Look, let’s put Bristol and the baby behind us. There are two new story lines about Sarah Palin currently gaining momentum that are more substantive and potentially more damaging. There is Palin as a ordinary, slimy politician, as articulated by First Read:
On Monday, the papers were full of stories about how Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. Also yesterday, we found out that Palin worked for a 527 group organized by Ted Stevens, who is now facing trial on corruption charges. Then came the news that she has retained an attorney for that Troopergate ethics investigation. And finally is today’sWashington Post story noting that Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure earmarks — which are taboo in McCain World — for Wasilla while she was its mayor. More than any new revelations about her daughter, the bigger drip-drip danger for the McCain campaign could be more signs that Palin begins to look like your average politician.
And then there’s this insane secessionist story, which I hope you’re familiar with. Reportedly, Sarah Palin and her husband were members of the Alaska Independence Party, which seeks a vote on making Alaska an independent nation, in the mid-1990s. Here’s ABC:
And while John MCCain’s motto — as seen in a new TV add — is “Country First,” the AIP’s motto is the exact opposite — “Alaska First — Alaska Always.”
For the record, the McCain campaign denies Palin was ever a member of the AIP, though multiple AIP members say she was and she attended their 1994 convention.
I’m no high-priced political consultant, but I do have a guess as to how to avoid situations like this. Send your vetting team to the VP’s home state more than one day before you announce him or her to the nation!