Off The Planet

John McCain's announcement of Sarah Palin as his running mate is not indicative of his "outside-the-box" maverick thinking. No, it's "off-the-planet" thinking. Palin is so far out of her league it's not even funny. Her speech today was "more appropriate for the state-level chicken-dinner circuit than for the national stage." It reminded me of a pep rally.

Sarah Palin has been a fine (not great) governor for the past twenty-ish months, and she was a fine mayor of a really small town before that (that town being Wasilla, most famous among my friends for being the place where we stop to pee and get gas on trips north). During her brief tenure as Alaska's governor, she has done well to distance herself from the Stevens, Young, et al. rampant corruption scandals and has taken a stand for ethics reform. That being said, she's currently being investigated (at the cost of $100,000 to the State) for firing the head of the Department of Public Safety after he refused to fire her sister's ex-husband.

Since just about everyone I know has been calling and e-mailing and asking about Governor Palin, I thought I would pull together a non-definitive list of everything a non-Alaskan needs to know about her. Since I'm first getting to this so late in the day, it comes on the heels of lots of others, including my friend, the wonderfully insightful and witty Myster, undertaking the same task. Still, here are ten fun Sarah facts I'd like to point your attention to:
  1. First, right off the bat, she's totally hot. She was Miss Wasilla, and now she's a GILF.
  2. She is immensely popular in Alaska. But that's not shocking considering her predecessor, Frank Murkowski, was a total douchebag. In fact her biggest qualification at the time she ran for governor was that she was not Frank Murkowski. Right now she may have the highest approval rating of any governor in the country, but she just gave everyone in Alaska $1200, so that probably helps win some points.
  3. Se was a point guard on her high school basketball team (read: leadership skills).
  4. She was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it. (And it actually did go somewhere. Really, who could build a bridge to nowhere? That's impossible.)
  5. Her foreign policy experience is limited to the fact that Alaska is "next to Russia."
  6. Her husband, Todd, is a four-time winner of the Iron Dog, the world's longest (2,000 mi) and most arduous snowmachine (or snowmobile as some of you say) race. That's actually a pretty big deal up here.
  7. There's a faked-pregnancy rumor.
  8. She may have sent a really creepy letter on the day she gave birth to her fifth child, Trig, born with Down Syndrome: Palin e-mailed a letter to family members and close friends on the same day she gave birth, writing it as if it came from God and signing it: "Trig's Creator, Your Heavenly Father." "Many people will express sympathy, but you don't want or need that, because Trig will be a joy," the letter said, according to the Daily News. "You have to trust me on this." "Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome."
  9. She is ultra-conservative: pro-life, pro-teaching the bible in school, pro-drilling and mining everywhere for anything. Don't believe that reform/moderate rhetoric.
  10. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, she hates polar bears. How can you vote for someone who hates polar bears?
My prediction: a la the Harriet Miers fiasco, Palin, citing "family responsibilities" or something in that vein, pulls out (under pressure from the party) while there is still time for the Repubs to put someone else on the ballot. Either way, big mistake by McCain.


Strange Bedfellows

Alaska has the highest gas prices in the nation. You know who feels us? Diddy, of course. And yes, that just happened.


In an episode of Peep Show, [1] Superhans said something that really resonates in the wake of Tuesday's election: "Yeah, people listen to Coldplay and voted for the Nazis--people can't be trusted!" [2] He's right. They can't, especially up here. Yesterday, Alaskans overwhelmingly voted against campaign finance reform, against mining regulations that would protect critical salmon habitat, and in favor of continuing to allow aerial wolf and bear hunting. Seriously. Come on, people. [3]
[1] Peep Show Season 5 is now available online. Enjoy.
[2] Full disclosure: I like the new Coldplay album.
[3] I do however, find myself snickering with the knowledge that Don Young is really sweating it out.


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