Friday, November 27, 2009

Lies, Damn Lies and Campaign Biographies

Since the presidential election, we at the Egg have done our best to lay off the team that lost. It seemed unsporting, not to mention redundant, to kick McCain and company while they were down.

The problem with our strategy is Sarah Palin. Clearly intoxicated by the bright lights of national attention, she has made little secret of her thirst for more. Yes, we thought it was weird that her first move was to quit her job -- being the governor of a state is often considered a pretty good base from which to organize politically. But of course, that only works if you are planning to run on a platform which includes actual accomplishments. If you actually believe (as Palin does, and not without reason) that the winning campaign will be composed of sound bites and airbrushing, then the tedious meat-and-potatoes of budgets, legislative deals, and re-election are all a big waste of your comparative youth. Don't get old behind a desk -- get out and attack your enemies!

So she wrote a campaign biography, which is by now one of those tedious ritualistic exercises undertaken by presidential aspirants, about the way lower-level politicos kiss babies and cut ribbons. Nobody really believes anything you write in these books, any more than they believe you love their pwecious or personally paved their road. You just do it so that you'll have something to talk about.

All this being true, a lesser literary figure than Sarah Palin might have stuck to a few heartwarming stories about gutting moose as a child and visiting wounded infantrymen when her handlers set it up in advance. Easy enough, right?

But not our Sarah. No, she has apparently resolved to settle some scores in this biography -- to launch a strike at anybody who might be a publicity problem later. Like, you know, her family.

Click up top for a HuffPo report on Palin's former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten. Her book apparently includes some claims about him, which he in turn claims are actually lies. This would just be a case of he said/she said, except that an ethics panel (consisting overwhelmingly of Republicans) has already investigated the case, and found Palin to be in the wrong. She and her family have spent years attacking this guy and trying to get him fired, for what are clearly personal reasons. But rather than let it drop, she just keeps coming back, requiring more people to shoot her down. Like this:

In Going Rogue, Palin ... cites many charges that were brought against Wooten that were subsequently dismissed. She contends that there were "ten different" citizen complaints field against Wooten--without acknowledging that all of them were filed by members of her family or close friends. ...

In an interview conducted in Alaska this past summer, John Cyr, the former Alaska Public Safety Employees Association Executive Director, confirmed Wooten's charges:

Not one complaint has ever been made about Mike Wooten's professional performance from any member of the public other than the Palin/Heath family and their closest friends. The troopers that I've talked to that have worked with Mike tell me Mike is the kind of guy they'd go through a door with. That he does his work. He's a professional. You know, just no complaints out there about Mike's work.

"It's the product of an ugly divorce and custody battle," Cyr said of the complaints against the State Trooper. "It's nothing more than that."

Perhaps we should admire her persistence, if not her ethics or judgment.


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Unfortunately, Palin doesn't appear devious, ie, intentionally telling lies to get her point across. I think she believes in this baloney. She is making enough enemies to give me hope that she can't get anywhere politically. If not, well, I live 75 miles from Canada.

Father said...

I'm not sure I agree about the deviousness, although there are surely people with so little capacity for self-examination that they believe their own lies. She could easily be one of them.

Either way, I agree that she is more smoke than fire, electorally speaking. She will surely run in 2012, but I expect it to be a niche campaign, attractive only to a small group of true believers -- like Ron Paul, but without the principles.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

So many of her statements sound like a 13 year old who changes what she says to fit the circumstances and accusations of the moment, that's why I don't think she is intentionally devious, except to the extent that she wants to deflect blame.