She For Real?


While Sarah Palin selection as a running mate appears to represent a brilliant tactical stroke for the McCain campaign, what if she is really unqualified to be so close to the presidency? Will we accept the risk in exchange for protecting the country against the inexperience, and liberalism, of Barack Obama?

Don’t get me wrong, on paper her credentials are better than Barack’s resume in my book. Liberals are comfortable with Barack being inexperienced because he’s thoughtful and articulate, and in the world of the educated elite, thoughtful and articulate is what it’s all about. They don’t mind that he’s never been a leader, is untested, and has used his elected positions as stepping stones, and they forgive his alliances with distasteful characters – all because he’s thoughtful and articulate.

Conservatives have more respect for life experience credentials than academic ones. That’s our bias. Give me the gal who hunts, fishes, has a good outside shot and competes for Miss Alaska, has five kids while getting herself from PTA to the governor’s seat by attacking the dug in political machinery of her own party – I’ll take her any day over the law professor. But those are the cover stories of the candidates – what’s the real deal on Palin?

Consider the story of one of Governor Palin’s former trusted advisors, John Bitney.

Bitney grew up with the governor, often telling the story of being in the same band class. He served as her Issues Coordinator during her successful gubernatorial campaign in 2006, spokesman for her transition team after the election and on December 1, 2006 he was named her Legislative Liaison.

What if she’s a joke? What if she hasn’t handled power well?

Bitney was respected as a hard worker by people who knew him and worked with him. In six months, Bitney guided the governor’s policies through the legislature, including her hallmark legislation; AGIA.

But John Bitney made the fatal employment mistake; he got on the bad side of Todd Palin.

In June of 2007, it became known that Bitney was dating the soon to be ex-wife of Todd Palin’s good friend. Palin reportedly began demanding that Bitney be fired.

What if she’s not bothered to take a professional approach to running the government, but instead, has taken a townie approach – turning power over to her husband and high school friends without learning how to master the system?

After a short time, Bitney realized that he couldn’t remain in the governor’s office due to the constant pressure and he worked out a deal with Chief of Staff Mike Tibbles to take a transfer to another department.

What if the woman who fought the entrenched power structure has spent her 18 months in office learning to imitate the ones she ousted?

On July 3, Bitney was in the process of driving his vehicle back to Juneau when he couldn’t get his state issued Blackberry to work. When he arrived in Tok he called his office and was told that his Blackberry had been turned off and that his name had been removed from the state employee directory.

His call was then transferred into Tibbles who told him the proposal they talked about was a no deal and the governor ordered him fired immediately. John Bitney was never given a reason why he was fired and never given a chance to make a graceful exit.

That’s the rap on Palin from the opposition.

It is scary to think about a guy being elected President on the strength of being thoughtful and articulate. It’s also scary to think of McCain’s second in command being a lightweight who has not made the effort to weild power effectively, but instead, is happy to be the very capable face of power.

We shall enjoy the new election process, upended by McCain’s selection. And I will continue to investigate the realities behind the near perfect picture that Sarah Palin is – and report to you here.


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