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Sarah Palin on Principles & Values

Republican Governor (AK); ; nominee for Vice President


2005 gubernatorial race: Ambition drives; purpose beckons

[When I resigned as Oil Commissioner], there was a longing inside me that winter, a sense of purpose hovering just beyond my vision. Was it ambition? I didn't think so. Ambition drives; purpose beckons. Purpose calls.

I definitely wasn't driven toward any particular goal, like power or wealth or fame. So what was it? I prayed that if I was to resign myself to what felt like a public service career cut short, that I'd embrace being home full-time. I asked that the fire in my belly, an whatever was feeding it, would simmer down.

I thought of a passage from the book of Jeremiah 29:11-13: "'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord." It irked me that too often women are made to feel guilty for seeking the next open door.

I wasn't sure what I was to do next, yet. I resolved to seek confirming signs along the way--the open door--to show me the right road.

In winter 2005 I decided to toss my hat in the ring to replace Frank Murkowski as governor.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.103-106 Nov 17, 2009

Resigned because relentless tabloidizing prevented work

On Nov. 5, 2008, I flew home to a political landscape that had permanently changed, The fallout was immediate: the governor's office was inundated with frivolous ethics complaints. Reporters abandoned actual reporting in favor of tabloidizing my family, my record, and me. The number of lawsuits filed against us mounted, and legal bills piled up.

Naturally enough, I had assumed that after the election everything would go back to the way it was before. But what a difference ten weeks can make.

Pundits seemed to assume that I was thinking only of my future on the national stage. And no matter how many times and in how many ways I repeated that Alaska came first, the opposition interpreted every position I took through the prism of my supposed "national ambitions."

Nationally, pundits and reporters would criticize me for focusing on Alaska; locally, the opposition would criticize me for focusing on national issues--as if I needed to think of Alaska's issues as irrelevant to the nation.

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.342-345&374-380 Nov 17, 2009

FactCheck: Autobiography sounds like presidential ambition

PALIN: "Was it ambition? I didn't think so. Ambition drives; purpose beckons." Throughout the book, Palin cites altruistic reasons for running for office, and for leaving early as Alaska governor.

THE FACTS: Few politicians own up to wanting high office for the power and prestige of it, and in this respect, Palin fits the conventional mold. But "Going Rogue" has all the characteristics of a pre-campaign manifesto, the requisite autobiography of the future candidate.

Source: AP Fact Check about "Going Rogue", in NY Times Nov 13, 2009

Named first female GOP VP candidate on suffrage anniversary

McCain had come to end what had been months of speculation about his selection of a running mate. "I found someone with an outstanding reputation for standing up to special interests and entrenched bureaucracies; someone who has fought against corruption and the failed policies of the past; someone who's stopped government from wasting taxpayer's money."

McCain ticked off a list of credentials: "...knows what it's like to worry about mortgage payments and health care and the cost of gasoline and groceries. A concerned citizen who became a member of the PTA, then a city council member, and then a mayor, and now a governor."

McCain continued, "I am especially proud to say as we celebrate the anniversary of women's suffrage..." By then everyone in the arena knew what was going to happen. McCain the maverick was about to announce a woman as his choice for vice president. McCain completed the line with a smile, "... a devoted wife and a mother of five." The crowd roared its approval.

Source: Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader, by Joe Hilley, chapter 1 Oct 13, 2008

By working with all parties, never had to compromise

Q: Can you think of a single policy issue, in which you were forced to change a long-held view in order to accommodate changed circumstances?

PALIN: There have been times where, as mayor and governor, we have passed budgets that I did not veto and that I think could be considered as something that I quasi-caved in, if you will, but knowing that it was the right thing to do in order to progress the agenda for that year & to work with the legislative body, that body that actually holds the purse strings. So there were times when I wanted to zero-base budget, and to cut taxes even more, and I didn’t have enough support in order to accomplish that. But on the major principle things, no, there hasn’t been something that I’ve had to compromise on, because we’ve always seemed to find a way to work together. Up there in Alaska, what we have done, with bipartisan efforts, is work together and, again, not caring who gets the credit for what, as we accomplish things up there.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sen. Joe Biden Oct 2, 2008

Admires Geraldine Ferraro & George Bush Sr

Q: What previous vice president impresses you the most and why?

A: It would have to be, just a candidate, and that would have to have been Geraldine Ferraro, of course. That’s an easy one for me because she’s the one who first shattered part of that glass ceiling.

Q: What about as an actual vice president?

A: I think those who have gone on to the presidency, George Bush Sr., having kind of learned the ropes in his position as VP and then movin’ on up.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric Oct 2, 2008

Favorite movie: “Hoosiers”, for underdog tenacity

Q: What’s your favorite movie and why?

