Palin flew coach as Governor?

Yeah, I know has suddenly become All Palin All the Time, but you know, she’s really a fascinating American story.

This blogger[*1] met her at the New Orleans airport this past April:

We chatted about Florida and Barrow, Alaska and flying commercial. She said she really enjoys and prefers flying with people who either live in or are visiting Alaska. She even flies coach! She was kind enough to take several photos with me.

Emphasis added.  I can’t conceive of another State Governor flying coach.  In my own limited personal experience with state chief executives, Governors tend to be “do as I say, not as I do” kinds of people.

The Palin Threat

OK, I’ve spent much of the past two days absorbing as much information as I can about Sarah Palin.  Clearly, her nomination has touched nerves throughout the political spectrum.  Republicans rank-and-file, as judged by smaller bloggers and commenters on larger blogs, are enthusiastic in a way I’ve not seen in the Republican Party since the days of Ronald Reagan.  Big-name bloggers are more cautious, but most of the right-blogs are anywhere from approving to enthusiastic.  There are some who aren’t as impressed, of course.  These tend to be the more inside-the-Beltway types, who obsess obsessively about Palin’s inexperience.  More on that in a bit.

On the left, there’s an odd mix.  The PUMAs are delighted that McCain, through Palin, is stickin’ it to the Man (Obama).  Much of the rest of the left side of the blogosphere is, from what I can see, is in full-blown panic mode.  I think they see the threat that Palin (and, to a much lesser extent, McCain himself) holds for them.

You see, Palin’s entire political career is a Good Government campaign.  She blew a whistle when she was on an Alaska energy commission regarding another commissioner’s ethical lapses, and when she was ignored by the Governor, took on both the Governor and the entire good-old-boy network of the Republican Party in Alaska, and wound up as Governor herself.

Palin is potentially an existential threat to Washington’s good-old-boy network, too.  If I was McCain, I’d tell the country at next week’s GOP convention that Palin’s job #1 after the election would be to do precisely that–go after the rampant corruption, waste, and abuse of government power eminating from that swamp on the Potomac.   Shine the light of exposure on the cesspool that our Federal Government has become–in both the Executive and the Legislative branches.  Expose all of the lobbyist connections.  Call people to account.  Prosecute all you can get the goods on.  Shake up Washington as much as you possibly can.

You know that Biden and Obama won’t do it.  McCain and Palin just might.

And here’s where the attacks on Palin come in.  She’s what Washington fears the most:  the voice of the American People.  She’s the ultimate outsider.  If she can crash the party in Washington, who knows?  Maybe the party will be over.  Or, maybe they’ll just turn the noise down a bit so the rest of us can get on with our own lives.  A guy can hope.

RedState’s Palin v. Obama “Tale of the Tape”

Stolen in full from[*1] . Quite revealing, I think:

Sarah Palin

Barack Obama

Office being sought Vice President President of the United States and Leader of the Free World
Full name Sarah Louise Heath Palin Barack Hussein Obama II
Nickname Sarah Barracuda Barry Obama; “The One”
Public opinion Smoking hot in a “naughty librarian” sort of way May be The Messiah
Age 44 48
Children 5: two sons, three daughters 2: two daughters
Religion/Church attendance Evangelical Christian;

attends Juneau Christian Center when in Juneau and grew up attending Wasilla Assembly of God

Attended Trinity United Church of Christ for 20 years, a “black liberation theology” church formerly led by Rev. Jeremiah Wright and governed according to the Black Value System[*2]
Current Job Governor of Alaska Junior Senator from Illinois
Previous Public Jobs Mayor of Wasilla, AK (1996-2002); President of Alaska Conference of Mayors;

City Council member (1992-1996)

State Senator (1997-2004);

Community Organizer

Executive Experience Governor for 2 years;

Mayor for 10 years

Foreign Relations experience Governor of state that borders two foreign countries (Canada and Russia) Chaired Senate subcommittee on Europe but never called it into session;

once gave a speech to 200,000 screaming Germans

Military Affairs experience Commander in Chief of Alaska National Guard;

Son is enlisted Infantryman in U.S. Army

Private Sector Experience Sports reporter;

Salmon fisherman

Associate at civil rights law firm
Speaking ability Beautifully executed initial stump speech in Dayton, OH hockey arena without a teleprompter An enter…wait–did you say without a teleprompter??
Spouse’s name Todd Mitchell Palin Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama
Spouse’s occupation Salmon fisherman;

Former North Slope production supervisor for BP Oil

Vice President for Community and External Affairs at University of Chicago Hospitals;

former Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago;

former Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies;

former Assistant to the Mayor of Chicago;

former associate at Sidley Austin law firm

Reaction to spouse’s political success Quit 17-year BP oil job when BP became involved in natural gas pipeline negotiations with wife’s administration Promoted and given 160% pay raise by UofC hospitals within months of husband’s election to U.S. Senate;

Employer received $1,000,000.00 federal earmark, requested by husband, after her promotion

Coolest thing about Spouse Tesoro Iron Dog Snowmobile race champion (longest snowmobile race in the world);

