Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cult Of Personality Surrounding Palin Is Seen By Campaign Officials As A Blessing, Her Record Is A Problem To Be Managed

`Campaign insiders say that John McCain is counting on the cult of personality surrounding Sarah Palin to lift him over Barack Obama in November.

Both McCain and campaign officials recognize that Palin's record, as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska and as Governor, is a problem to be managed. That, campaign insiders say, is why Palin is being shielded from solo media interviews.

Palin gets high marks for her ability to stay on message and deliver the talking points provided by the campaign.

Inquiries regarding access to Palin, including those directed to the governor's office, are being handled by campaign officials.

Insiders say that every appearance by Palin will be micromanaged by the campaign to ensure she will not appear in a setting where an examination of her record will expose flaws.

It's difficult to ascertain where Palin stands on the issues; even with exhaustive research. That, according to insiders, has allowed the campaign to easily manipulate her stance to fit with the positions of Senator McCain.

What's troubling for the campaign are numerous reports, from those who worked closely with her in Alaska, that Palin is manipulative and vindictive.

Gaining the support of Conservatives was a top priority for McCain and played a pivotal role in adding Palin to the ticket.

It hasn't been difficult for Conservatives to see that the Governor of Alaska is a good fit for them.

Palin said, “I am pro-life and I believe that marriage should only be between and man and a woman.”

The Obama campaign has refused to make an issue of the pregnancy of Palin's daughter. To some it reflects a failure of her public policies.

Palin backed abstinence-only education during her 2006 gubernatorial race.

She responded to a question regarding support of funding for abstinence-until-marriage education, instead of for, "explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools" writing, "Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support."

Palin supports the reversal of Roe v. Wade and has said, "I think it should (be reversed) and I think states should be able to decide that issue."

Palin has stated that she opposes abortion. Her opposition extends to cases of rape or incest, including those that involve children.

While Palin served as mayor of Wasilla the police chief, whom she appointed, cut his departmental budget by instituting a policy where rape victims were required to pay $500 to $1200 for the rape kits used to examine them and gather evidence in cases of sexual assault.

Palin reviewed and signed off on this.

The religious right has firmly embraced Palin; partly because of the characterization of her as a faith-based mayor.

She has embraced the endorsement of religious leaders. "Faith is very important to so many of us here in America," said Palin. "I would never support any government effort to stifle our freedom of religion or freedom of expression or freedom of speech."

The teaching of creationism in public schools is an issue Palin has supported.

Palin has personal connections to the International Association of Character Cities; an organization that purports to be secular but is modeled on the evangelical teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

As Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin directed the Wasilla City Council to pass a resolution declaring itself a "City of Character."

The resolution, which was adopted unanimously, pledged that Wasilla would "do all in its power" to promote "positive and constructive character qualities which distinguish between right and wrong."

Wasilla is one of about 200 cities nationwide that have committed themselves, in name at least, to follow the teachings of the IACC.

The McCain campaign has praised Palin's executive experience and sought to paint her as a fiscal watchdog and a reformer. As Mayor of Wasilla, though, her administration, according to local officials, was best known for cronyism and waste.

In the 2006 mayoral race, after four years on city council, Palin blasted her opponent for his "tax and spend mentality."

Once in office she spent more than $50,000 in city funds, without council approval, to redecorate her office.

When questioned about the expenditure at a city council meeting, Palin reportedly responded, "I'm the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can't."

Palin employed a lobbying firm, as Mayor of Wasilla (with a population of 6,700), to secure almost $27 million in federal earmarks.

Palin is touted on the campaign trail as the most popular governor in America. Some have suggested that her popularity is a result of the combination of her engaging personality and a penchant for misrepresenting her record.

In a speech before the Republican Convention, accepting the vice presidential nomination, Palin said "I told the Congress 'thanks, but no thanks,' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

Since then it has come to light that Governor Palin initially supported the bridge project. She decided to put a halt to the project when it became clear that rising costs would not cover the construction and there was mounting uproar over the project in the lower 48.

Also, while Palin claimed to have said "no thanks" to the funding for the bridge, she, in fact, accepted and rerouted the money, garnered through an earmark by Senator Ted Stevens, to other state projects.

Palin's view of the world has been influenced by teachings of the Pentecostal Church. She has not made a secret of her belief that government and religion should go hand-in-hand.

Addressing a Pentecostal Church audience, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.

She said, "Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending (U.S. soldiers) out on a task that is from God."

Exhorting the congregants, Palin said, "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan."

As governor of Alaska, Palin declared the week of November 18-25, 2007 as Bible Week in the state.