A: I love those old sports movies, like Hoosiers, and Rudy; those that show that the underdog can make it and it’s all about tenacity and work ethic and determination, and just doing the right thing. So it would probably be one of those two old sports movies.

Q: Do you have a favorite scene from either of them?

A: At the very end, the victories! Yeah! Rudy, where he gets to run out on the field and makes a difference. And then in Hoosiers, when they win.

Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric Oct 2, 2008

Shares McCain world view of US as shining city on the hill

Q: What qualifies you for the job?

PALIN: But even more important is that world view that I share with John McCain. That world view that says that America is a nation of exceptionalism. And we are to be that shining city on a hill, as President Reagan so beautifully said, that we are a beacon of hope. We are not perfect as a nation. But together, we represent a perfect ideal. And that is democracy and tolerance and freedom and equal rights. Those things that we stand for that can be put to good use as a force for good in this world.

BIDEN: I will place my record and Barack’s record against John McCain’s or anyone else in terms of fundamental accomplishments. Wrote the crime bill, put 100,000 cops on the street, wrote the Violence Against Women Act, which John McCain voted against both of them, was the catalyst to change the circumstance in Bosnia, led by President Clinton, obviously.

Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Joe Biden Oct 2, 2008

Officiated a marriage in the aisle of Wal-Mart

Much of Wasilla has given way to strip malls & subdivisions. Palin knows this is the heart of her town. In 1999, when Wal-Mart was the place to shop in Wasilla, a couple who worked there decided to get married in the aisles of the store. Shoppers convened, and tour-bus passengers stopped and gawked. Palin, who was then mayor of the 5,000 or so residents of the town, officiated. Later, she told a reporter that she had to hold back tears. “It was so sweet,” she said. “It was so Wasilla.”
Source: Amanda Coyne in Newsweek Sep 22, 2008

OpEd: Vetting process for V.P. included no one in Alaska

Q: Is Sarah Palin prepared to be president?

A: No. The president should have a broader world view and have experience on the national/international levels. No one in Alaska knows of anyone that was talked to. There is no evidence that she was vetted in Alaska.

Source: Phone interview with Anne Kilkenny, resident of Wasilla AK Sep 21, 2008

Proud of being a Washington outsider

I’m certainly a Washington outsider and I’m proud of that because I think that that is what we need also. As a team member on this new team promising reform. Reform that actually happens is tough and you can’t just talk about it and you can’t just talk about your years of experience in a bureaucratic system. You have to show examples and what I have done is have been able to show examples as a mayor cutting taxes every year that I was in office, as a governor now, suspending our fuel tax recently, getting our handle on the state’s budget in Alaska, growing the surplus so that we can return that surplus right back to the people of Alaska.
Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

Good-old-boy networks are created by both parties

Q: Explain how you took on your own party as governor of Alaska. And do you think you’d be able to do that, as well, in Washington?

A: Well, I just recognized that it doesn’t matter which party it is that is just kind of creating the good-old-boy network and the cronyism and allowing obsessive partisanship to get in the way of just doing what’s right for the people who are to be served. And I just recognized that it’s not just the other party. Sometimes it’s our own party that just starts taking advantage of the people. And I felt compelled to do something about it, decided to run for office, got in there and with that mandate that I believe the people had just given me, via their vote, they expected the changes to take place, that reform. And we’re living up to that. And as we do, we are ruffling feathers.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

Americans are just getting sick & tired of politics as usual

Q: Have Republicans in Washington lost their way in recent years?

A: I believe that Republicans in Washington have got to understand that the people of America are not fully satisfied with all the dealings within the party. Same applies though for the other party, also. Americans are just getting sick and tired of politics as usual, that embracing of the status quo, going with the flow and just assuming that the people of America are not noticing that we have opportunities for good change. We have opportunity for a healthier, safer, more prosperous and energy-independent nation at this time. People are getting tired of a process that’s not allowing that progress to be ushered in.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

When I hear our National Anthem, I get a lump in my throat

Q: What motivates you? What made you want to get into the political world?

A: My love of this country. I’m one of those people, you know, I see a soldier walk through the airport and, you know, my heart does a little double-take. And I hear the Pledge of Allegiance or our National Anthem and I get a lump in my throat. And know that that’s the majority of Americans. Also, I am so proud, have been so proud of our country, every step of the way. We’ve made mistakes. We learn from our mistakes.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

Came of age in the era of Reagan; thinks about him daily

Q: Historically, who inspires you politically?

A: I’m thankful that I came of age politically in the era of Ronald Reagan, in high school and in college. He is my inspiration. His vision of America and of the exceptional-ism of our country. I think about him every day. I think about what that Great Communicator has left our country and the rest of the world.

So he and then his partner on a lot of the good things that went on in the world at that time, Margaret Thatcher--just over the water. She too--she was underestimated as she came into office and proved herself with her abilities, her determination. She is another one.

