island to an empty beach where the bridge would have gone -
because federal money for the access road, unlike the bridge money,
would have otherwise been returned to the federal government."
How your (and my) tax dollars are being carefully spent- we are paying for a road that would have gone to a Bridge to Nowhere, had that bridge actually been built. Additionally, residents that still live in the Nowhere that is now without a bridge, voted for her because she promised them that bridge. What other promises to voters will she reneg on?
The Plane Sale: McCain repeated this lie last night. And lie it is, "plane" and simple.
NY Daily News, September 5th, 2008- "The folksy tale of how Gov. Sarah Palin saved Alaska millions by unloading the state jet on eBay is fast becoming a campaign fish-that-got-away tale.
Sen. John McCain not only repeated that story on the stump Friday to tout his Republican running mate, but added, "She made a profit, too."
The truth is that Palin couldn't find a buyer last year when she tried to peddle to plane on eBay - and lost the state money when she did sell it.
Palin's predecessor, Frank Murkowski, originally bought the 20-year-old Westwing II for the state of Alaska for $2.7 million. She listed it on eBay for $2.5 million.
When no offers came in, Palin hired a jet broker - Turbo North Aviation in Anchorage - which sold the jet for $2.1 million to an Alaska businessman."
Larry Reynolds, the businessman that bought the plane, brokered the deal through Rep. John Harris, R-Valdez, who is now Speaker of the State House. Such a deal he got! Oh, did I mention that Reynolds was also a contributor to Harris' campaign?
No doubt Govenor Palin will plead ignorance and she has the credentials to support her claim. She attended 5 colleges in six years, before finally graduating from the University of Idaho in 1987. Certainly she will claim that the press is out to get her. Why not? After all, when she finally did graduate, it was with a degree in journalism.