Saturday, July 20, 2013

"Refudiating" Sarah Palin: Talking to Alaskans, getting the facts

Guest post by Maelewis

We were recently at a get-together where our hosts gave us the warning not to talk politics because some of their guests were very conservative and they didn't  us want to upset their friends. The first people we ran into were from Alaska. My husband's first question was, "So, is Sarah Palin running for the Senate?" We decided that we should involve them in conversation with the hopes of learning something about Sarah Palin. They provided confirmation for things that we already know, but it's nice to hear it from more than one source. And, I'm reporting our conversation with the hopes that the Politicalgates community will enjoy learning what we learned. (I think that you have figured out that when people tell us not to talk politics, they shouldn't put people from Alaska in the same room with us).

Disclaimer: I don't want to describe the people in any detail because they still live in Alaska. They are credible, and I have no reason to doubt anything that they say. I also don't want to provide too much personal description, just in case someone could figure out who they are.

They had been part of the Alaska State government before Sarah was elected governor, and when she first took office, one of them thought that Sarah was "kinda cute." That impression quickly changed. They said that they worked for Governor Palin. I asked, "Did you work with her?" "No," they answered, they worked FOR her. Sarah never did any work; she didn't like to work and she didn't work. Other people did Sarah's work for her. The thing that bothered them was that Sarah was dumb. They were used to working with people who learned on the job, and grew with the job. Sarah never learned anything, and she didn't want to learn anything. They also resented her choosing to live in Wasilla instead of living in Juneau.

I asked why Sarah quit her job as governor. It was for the money; they didn't see any other reason. (At this point, a good reporter would cite Sarah's claims of frivolous ethics violations charges and her abuse of her office to raise money to cover her legal fees. It was my choice to keep the tone conversational instead of confrontational. I wanted to give the impression that I didn't know much about Palin, and they were educating me. I wanted them to talk).

So, when my husband asked if Sarah was running for the Senate, after saying no, they added that Sarah is probably not a citizen of Alaska anymore, since she spends far more time out of the state than in Alaska. They doubted that she could get elected in Alaska right now.  Later in the conversation, they added that in the future, she might make some moves in a national direction, but it would only be for the attention and the money (most of all the money). They said that Sarah would  never chose to do anything that involved hard work.  I suggested that she would need a staff. No, they said, other people do the work for her. Their attitude was that she didn't want the job, just the high profile and the money.

I did ask the "jackpot question," was she really Trig's mother? One of them hesitated, and finally said that she claims to be his mother. I said that Sarah IS Trig's mother, but did she give birth to him? The other person reported seeing Sarah two weeks after Trig was supposed to have been born. Sarah was thin, her figure was thin and her face was thin. The person was indicating that she found it hard to believe that Sarah Palin had just given birth two weeks before. (If I am allowed to read body language, there was doubt, serious doubt, but no one speaks about it).

Other tidbits: About that word salad, they knew all about Sarah's word salad before we saw Sarah on the national stage. Sarah was good scripted, but not unscripted. Since her VP campaign in 2008, she has gotten worse. I asked why, hoping to hear about the substances that impair speech, but they thought that it had to do with her need to chase fame. They talked about Sarah's use of fundamental religion as something that she latched onto recently as much for show, and then they joked that she wore a Jewish star when she needed to connect with a special interest or group. They described being at a reception at the Governor's mansion in Juneau, where a woman, who was Jewish, wore her Jewish star. When Sarah saw the woman and the star, she turned her head and walked away. My husband's reaction was that was an indication that Sarah was antisemitic. He didn't know about Palin's history of using racial terms in describing a Jewish political opponent.

Out of respect for our host and the candid conversation of her guests, we didn't want to push the Sarah Palin issue. I asked if they had one super story, the kind that I could tell my Democratic friends and get a good laugh. They didn't even hesitate. They described an event when Lisa Murkowski, as a Senator from Alaska, addressed the state legislature. Then, the custom was for there to be a reception at the Governor's Mansion, following the address. Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, was upstairs and kept everyone waiting, and waiting, and waiting. It was hours, and it was noticed. Finally, a very upset Sarah Palin emerged, hair flying and messy, no makeup, and clearly upset. Levi had just appeared on TV, giving an interview, and they were trying to decide how to respond.  (I will let everyone process that -- Governor of Alaska, former Vice Presidential candidate, obsessing over a teen aged boy appearing on TV. How could she handle that famous 3 AM phone call? It explains her emotional over-reaction to petty things, and probably much more). The conclusion of our new friends form Alaska was that Palin belonged in Wasilla, adding that she was trailer trash, and that was the nicest thing that they could say about her.



What could be more appropriate as a bonus for this wonderful post by our reader maelewis than the documentary by a man who went to Alaska on a search for the "real" Sarah Palin - Nick Broomfield's excellent documentary "You Betcha":

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