In 2008, while defending his championship, was injured when he was thrown 70 feet from his machine. He was sent to the hospital but still finished in fourth place

Sister of Oregon State University head basketball coach Craig Robinson
Most Courageous Moment in Public Service Resigned in protest from position of Ethics Commissioner of Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in order to expose legal violations and conflicts of interest of Alaska Republican leaders, including the former state Attorney General and the State GOP Chairman (who was also an Oil & Gas Commissioner), who was doing work for the party on public time and supplying a lobbyist with a sensitive e-mail. Gave an anti-Iraq war speech to a crowd of anti-Iraq war demonstrators in Hyde Park in 2002
In Current Office Because… Upset sitting Governor in GOP primary due to public support for her efforts to clean up corrupt government establishment Republican opponent, who was leading in the polls, was forced to leave race after unsealing of divorce records exposed a sex scandal
Theme: Change and Clean Government Hope and Change;

“Bringing Change from Outside Washington”

What they’ve done to live that theme: Replaced entire Board of Agriculture and Conservation because of conflict of interest;

Resigned from position of Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in order to expose corruption among members of own party

Selected 36-year incumbent Senator as running mate
Family Affairs May have removed State Public Safety Commissioner as part of effort to protect sister in messy divorce and child custody battle Often says, “I am my brother’s keeper”;

Brother lives in a hut in Nairobi on $12 per year

Union affiliation Union member, married to Union member Endorsed by a union
Iraq and Troop Support Formerly (pre-surge) critical of apparent lack of long-term strategy for Iraq;

Visited wounded U.S. soldiers in Germany;

visited AK National Guard soldiers deployed to Kuwait;

Son deploying to Iraq on 9/11/08 as Army infantryman

Gave an anti-Iraq war speech to a crowd of anti-Iraq war demonstrators;

almost visited wounded troops in Germany, but decided to go shopping in Berlin instead

Bipartisan/”maverick” credentials Married to a non-Republican;

Exposed corruption within own party;

Campaigned for Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell against corrupt GOP congressman Don Young;

Called out Sen Ted Stevens (R-AK) to “come clean” about financial dealings that are under fed investigation

Talks about bipartisanship
Legislative Record Passed a landmark ethics reform bill;

Used veto to cut budgetary spending;

Prevented “bridge to nowhere” that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.

Voted “present” over 100 times as IL state senator
How they dealt with corrupt individuals in home city/state Exposed legal violations and conflicts of interest of Alaska Republican leaders;

Campaigned against corrupt GOP Representative;

Ran against and defeated corrupt incumbent governor in GOP primary

Launched political career in home of unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers (and still refers to him as a part of “mainstream Democratic Chicago”;

Purchased home with help of convicted felon Tony Rezko

Guns Lifetime member of NRA and avid hunter;

video can be found on YouTube of Palin firing an M4 at a military firing range

Worked to pass legislation in Illinois that would prevent all law-abiding citizens from owning firearms
Earmarks Opposed “Bridge to Nowhere” project;

Said Alaska should avoid relying on federal money for projects;

Campaigned against porker Don Young (R-AK) in 2008 primary

Secured federal earmarks for wife’s employer and for campaign bundlers[*3]
Abortion Pro life;

gave birth to 5th child knowing that he would have Down’s syndrome


only IL state sen. to speak against the Born Alive Infant’s Protection Act, which required medical care to be given to live infants who survived abortions

Energy Believes energy independence is a matter of national security;

For drilling in ANWR, which is in her state

Says Americans should “get tune-ups” and “check tire pressure”;

Says “we can’t expect the world to be okay with” our use of heating and air conditioning

Environment Chair of Alaska Conservation Commission (2003-4);

Announced plans to create sub-cabinet group of advisors to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in AK

Talks about the environment a lot
Athletic prowess Runs marathons Has reporters tailing him to the gym

It’s Palin?

Numerous reports have John McCain picking Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential pick.

The AP reports[*1] that “numerous” Republican officals are “shocked.”


The Republicans need a good jolt.  Maybe McCain and Palin can finally end the disastrous Congressional addiction to “earmarks” that are sucking cash out of the Federal Treasury at a truly alarming rate.

Average income has finally recovered from 9/11

Average income in the U.S. has finally climbed[*1] above the 2000 pre-9/11 peak:

Average income fell sharply in 2001 and in 2002, when it dropped to $51,870, off nearly 10 percent from 2000, tax data show. The average grew slightly in 2003.

Average income grew significantly in 2004, rising $2,291, and again in 2005, when the average increased by $2,210. Income growth continued in 2006, but at a much slower pace, increasing by $1,369 over the 2005 average once inflation is taken into account.

Salaries and wages, by far the largest source of income, nearly returned to the 2000 average in 2006. However, among the highest-paid workers, both total and average wages fell, an indication of how the Internet bubble had concentrated gains among a relatively few workers.

And just today, I heard Obama say that average income was down $2000.  I’m not sure where he’s getting his numbers, but the New York Times–a decidedly liberal news source, seems to disagree.