Further back in history, Abraham Lincoln. Coming into office in a time of such turmoil. What Lincoln was able to do was marshal talents from disgruntled opponents even and adversaries and have everybody work together in order to fulfill the mission of unifying the nation and winning the war.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

There is a plan for this world and that plan is for good

Q: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending US soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?

A: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.

Q: Exact words.

A: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words. I would never presume to know God’s will. What Abraham Lincoln had said was: Let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side. That’s what that comment was al about.

Q: I take your point about Lincoln’s words, but you went on & said, “There is a plan and it is God’s plan.”

A: I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, and I believe that those are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That, in my world view, is the grand plan.

Source: ABC News: 2008 election interview with Charlie Gibson Sep 11, 2008

Underestimating Sarah always proved to be a big mistake

When Sarah's family group gets together for a holiday gathering or a sporting event, everyone is loud, opinionated, and gets into everyone else's business. The one thing they all agree on is how hard it is to watch Sarah become a target of her political foes.

"One of her strengths is being able to hold her tongue when she's been unfairly attacked," said [Sarah's brother] Chuck Jr. "By staying true to her beliefs, things always seem to fall into place for her."

Not that Sarah's journey to the governor's office was easy. From the moment she began making her mark in the politics, she was criticized for being too young, too inexperienced, and too na‹ve. Yet, time after time over the years, underestimating Sarah always proved to be a big mistake.

Source: Hockey Mom, by Kaylene Johnson Sep 9, 2008

Small towns produced Harry Truman as V.P.; and produced me

Long ago, a young farmer and haberdasher from Missouri followed an unlikely path to the vice presidency. A writer observed: “We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty, sincerity, and dignity.” I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind when he praised Harry Truman. I grew up with those people. They do some of the hardest work in America who grow our food, run our factories and fight our wars. They love their country, in good times and bad, and they’re always proud of America.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention Sep 3, 2008

OpEd: shores up McCain as a conservative AND as a maverick

McCain chose Palin because she’s 44 and healthy, a fine contrast to a 72-year-old with skin cancer. He chose her, too, because she opposes a woman’s right to end a pregnancy and supports the right to bear arms. She reignites family values as a campaign issue and lures in the disaffected religious right.

But mostly, he chose her because she’s a woman. He’s banking on Palin’s appeal to all those scorned Hillary Clinton voters. And ever the competitor, McCain wasn’t about to give Barack Obama an advantage in the diversity category of the presidential campaign.

With Palin, McCain can have his cake and eat it, too. He shores up his conservative credentials while still boosting his bonafides as a maverick.

That goes to show that the first and last rule of being vice president is that it’s never really about you. No matter how much attention we pay to the running mates right now, folks don’t vote for president based on their vice presidential pick and they don’t remember them once they do.

Source: News Journal Online, “Fresh Talk”, by Pamela Hasterok Sep 1, 2008

Before selection, questioned role of vice president

When first approached by the McCain campaign, Palin seemed a little dubious about the job herself. She wasn’t sure she wanted it, she said in a television interview, “until somebody answers for me what it is exactly that the vice president does every day.”

Face it, the single role of Palin and Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate, is to be a live body to take the place of the president when he is no more. The job is so marginal some presidents didn’t have them--Truman and Lyndon Johnson spent their first terms without.

Some argue the vice president’s role has grown under the past two presidents. Al Gore was Bill Clinton’s go-to man on the environment and technology; Dick Cheney is believed to be the most influential VP in history.

But who will help a presidential candidate win the election and who will help him govern are two different things. Palin is no Cheney. You won’t see her running the country while McCain is flying around in Air Force 1 evading terrorists.

Source: News Journal Online, “Fresh Talk”, by Pamela Hasterok Sep 1, 2008

Gained political prominence as a whistleblower

One commentator noted that] Palin--a 44-year-old former small-town mayor who gained prominence as a whistleblower against fellow Republicans in Alaska--seemed to better suit McCain’s style. “This is a maverick picking a maverick, and I think it makes sense,” he said.
Source: Boston Globe, “Romney backers”, p. A12 Aug 30, 2008

Shatter that glass ceiling once and for all

Though McCain is winning 47% of the white female vote, there is room for him to exploit the disaffection of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton backers who have not warmed to Obama. And Palin could win McCain more support from working-class women. But it is not clear that Palin would pull in voters who had been drawn to Clinton’s advocacy for women’s rights -- including abortion rights -- and her decades of experience.

Palin began her courtship of that constituency Friday, invoking the legacy of Geraldine Ferraro, who, as the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984, became the first woman to run on a national major-party ticket. Palin also pledged to finish Clinton’s work and “shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.”

