Tuesday, February 22, 2011

UK: Palin in the news again

PJ: All politicians have critics but nothing compares to those of Sarah Palin. Plucked from obscurity in 2008 to be the Vice Presidential running mate of Presidential candidate Senator John McCain after serving just 18 months as governor of the most sparsely populated state in American (with a total population of about 700,000), she remains a curiosity for many around the world. Her critics in the US as well as those around the world can't seem to get enough of her while at the same time they don't seem to understand why. It might be that people are loath to let go of the fact that her ridiculously thin resume was not really enough to put her (as many put it) one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from the Presidency. The audacity of her hubris and the reckless decision on the part of the McCain campaign is difficult to fathom.

After all, it wasn't just her short time as governor that made her resume seem lacking. Her educational background seemed lack luster having received only one degree (in journalism) after attending six Universities. Education aside, the rest of her experience does not seem as extraordinary as her fans claim. Prior to becoming governor she served less than two terms as a mayor of a town of less than 7,000 where she hired a city manager to run the city instead of doing so herself. After resigning in her second term to unsuccessfully run for higher office, she was awarded a political appointment by then Governor Murkowski (who she would later defeat in her own run for governor) to serve on the Oil and Gas Commission where she served for half of her term. During the presidential campaign Senator McCain touted her as an energy expert but Mrs. Palin served as the only "public" member of the Commission and did not have, nor was she required to have had, any experience or knowledge about energy issues (the state now requires all members of the board to have a certain level of expertise). Or it might be her obvious lack of experience in or knowledge about domestic and international affairs that was apparent during the presidential campaign and continues today that have many scratching their heads and wanting to know more about the Pit-bull Mama Grizzly?

Today through her carefully controlled public appearances she remains a enigma in modern politics. While suggesting to audiences that her life is an open book, she remains guarded publicly, staying close to talking points and rarely appearing on any news outlets other than Fox News. She has crafted a persona and works in a bubble of her own design, which means that there is more to her than her fans or foes actually know. Her past plus her carefully guarded present make her more of curiosity than a serious politician and that is, in large part, why for many it is difficult to look away.

Daily Mail

Palin 'has a secret Facebook account... and called Newt Gingrich a goon': New claims from leaked manuscript

The list of damaging accusations in a new tell-all book about Sarah Palin keeps growing.

Now the former Alaska governor has been accused of calling Newt Gingrich an 'egotistical, narrow-minded machine goon'.

She also allegedly has a secret Facebook account that she uses to publish comments on daughter Bristol's profile page.

The manuscript by former Palin aide, Frank Bailey, has sparked a new firestorm around Mrs Palin - despite the fact that it has not yet even been published.

Its contents have been steadily leaked, first in Alaskan media and then online. The Politico blog, which has seen manuscript, published the latest claims about Mrs Palin and Mr Gingrich.

Mrs Palin is said to have made the comment after being bumped from a Republican fundraising dinner in 2009 in favour of Mr Gingrish.

She sent a 'scathing email' that, according to Politico, demonstrates her 'distrust of Republican insiders'.
'Good ol' rich white guy'? Newt Gingrich at the CPAC convention in Washington earlier in February

'Good ol' rich white guy'? Newt Gingrich at the CPAC convention in Washington earlier in February

In the email Mrs Palin is said to have referred to Mr Gingrich and colleagues as 'egotistical, narrow-minded machine goons'.

In spite of her anger, she also apparently suggested it was a blessing in disguise that she had dodged 'introducing him and acting like that good ol' rich white guy is the savior of the party'.

With both Mrs Palin and Mr Gingrich potentially clamouring for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the claim is both entertaining and relevant, said New York magazine.

Mr Bailey, who - much like Mrs Palin herself - was plucked from obscurity to star in her campaign for Alaska governor, based the book on thousands of personal emails.

He titled it Blind Allegiance To Sarah Palin: A Memoir Of Our Tumultuous Years.

Mrs Palin's personal Gmail address was also included in the manuscript. The blog Wonkette searched that address on Facebook - and managed to turn up a Facebook account under the name 'Lou Sarah', seemingly a secret account maintained by Mrs Palin.

'Louise' is Mrs Palin's middle name. The account is used to like many of the statements and claims made on Mrs Palin's official page, as well as to comment on daughter Bristol's page.

Lou Sarah also 'likes' Mark Ballas, Bristol's partner on ABC's Dancing With The Stars.

In the book, Mr Bailey claimed that Mrs Palin repeatedly said: 'I hate this damn job'.

Other revelations are less surprising: that Mrs Palin considered any network save Fox News 'the bad guys', and that she coordinated with certain journalists to get her message out.

One Palin ally has called Mr Bailey a 'quintessential disgruntled employee', but the former vice presidential candidate has yet to deny any of the leaked claims.

Mystery surrounds how the manuscript was leaked to Alaskan media. Suspicion centres on Joe McGinniss, a rival author set to release his own book on Mrs Palin in September.

Mr McGinniss made headlines last year when he moved next to the Palins in Wasilla while researching the book.

The move prompted complaints by Mrs Palin, who extended the fence between their properties.

Mr McGinniss's book agent, Dave Larabell, told The Associated Press that the author wasn't the only person in the publishing world to see the manuscript. He declined further comment.

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