Good evening, lots of friends and relatives have been asking me (as an Alaskan) what I think of Sarah Palin, our Governor and new choice for McCain as a VP candidate.
Here it goes:
This pick floored me. Sarah Palin is a nice person. I've met her, I've even talked to her for a few minutes at a principal's conference a couple of years ago. She has lots going for her superficially. She speaks from the heart, like a spitfire mother; she can even be sort of funny sometimes. She is quite beautiful; athletic, and has that radiant glow of someone who actually spends time doing things outside. Unlike many politicians, she has lived a "real life" and done things that few living and working in DC could ever do....like dipnettin' fish, shootin' stuff and eating it out on the tundra, and havin' 5 kids.
Personally, I'd never vote for her. She has an extremely simple view of the world. I don't even think she has ever been abroad. As governor she has repeatedly shown us that she is unable to grasp the demands of leadership. She is very prone to cronyism of the worst kind. Every cabinet level political appointment she has made she has over-ridden suggestions of our state advisory boards, and instead promoted those who had granted her direct political favors. Not that other politicians don't do this, they do, but most of them are able to balance their appointments to ensure that at least a few people with real skill and experience are running big state agencies.
She also has been unable to pay attention to her Alaskan constituency. Personally, I've written several of our previous gov's and been asked to comment publicly on education policy. All the previous gov's have always acknowledged that contribution, criticism or comment; sometimes by direct reply, or at least by that of a staff member. Palin's office has been a zone of silence. Not I, nor one person I know commenting has ever gotten any sort of reply. Her claim of running an open or transparent government is totally false; the public simply has no role in her administration.
Her previous claim to fame was being mayor of Wasilla, a growing town about 40 minutes from Anchorage of about 15,000 people. Wasilla is a hellhole, even by Alaskan standards, where there are plenty of hellhole towns and villages. Wasilla is an ugly place that shows a complete absence of planning, design, or sense of public vision. Gov't agencies and services are completely overrun in this town; things are so bad that they can't even track their population or build schools in the right place, because most parts of the town don't require building permits, so the only clue about where people are settling are utility receipts. Imagine trying to be an emergency responder in this kind of place: Houses don't just catch on fire in Wasilla, they burn to the ground, because by the time the fire department has figured out which road to take (no signs) or whose house it is (no directory), the place is done for. Palin was mayor this town for at least 2 terms before being elected gov. a year and a half ago.
Her moral sense is simplistic and not inclusive. She is the sort of person who is used to using their "faith" to divide and isolate minority groups of human beings instead of uniting them. To her credit as Gov. she has kept out of this arena pretty well, but when in comfortable company (i.e the Matanuska Valley Republican Women's Club), she lets her moral cat out of the bag.
I will do what I can to ensure her defeat and that of her running mate as well. :) Please share this information with those who can use it well.
Cheers, Pete Hauschka
Monday, September 01, 2008
A local (Alaskan) on Palin: "This pick floored me."
This interesting take on Sarah Palin comes from Pete Hauschka, a school principal who has lived in Alaska for ten years. He's the brother of Warner Chabot, a colleague of my husband. Pete requests that we pass his words on "to those who will use them well." Emphasis added by me:
Posted by Alna Dem at 4:37 PM