Source: By Peter Wallsten in Los Angeles Times Aug 30, 2008

Leadership is a responsibility to prepare for tomorrow

We are on the same team, if we have got the same goal. With so much opportunity in Alaska, let’s look at challenges like we do in our own families: save money, spend wisely, and we will secure our tomorrow. Invest in solid foundations like education and deferred maintenance. Pull together, not tear down. Be positive. Respect our treasured past, but look forward now. These are leadership characteristics expected by those who elect us to lead, to serve, to work for Alaskans. What a responsibility we have! To look beyond partisan and geographic differences. To slow government growth, so we don’t tax hard working families and hand future generations a budget they can’t afford. To restore trust in government. To develop our resources responsibly, including a gasline to meet our long-term energy needs. To equip our students for work and help them commit to personal responsibility and good character. United leadership to do the will of the people, with vigor.
Source: 2008 State of the State Address to 25th Alaska Legislature Jan 15, 2008

Top priorities for AK include ethics & balanced budget

“One hundred days ago, I outlined my top priorities for the state: a natural gasline, a balanced budget including temporary relief for the unexpected PERS/TRS burden, ethics reform, and workforce development,” said Governor Palin. “I am proud of our accomplishments to date, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: press release, “100th Day” Mar 13, 2007

Decries “politics as usual” of attacking opponents

Knowles rallied in the third round when talk turned to Palin’s habit of skipping campaign events. Though Palin tried to move the conversation in another direction, decrying the topic as “politics as usual,” she derailed her effort by engaging in a politics-as-usual debate over the definition of the phrase “no-show.” The moderator cut them off to end the silliness.
Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: ADN coverage of radio debate Nov 3, 2006

Endorsed by Sen. Ted Stevens

Campaign advertisement in Alaska gubernatorial race: Senator Ted Stevens speaking:

We have a state that needs new management. [Palin & Parnell] represent a new generation. And they represent a new vision, new energy. They represent the kind of people that ought to come along and take our places.

And it needs a new agenda for all of use to get behind. Think of this -- when you go to vote, don’t go to vote alone, and you’ll help Sarah become the next governor of Alaska, which we all want to see.

Source: AdWatch of 2008 presidential race: 2006 Alaska Governor ad Oct 30, 2006

Endorsed by United Fishermen of Alaska (commercial group)

So far, commercial fishing groups are choosing Palin. The state’s flagship group, United Fishermen of Alaska, endorsed Palin, as did a leading commercial fishing organization.

The executive director of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association said his group believes Knowles mismanaged spawning runs, culminating years later in this season’s poor Inlet sockeye harvest. “The reason we went with Sarah was, she believes in managing these fisheries for the highest abundance on average that we can get,” the director said. That’s good, he said, for all kinds of fishermen including commercial gillnetters, sport anglers and dipnetters.

A handicap for Knowles is his eight-year record of engaging tough fish policy questions and crises, creating baggage that doesn’t burden Palin, said Terry Gardiner, speaker of the Alaska House in 1979-80. “It’s simple: He has a record. It’s a record versus no involvement,” he said, adding: “The way to be popular with fishermen is do nothing, because you don’t make enemies.”

Source: Anchorage Daily News: 2006 gubernatorial candidate profile Oct 29, 2006


Sarah Palin on Mayorship & Governorship

Known to Wasilla residents as personable multi-tasker

Q: How would you describe Governor Palin: what is her appeal?

A: Governor Palin is very charismatic and personable. If you meet her on the street, she will greet you by name, mention your children’s names, and ask a relevant question about your family. She’s organized, a multi-tasker, she’s a “super woman” who has it all. She has tapped into an anti-intellectual strain in America. Her greatest strength is her confidence--the “not blinking” rhetoric. However,“not blinking” leaves her vulnerable--she doesn’t even know what she doesn’t know, and she’s not open to anyone who wants to tell her what she doesn’t know.

Q: What is she like to work with?

A: I attended multiple City Council meetings when Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, and Sarah had a very informal style. The meetings were not run professionally--Sarah tended to be very lax with Robert’s Rules of Order, for instance. In addition, many government meetings were kicked off with a prayer.

Source: Phone interview with Anne Kilkenny, resident of Wasilla AK Sep 21, 2008

Embraced “City of Character” religious program as mayor

Q: From what I’ve read, Palin hasn’t pursued social issues in Alaska as they might relate to her religious beliefs. Is that correct, and do you think she will do the same or do differently as V.P.?