Palin said, "since the earliest days of our democracy, Americans have turned to the Bible for divine guidance, comfort, and encouragement." She added, “the National Bible Association reminds Alaskans and people of all faiths of the Bible's unique place in American life.”

Palin, who supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, acknowledges there is global warming, but does not believe it is a man-made problem. (This is a position Palin has changed since being added to the Republican ticket.)

She said, “A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location." Palin added, “I’m not one, though, who would attribute it to being man-made.”

The Palin family is dependent on big oil, Todd Palin is employed by BP. He left the company in 2007, after 18 years with the company, giving up a management position, as a Production Manager working on the North Slope, in order to avoid conflict of interest charges.

At the time Governor Palin was involved in negotiations with BP to build a natural gas pipeline.

Seven months later, in need of additional income, Todd returned to work for BP in in a non-management position as a production operator.

One of Palin's most controversial acts as Governor of Alaska has been supporting aerial hunting of wolves and bears; a practice Alaskans voted down twice.

She devoted $400,000 to fund a campaign which was eventually successful in legalizing aerial hunting.

To conclude, it's important to keep in mind that the McCain campaign is seeking to make the most of Palin's personal style and interests, while at the same time attacking the Obama campaign for any related reference to those issues which is not in a positive light.

Palin being a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, a hunting enthusiast and a fisherwoman gets plenty of attention from the McCain publicity machine.

Her being named Miss Wasilla and finishing as the runner-up in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant is something the campaign would prefer not be discussed. Especially when any reference to Palin being "pretty" is said to be an attack on her creditability. It doesn't surprise me, considering this contradiction, that people are posting PhotoShopped photos on the web.


Anonymous said...

Even as a Christian, the thought of having the public education system i.e. government decide how Creationism should be taught to our children is scary.

I think it's ok to to allow acknowledgment and worship of the Judeo-Christian God throughout the system(s), however there are too many doctrinal differences and that's where I draw the line. Therefore, religion and gov't should NOT go hand-in-hand. Just the basic principles.

Anonymous said...

The "cult of personality" is the only thing keeping anybody from seeing just what a ridiculously poor choice she is, and those Republicans have turned blatant hypocrisy into an art form....

Anonymous said...

The one question I would like to ask Gov. Palin is what she plans to do with the money should she win this pageant.

Anonymous said...

We had an Evangelical President once who did almost nothing while he was in office. Maybe Palin will do the same... nothing.

With what we have to work with, nothing is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Very enjoyable and informative read.I am from the Netherlands,so some of the info was new to me.I was very surprised about her nomination,and the more i read about her,the more it confuses me.Her idea's about the war in Iraq,which she pretty much regards as a holy war,are pretty frightening to me.The rape kit issue,wow...I've did some further research on that:

Anonymous said...

Palin confusedly thinks that if the scientific world picture is true, then her life and the lives of the rest of the world's inhabitants are futile has no purpose given from without. People like Palin, mistakenly conclude that there can be no purpose of life; that mankind cannot themselves adopt and achieve purposes unless it stems from a religious point of view no matter how baseless.

isabella mori said...

great summary of the palin story this far.

bulletholes said...

Kilroy, you ALWAYS come up with the hottest women on your blog.
In this pic, she reminds me of Mona, who would invite you to a party at her house while her parents were out of town and when you got there you found out YOU werre the party.

Great article too!

wcgillian said...

You should mention that the photo of Sarah, (last one) is a photo shop job. Todd did not quit his job, he took a leave of absence and the only reason he returned was to keep his union status as prearranged with BP.
You have covered a number of good issues here but keep in mind that many are exaggerated by your sources. I assure you she is not owned by the oil companies and they were distraught when she was elected. As for the hunting wolf from the air, there is a reason to support it if you happen to care for the other animals being decimated by the wolf packs.


bulletholes said...

WCgillian, you broke my heart.
Big time!

Anonymous said...

Palin says she supports freedom of religion. BS. She wants creationism taught in schools and had a week in November in Alaska declared 'Bible Week'? Holy crap. You'd have to be delusional not to see she has B.S. covering her all the way up to her elf ears. She is a scary broad. I think she might believe the stuff she says, too.

CD Junior said...

I don't care what General Colin Powell says about Sarah Palin. She is way too much for most insecure males and other "girley men" in this country and therefore a threat to them. For me, I am thrilled she is in the race and whether John McCain wins or looses having Sarah on the ticket will empower millions of go getting women to live their dreams.

honkeie said...

I dont watch much tv so my opinion isnt an educated one; but if the only two choices I have are these two I think I might move to Alaska. Oh wait idiots rule there too, damn it!