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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Building a bridge to nowhere

The announcement that John McCain has tapped Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate may go down as one of the most-disastrous campaign decisions since George McGovern picked Thomas Eagleton.

On the surface, an interesting move: a 44-year-old "former beauty queen" whose private plane landed amid great secrecy last night in Dayton, Ohio would be the latest effort to lure the remaining disgruntled Clinton PUMA supporters

But even though the GOP soon-to-be-nominee admits he doesn't know how to use Google, surely his crack staff does. Because it's not too hard to do this, and get the following result from the Wall Street Journal:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- When Sarah Palin was elected governor as a Republican outsider in 2006, she didn't just take on an incumbent from her own party. She took on Alaska's Republican establishment.

Ms. Palin vowed to clean up a long-cozy political system that had been sullied by an FBI corruption investigation. She endeared herself to Alaskans by making good on her reform promises and showing homey touches, like driving herself to work.

Now, one of the bright new stars in the Republican Party has suddenly become tarnished. The state legislature this week voted to hire an independent investigator to see whether Ms. Palin abused her office by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper.

But miss it -- or ignore it -- they did.

Argue all you want about a "partisan" witch hunt. Is it really a swift move to take a running mate who, in the words of a Democratic state senator in Alaska "... could face impeachment, in a worst-case scenario." During the middle of a campaign in which McCain will try and argue his opponent doesn't have a record?

At least McCain's running mate doesn't have one -- yet.

And this only brings into play the case of indicted 86-year-old Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens -- who knows the Internet as "The Tubes" and who is facing trial before his own re-election campaign on charges he used his own office to gain personal favors.

And it also reminds us of Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young, he who wanted taxpayers to fund a $398 million "Bridge to Nowhere" between Ketchican (population 8,000) and Gravina Island (population 50).

That move was of course a pork barrel stunner that caught the attention of a certain congressional pork watchdog:

"Maybe if we had done it right, maybe some of that money would have gone to inspect those bridges and other bridges around the country," McCain told a group of people in a town-hall style meeting in Ankeny, Iowa.

"Maybe the 200,000 people who cross that bridge every day would have been safer than spending $233 million of your tax dollars on a bridge in Alaska to an island with 50 people on it."

And you will of course note the irony that the collapsed bridgeMcCain was referring to was located in the Twin Cities -- where he and the GOP are headed right now.

All this for a state with three electoral votes that were likely his anyway.

Memo to the McCain campaign: Google is a great tool. Too bad you didn't know how to use it. But will come in handy when you pick Palin's successor.

Memo to the Obama campaign: Michael Dukakis ran a really good campaign spot about George H.W. Bush's veep choice.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're clueless. The investigation is a shame and baseless and everyone knows it. You're attempt to tie her to Don Young is laughable. Palin endorsed a primary challenger to Young.

August 29, 2008 3:28 PM  
Blogger Ukulele Man said...

Hey Anonymous, shouldn't that be "sham"? Who's "clueless"?

- Ukulele Man

August 29, 2008 4:19 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

I'm tying her to the Alaska Republican political structure -- in the same way all non-Alaska residents will. Whether the investigation is a shame or sham is irrelevant. This is her introduction to the American people and it is far from the pristine choice McCain needed to make.

August 29, 2008 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last time a Republican nominee chose a little-known governor as his running mate, Nixon picked Spiro Agnew. I believe he called Agnew "impeachment insurance." We know how that turned out.

August 29, 2008 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I think I'm going to a bar and pick myself a vice-president.McCain met her once. I cannot believe McCain pick a nobody. Wake up, we in the 21 century McCain. You that desperate.
Stop looking in the past. Today V.P. are very important. Palin is no Clinton. Clinton work hard to get were she at, Palin don't even compare.

August 31, 2008 5:26 AM  
Anonymous abi said...

This would be like picking Jane Swift as VP.

August 31, 2008 9:30 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Abi, not necessarily. Jane Swift had been a state senator for several terms and had far more experience for the office she was seeking than Palin has for this one.

Swift had an appallingly tin political ear. But she had been around state government long enough to know how it actually worked.

September 01, 2008 10:50 AM  

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