A: As mayor, Palin questioned the librarian about the process and feasibility of banning books. Although Palin asserted her questions were “rhetorical,” the librarian asserted that they were posed in a threatening rather than a rhetorical way. Second, as mayor, Palin embraced the idea of a “City of Character,” which is a religious program, and third, during her tenure, city employees primarily identified themselves by their religious affiliations. If there were a vacancy on the Supreme Court, [I feel that] Sarah Palin would attempt to influence the pick to be someone who would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Source: Phone interview with Anne Kilkenny, resident of Wasilla AK Sep 21, 2008

Signed up for PTA; then ran for City Council; then Mayor

I was just your average hockey mom and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better. When I ran for City Council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too. Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention Sep 3, 2008

Trounced incumbent governor in 2006 on platform of reform

Before Ms. Palin, 44, became Alaska’s first female governor, in 2006, [she was] mayor of Wasilla, a growing suburb of Anchorage with fewer than 7,000 residents. Ms. Palin jumped into the governor’s race as an outsider calling for reform.

She already had challenged the state Republican Party’s chairman, accusing him of abusing his role on a state oil and gas commission to do political work. And by the summer of 2006, Ms. Palin was taking on the governor, Frank H. Murkowski, a Republican lion of Alaska politics whose bluster and closed-door dealing had finally worn thin in the state.

Ms. Palin, youthful and sympathetic with voters but bluntly critical of her party’s leadership, said state government was broken, that it needed to be transparent and responsive. Stunningly, she won in a landslide, trouncing Mr. Murkowski by more than 30 points in the Republican primary that summer and rolling through the general election.

Source: New York Times, pp. A1 & A10, “An Outsider Who Charms” Aug 29, 2008


Sarah Palin on Personal History

Sarah Heath born in Idaho; moved to Alaska at age 2 months

Born in Sandpoint, Idaho on February 11, 1964, Sarah Louise was the third of four children born in rapid succession to Chuck and Sally Heath. The family moved to Alaska when Sarah was two months old. Chuck took a job teaching school in Skagway. Her older brother, Chuck Jr., was two years old, Heather had just turned one, and Molly was soon to come. Chuck Jr. vividly remembers the days in Skagway when he and his dad ran a trapline, put out crab pots, and hunted mountain goats and seals. The family spent time hiking up to alpine lakes and looking for artifacts left behind during the Klondike Gold Rush.

In 1969, the Heaths moved to south central Alaska, living for a short time with friends in Anchorage, then for two years in Eagle River before finally settling in Wasilla. The family lived frugally. To help make ends meet, Chuck Heath moonlighted as a hunting and fishing guide and as a bartender. Sally worked as a school secretary and ran their busy household.

Source: Hockey Mom, by Kaylene Johnson Sep 9, 2008

Entered beauty contests to help pay for college

After high school, much to her older brother's amusement, Sarah entered the Miss Wasilla pageant and won.

"I remember asking Sarah why she would enter a beauty pageant when that seemed so prissy to the rest of us," Chuck Jr. said. "She told me matter o factly, 'It's going to help pay my way through college.' " Her family makes a point of saying Sarah was never the beauty pageant type. Even though the scholarship she won did help pay for college, years later Sarah seemed chagrined by the pageant experience.

"They made us line up in bathing suits and turn our backs so the male judges could look at our butts," she said in a 2008 interview with Vogue magazine. "I couldn't believe it!"

Sarah's other trait is what her father calls an unbending, unapologetic streak of stubbornness. "The rest of the kids, I could force them to do something," Chuck Sr. said. "But with Sarah, there was no way. From a young age she had a mind of her own. Once she made up her mind, she didn't change it."

Source: Hockey Mom, by Kaylene Johnson Sep 9, 2008

Family emphasized education; read newspapers as child

From the time Sarah was in elementary school, she consumed newspapers with a passion. "She read the paper from the very top left hand corner to the bottom right corner to the very last page," said Sarah's sister Molly. "She didn't want to miss a word. She didn't just read it--she knew every word she had read and analyzed it."

Sarah preferred nonfiction to the Nancy Drew books that her classmates were reading. In junior high school, Heather--a year older in school--often enlisted Sarah's help with book reports. "She was such a bookworm. Whenever I was assigned to read a book, she'd already read it," Heather said.

Sarah's thirst for knowledge was nurtured in a household that emphasized the importance of education. There was never any question that all the Heath kids would go to college. With her love for newspapers and current events, Sarah majored in journalism and minored in political science.

Source: Hockey Mom, by Kaylene Johnson Sep 9, 2008

Miss Congeniality in statewide beauty pageant in 1984

Palin, 44, worked in corporate communications and as a television sportscaster, describes her current occupation as governor and “commercial fisherman” and is a former beauty queen who was featured in a Vogue magazine spread last year.

In college, Palin competed in the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant in 1984 while working toward the communications degree she received at the University of Idaho in 1987. She won her hometown’s competition and was named Miss Congeniality in the statewide event.

