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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We Respond to R.A. Dillon of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Last night, I sent the following letter to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in response to R.A. Dillon's recent column, "Cheers to the Cult of Palin". I also must give credit to Steve Maloney of, who helped in the writing of this piece and would have been listed as a co-signer were it not for the idiosyncrasies of the Daily News-Miner's online submission form for letters to the editor. The Palin Movement has no issues with Mr. Dillon or his view that our movement is beneficial to both Sarah Palin and Alaska. However, we felt compelled to respond to the assertions of people quoted in the article that Governor Palin would not be a good national candidate or a qualified Vice President.


"Vice President Palin" not a far-fetched idea

As founder of the “Draft Palin for VP” blog, I’d like to respond to R.A. Dillon’s recent column “Cheers to the Cult of Palin”, which brought up several points that the members of our Draft Sarah Palin effort have been discussing for some time.

Specifically, I am intrigued by the opinions of pollster Ivan Moore, who provided a prime example of “conventional political wisdom.” He argued that vice presidents are chosen to bring in electoral votes, and that Alaska was too small and “too far off the beaten path” to be relevant. The Draft Palin Movement realizes that such thinking is outdated and demeaning to smaller states, especially Alaska.

No vice presidential candidate has truly helped a campaign win in a state since Lyndon Johnson delivered Texas to JFK in 1960. Also, the current VP is, like Sarah Palin, from a solid red state with only three electoral votes.

Presidential nominees should instead pick running mates that appeal to large sections of country and fill the gaps in their own experience. Sarah Palin could appeal to women, Westerners, young people, rural Americans, pro-lifers, and gun rights advocates among others. Combined, those groups hold far more clout than even the largest states. Furthermore, the idea that voters in the lower 48 would reject an Alaskan candidate is balderdash. If folks down here thought your state was “too far off the beaten path”, then they wouldn’t take Alaskan cruises or watch “Northern Exposure”. If anything, we romanticize Alaska.

As for the idea that a future “Vice President Palin” would be unable to assume the Presidency upon the death of the President, we ask “Why not?” Governor Palin’s career has proven that she is a quick learner, a person of great character, and a decisive leader. In fact, “President Palin” would have more executive experience than John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton combined.

When it comes to vice presidential nominations, “conventional wisdom” has been useless for decades, and its time that we relegated it to history’s ash heap. The next President would be well served to select someone like Sarah Palin.

Adam Brickley
Falcon, CO


Stephen R. Maloney said...

Adam, I was glad to be a part of developing the letter. Politics is a lot like the old "Pavlov's Dog" case. It's stimulus and response, and of course the response stimulates a counter-response and on and on. Of course, it's also all about "writing a narrative" for a candidate -- creating an image. You've done that very well right from the start. Does Sarah Palin believe she would, if circumstances demanded, be a good President? Everything I know about the woman says she'd do everything in her power to be a great one. She has a tremendous desire to do the right thing, and that's what led her to take on the Republican establishment in her state, steps that would have scared a lesser person half to death. When she saw politicians misbehaving -- engaging in corrupt behavior -- she blew the whistle. To me, the critical criterion for a great President (when and if that time arrives for her) is to be a great person. She qualifies.


Unknown said...

Say it ain't so, Sarah, or what is the meaning of hypocrisy

In an unfortunate development, according to news stories in Alaska today, a decision by Alaska's first family is raising concerns about a possible conflict of interest involving Gov. Sarah Palin and the oil industry.

The governor's husband is back on the payroll of British Petroleum. The governor said that won't influence her decisions involving the oil industry, but one former state lawmaker, who wrote an ethics guideline for the governor, said it's a bad move at the wrong time.

During the campaign, Palin said that her husband would "quit" if she were elected. Gov. Palin has called a special session of the Legislature to possibly rewrite the Petroleum Profits Tax. Her proposals could have a multi-million dollar impact on her husband's employer. BP could also become a major player in the natural gas line project.

Furthermore, apparently the state's ethics officer was not requested to review the potential conflict.

Todd Palin said the family needs the extra income. If $130,000, free housing and meals, plus fishing and real estate income isn't enough for an Alaskan family, what is? Is Palin now, after a short time in office, succumbing to the Ben Stevens "I am underpaid as a public servant so I need more $$" syndrome. Sorry, Sarah, but $200,000 a year is not blue collar working stiff income.

Former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz co-authored an "ethics white paper" for Gov. Palin shortly after she took office. He doesn't agree Todd Palin's decision to go back to work.

"It's bad timing. It's a tough situation for the family, but I think the interests of the state have to come first. In the interest of the state, you need to make sure you're above the appearance of impropriety," Berkowitz said.

He said Todd Palin's employment with a major North Slope producer could raise questions and problems.

Berkowitz said its all about perception.

"There's at least a perception of a conflict of interest when you have a family member working in the industry and you're reviewing the oil and gas taxes. So, just the perception of a conflict is somewhat complicating," Berkowitz said.

As the above post says, "when she saw politicians misbehaving -- engaging in corrupt behavior -- she blew the whistle." Now that she is doing the same, she thinks she is above criticism- as well as the new ethics law.

I can't wait until Ben shows up for work on the Slope- on Todd's crew.