Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sarah Palin stripped bare by New York Times

The New York Times has just gone online with an explosive investigation and critique of Sarah Palin's political career, painting her as a ruthless, secretive, thin-skinned, vengeful and self-serving political hack who rewards cronies, punishes critics, holds grudges and has a leadership style that combines the worst of Nixon and Bush.

While this week's interview on ABC television revealed Palin to be unqualified to be vice president of the United States, "In Office, Palin Hired Friends and Hit Critics" confirms how dangerous she would be.

Some highlights:

"Ms. Palin walks the national stage as a small-town foe of 'good old boy' politics and a champion of ethics reform. The charismatic 44-year-old governor draws enthusiastic audiences and high approval ratings. And as the Republican vice-presidential nominee, she points to her management experience while deriding her Democratic rivals, Senators Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr., as speechmakers who never have run anything.

"But an examination of her swift rise and record as mayor of Wasilla and then governor finds that her visceral style and penchant for attacking critics — she sometimes calls local opponents 'haters' — contrasts with her carefully crafted public image.

"Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials."

"Interviews show that Ms. Palin runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy. The governor and her top officials sometimes use personal e-mail accounts for state business; dozens of e-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that her staff members studied whether that could allow them to circumvent subpoenas seeking public records."

"State legislators are investigating accusations that Ms. Palin and her husband pressured officials to fire a state trooper who had gone through a messy divorce with her sister, charges that she denies. But interviews make clear that the Palins draw few distinctions between the personal and the political.

"The Wasilla High School yearbook archive now doubles as a veritable directory of state government. Ms. Palin appointed Mr. Bitney, her former junior high school band-mate, as her legislative director and chose another classmate, Joe Austerman, to manage the economic development office for $82,908 a year. Mr. Austerman had established an Alaska franchise for Mailboxes Etc."

"While Ms. Palin took office promising a more open government, her administration has battled to keep information secret. Her inner circle discussed the benefit of using private e-mail addresses. An assistant told her it appeared that such e-mail messages sent to a private address on a 'personal device' like a Blackberry 'would be confidential and not subject to subpoena.'

"Many lawmakers contend that Ms. Palin is overly reliant on a small inner circle that leaves her isolated. Democrats and Republicans alike describe her as often missing in action. Since taking office in 2007, Ms. Palin has spent 312 nights at her Wasilla home, some 600 miles to the north of the governor’s mansion in Juneau, records show.

"During the last legislative session, some lawmakers became so frustrated with her absences that they took to wearing 'Where’s Sarah?' pins."

"The administration’s e-mail correspondence reveals a siege-like atmosphere. Top aides keep score, demean enemies and gloat over successes. Even some who helped engineer her rise have felt her wrath."

The Times also adds more details to the furor over Mayor Palin's attempts to censor books at the Wasilla Public Library, an issue that her campaign forces have muddied, and that ABC News further obscured by referring to a "list" of banned books that never was said to have existed:

"...Ms. Palin ordered city employees not to talk to the press. And she used city money to buy a white Suburban for the mayor’s use — employees sarcastically called it the mayor-mobile.

"The new mayor also tended carefully to her evangelical base. She appointed a pastor to the town planning board. And she began to eye the library. For years, social conservatives had pressed the library director to remove books they considered immoral.

“'People would bring books back censored,' recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin’s predecessor. 'Pages would get marked up or torn out.'

"Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.

"But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book Daddy’s Roommate on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. (Laura) Chase (campaign manager during Palin’s first run for mayor), and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.

“'Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,' Ms. Chase said. 'It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.'

“'I’m still proud of Sarah,' she added, 'but she scares the bejeebers out of me.'”


Anonymous said...

First comment!!

Oh, and probably the last one too.

Ten posts about Palin and a total of one comment. Notice a trend, Burt?

No. One. Cares.

We don't need you if we want to read an article on the front page of the New York Times.

At least with the IBL stuff you provided something unique.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin is better than Obama!

Lawrence Mark said...

I find it amusing yet deeply distressing that an "anonymous" "person" would leave a statement like this. A self-described female pitbull is a better choice than a man who graduated at the very top of his class at Harvard?
This man was President of his class there already.
Instead of hooking up with the elitists he surely met, he went back to the common man to actually help them realize the American Dream the same way he himself had. I think that speaks very loudly about real integrity and the compassion for EVERY American that Barack Obama and Joe Biden have. Joe Biden has not only served his state in Congess. He is also a college professor. I just cannot imagine an angry old man destined to die and a self-described pitbull running this country at all. Worst of all, it would seem like rewarding GW for his foolishness, avarice, and greed.
I would rather have a team that actually cares about EVERY AMERICAN. You AND me, not just a bunch of friends who help them keep track of all the things they own... My name is Lawrence Mark.

NotThabo said...

Anonymous... on what grounds do you say that Palin is better than Obama Barack? Since the announcement confirming her as running-mate, time and time again she has been exposed as a self-serving liar. She is not environmentally friendly despite what the McCain people have tried to prove. Just the story of her trying to have the State Trooper dismissed because of his connection to the family is reason enough to not to vote her in.
You are obviously a racist.
But hey, if the good people of the United States of America want to cast a vote for an old man and a self-serving siren on the grounds of race, then you deserve the continued plummet into hell that you are currently busy with.