Source: Boston Globe, “A valentine to evangelical base”, p. A12 Aug 30, 2008

Star high school athlete in Fellowship of Christian Athletes

A standout high school multiple-sport athlete nicknamed “Sarah Barracuda,” Palin was team captain for the Wasilla High Warriors, an underdog girls’ basketball team that improbably won the state championship.

Raised in a religious household, her faith apparently emerged at a young age: a photo of her from a high school yearbook carries a Biblical caption: “He is the light and the light is the life.” While in high school she headed her high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Source: Boston Globe, “A valentine to evangelical base”, p. A12 Aug 30, 2008

Voted “Miss Wasilla” in local beauty contest; eloped at 24

Born on Feb. 11, 1964, in Sandpoint, Idaho, Sarah Heath Palin was still an infant when her parents moved the family to Skagway, in southeast Alaska, after accepting teaching positions there.

The governor met her husband in high school, and she was late voted “Miss Wasilla” in a local beauty contest. In 1987, she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho. A year later, she and Mr. Palin eloped.

The governor said that she “never really set out to be involved in public affairs, much less to run for this office,“ referring to the vice presidency, but she rose quickly once she entered political life. ”A PTA mom who got involved,“ is how the current mayor of Wasilla described Palin.

She was elected to the Wasilla City Council in 1992, then ran for mayor in 1996, she has said, because she was concerned that revenue from a new sales tax would not be spent wisely. She served two terms, through 2002.

Source: New York Times, pp. A1 & A10, “An Outsider Who Charms” Aug 29, 2008

Husband left oil job to avoid conflict; now works for BP

In addition to Ms. Palin’s $125,000 state salary, Mr. Palin earned $93,000 last year from his own fishing business & working part-time at BP’s oil production facility. Ms. Palin said that her husband would quit his job at BP if she were elected governor, but later backed away from that. He took a leave from the company after she won, but went back to work there last year; Ms Palin claimed since Mr. Palin is not in management, it poses no conflict with her own dealings with the petroleum industry.
Source: New York Times, pp. A1 & A10, “An Outsider Who Charms” Aug 29, 2008

Husband is part Eskimo; won Iron Dog snowmobile races

Mr. Palin, who is part Yu’pik Eskimo, also received a few hundred dollars in dividends as a shareholder in two benefit corporations representing Alaskan Natives and $10,500 from the Iron Dog snowmobile race, which he has won several times.
Source: New York Times, pp. A1 & A10, “An Outsider Who Charms” Aug 29, 2008

Raises kids with network of relatives, plus Todd as Mr. Mom

Q: McCain likes to get up early in the morning and go. And you?

A: Morning person. Yup. We don’t sleep much. Too much to do. What I’ve had to do, though, is in the middle of the night, put down the BlackBerries and pick up the breast pump. Do a couple of things different and still get it all done.

Q: As a new mom, how are you going to juggle all this?

A: I am thankful to be married to a man who loves being a dad as much as I love being a mom, so he is my strength. And practically speaking, we have a great network of help with lots of grandparents and aunties and uncles all around us. We have a lot of help.

Q: So will your husband be on leave now indefinitely to be Mr. Mom?

A: I would say so, yes.

Source: By Sandra Sobieraj Westfall in People magazine Aug 29, 2008

Had 6 months to adapt & prepare for Down syndrome baby

Q: Gov. Palin, when you were 13 weeks pregnant, last December, you had an amniocentesis that determined Trig had Down syndrome.

SARAH: I was grateful to have all those months to prepare. I can’t imagine the moms that are surprised at the end. I think they have it a lot harder.

Q: Mr. Palin, you have this tiny baby with special needs. Do you worry that people may wonder if she’ll be giving short shrift to her family?

TODD: She’s heard that her whole life--the challenges of being a female and mother in the work force. I remember the first time she ran for mayor one of her fellow council members told her you can’t run because you’ve got three negatives: Track, Bristol and Willow. Those are the three kids we had at the time. So when you tell her that kind of stuff, she just gets fired up. We’re an Alaska family that adapts.

Source: By Sandra Sobieraj Westfall in People magazine Aug 29, 2008

Studied journalism; ran for office to make a difference

Q: What got you involved in politics?

A: I studied journalism in college and always had an interest in the newsroom, which was of course so often focused on politics and government. But even earlier than that, my dad was an elementary school teacher, so often our dinner-table conversations were about current events and about those things that an elementary school teacher teaches students--much about government and much about our nation, and so I had ingrained in me an interest in our government, how things worked. And then from there I just became more interested in more practical steps that I could take. I started off running for city council when I was very young in Wasilla, where I had grown up, and was elected to two terms on the city council. And then I realized to be really able to make a difference--not just being one of six of a body but to make a difference--I would have to run for the top dog position, and so I ran for mayor and was elected mayor for two terms.

Source: Q&A with Time Magazine’s Jay Newton Small Aug 14, 2008


Sarah Palin on Religion

OpEd: Core values defined by political ambition plus church

Q: What are Sarah Palin’s core principles and values?

A: Her values are those of her church: evangelical Christian fundamentalism. In Alaska, social life in small towns revolves around church membership: it’s too cold usually to hang out in the back yard with neighbors; many people work for very small family businesses; so the church is the main source of social life and is also a replacement for extended family--many people in Alaska are from somewhere else. As a result, the teachings of a church are reinforced repeatedly throughout the week. And people socialize with fellow congregants. So, the values of one’s particular church typically shape the values of the person and the individual’s social circle. However, like all successful politicians, she is willing to set aside her core values in order to further her political ambition. As governor, Sarah Palin set aside her personal objections to abortion, to homosexuality, etc., and did not take action to get creationism taught in the schools.

Source: Phone interview with Anne Kilkenny, resident of Wasilla AK Sep 21, 2008

I’m one of those bitter people clinging to guns & religion

Q: Senator Obama had talked about people in Pennsylvania, while he was in San Francisco, as being bitter Americans, clinging to guns and clinging to religion. Do you think that was a putdown of middle class people in the country?

A: Well, you know, I’m one of those people. So I think that we just have great respect for a candidate who would not speak about us, middle class Americans, in one part of the country and then turn around and say something different about middle class America in another part of the country. The assurance that I can give Americans is that the candidate whom I am running with, he is the same man--no matter where he is, no matter who is listening. He is a man who is so proud of America and is very much in touch with middle class Americans and wants to be hired by Americans so that he can work for them and put government on their side.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

Religion: non-denominational Bible-believing Christian

Q: Where do you see yourself going?

A: You know, I don’t know. I knew early on that the smartest thing for me to do was to work hard, do the best that I can, make wise decisions based on good information in front of me. And then get myself on a path that could be dedicated to God and ask Him what I should next. That will be the position I will be in as long as I’m on earth--that is, seeking the right path that God would have laid out for me.

Q: What’s your religion?

A: Christian.

Q: Any particular...?

A: No. Bible-believing Christian.

Q: What church do you attend?

A: A non-denominational Bible church. I was baptized Catholic as a newborn and then my family started going to non-denominational churches throughout our life.

Source: Q&A with Time Magazine’s Jay Newton Small Aug 14, 2008

Declare a National Day of Prayer in Alaska

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “Day of Prayer” Apr 15, 2008

The Bible has profoundly influenced America

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Press release, “Bible Week” Oct 17, 2007

Recognize America’s historic and founding Christian heritage

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “Christian Heritage” Sep 14, 2007

Fight for freedom of religion and freedom of expression

Q: How would you feel if you walked into a church and heard a pastor endorse a candidate for governor?

KNOWLES: Freedom of speech. I don’t mind what is said from the pulpit.

PALIN: A pastor, a priest, a rabbi, certainly they have the freedom to say whatever they want to say. And you know, thank the lord that we do have that freedom of speech. Faith is very important to so many of us here in America, and I would never support any government effort to stifle our freedom of religion or freedom of expression or freedom of speech. I would just caution a pastor to be very careful if they’re in front of a congregation and they decide to endorse one candidate over another. There may be some frustration with that candidacy endorsement being made manifest by fewer dollars in the offering plate. But, no, I’ll tell you, freedom of speech is so precious and it’s worth defending and of course freedom of religion and freedom of expression will be things that I will fight for.

Source: Alaska 2006 Governor Debate: KAKM-7 with Michael Carey Oct 25, 2006


Sarah Palin on Troopergate

OpEd: Popularity hurt by Troopergate and at-home per-diem

Q: Why is Palin’s popularity fading in Alaska?

A: One of her big campaign themes was open and transparent government, and we’re finding out that she’s conducted most government business through personal email accounts so she won’t have to produce records.

Second, she campaigned on a platform of fiscal conservatism, but she’s been collecting per diem for living in her own house.

Third, “Trooper-Gate” has also been an issue here in Alaska. Alaskans think that friends and relatives of the governor should not get special benefits nor should they be singled out for strident punishment. They should be treated like any other employee.

Fourth, as governor, she has line item veto power, and her first year in office, she used it to veto a lot of projects that had community support. Unfortunately, the national press, rather than the Alaska press, discovered some of these things such as the per diem issue and the private email account used to conduct state business.

Source: Phone interview with Anne Kilkenny, resident of Wasilla AK Sep 21, 2008

Troopergate: brother-in-law tasered child, but still trooper

Q: The biggest controversy that has emerged seems to deal with the firing of your ex-brother-in-law. What is your version of the story?

A: Well, my ex-brother-in-law is an Alaskan state trooper and he’s never been fired. He’s still an Alaska state trooper. We have two different issues going on here. One is, a cabinet member, my commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, who had some strengths in some areas, insubordinate in some other areas, I asked him to transfer into another position. And he chose not to be transferred. So, he left the service. That’s one issue.

A: And on your brother-in-law: he admitted to Tasering a 10 year old child.

A: He did. This trooper Tasered my nephew. And he Tasered--well, that was--it’s all on the record. It’s all there. His threats against the first family, the threat against my dad. All that is in the record. And if the opposition researchers are choosing to forget that side of the story, they’re not doing their job.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” Sep 17, 2008

Fired controversial state trooper for threatening family

Palin’s calls for reform appear all the more prescient while she is facing an investigation herself. The Republican-controlled Legislature has hired an independent investigator to determine whether Palin improperly pressured the former state public safet commissioner to resign this year.

The former commissioner, Walt Monegan, has said he felt pressure from Palin’s administration, & her husband, Todd, to fire a state trooper, Mike Wooten, who was going through a bitter divorce with the governor’s sister The trooper was not fired.

Monegan told The Anchorage Daily News that Palin had showed him some of the findings of a private investigator the family had hired and accused the trooper of a variety of misdeeds, including drunken driving & child abuse.

Palin told the newspaper he feared for his wife’s safety and said Trooper Wooten had made threats against her and her family. The governor has acknowledged inquiries by her staff to the Public Safety Department but said she played no role in them.

Source: New York Times, pp. A1 & A10, “An Outsider Who Charms” Aug 29, 2008

Investigated for firing ex-brother-in-law in custody battle

Palin’s reputation as a crusading reformer has been tarnished by revelations that members of her staff tried to have her former brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper.

State lawmakers have launched a $100,000 investigation to determine if Palin dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan last month because Monegan wouldn’t fire a state trooper involved in a messy custody battle with her sister.

Palin denied her safety commissioner’s dismissal had anything to do with her former brother-in-law. The investigation launched by state lawmakers is expected to take at least three months.

One state legislator said Palin’s candidacy does not change the investigation. “I think it raises its profile. I don’t think it changes the steps you go through. You have to find out what happened,” he said. The investigator hired by lawmakers two days ago [began scheduling] Palin’s deposition.

Source: Associated Press, “Raises eyebrows”, by Dan Joling Aug 29, 2008

Independent prosecutor probing Cabinet firing

Q: The Wall Street Journal today is running a story about yourself, the possibility of a state probe: “Alaska’s Palin faces a state probe.” It’s an independent prosecutor. You tried to get your former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, now the legislature is trying to come after you. What’s this about?

A: Oh, a couple of lawmakers who are pretty angry with me [complained about my removing an] at-will political appointment who was serving in my Cabinet, which every governor does. A couple of lawmakers who weren’t happy with that decision certainly are looking at me as kind of a target right now and wanting to probe and find out why I did replace this Cabinet member. And it’s cool. I want them to ask me the questions. I don’t have anything to hide and didn’t do anything wrong there. It is a governor’s prerogative, a right to fill that Cabinet with members whom she or he believes will do best for the people whom we are serving. So I have nothing to hide.

Source: CNBC “Kudlow & Company” Interview Jul 31, 2008

Replaced Public Safety commissioner based on lack of results

Q: People want to know why you fired your Public Safety Commissioner Monegan. Is it because he stopped you from getting rid of your brother-in-law [in a Cabinet firing]? People want to know if this is an ethical lapse on your part.

A: I’m glad that you’re asking because I never tried to fire a former brother-in-law whose been divorced from my sister for quite some time. No, it was the commissioner, that we were seeking more results, more action to fill vacant trooper positions to deal with bootlegging and alcohol abuse problems in our rural villages especially. Just needed some new direction, a lot of new energy in that position. That is why the replacement took place there of the commissioner of public safety. It had nothing to do with an estranged former brother-in-law, a divorce that had happened some years ago.

Source: CNBC “Kudlow & Company” Interview Jul 31, 2008

Denies all allegations in Department of Public Safety affair

Governor Sarah Palin today released the following statement regarding allegations that she acted improperly.

“To allege that I, or any member of my family, requested, received or released confidential personnel information on an Alaska State Trooper, or directed disciplinary action be taken against any employee of the Department of Public Safety, is, quite simply, outrageous. Any information regarding personnel records came from the trooper himself. I question the timing of these false allegations. It is unfortunate, as we seek to address a growing energy crisis in this state, that this matter has been raised now.“

”I do not interfere with the day-to-day operations of any department. I have and will continue to support our line troopers. They have my utmost respect. Since taking office, I have proposed to the legislature millions of dollars in budget increases for more troopers, equipment and training.“

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: press release, “Acting improperly” Jul 17, 2008

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Sarah Palin on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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