Abdication by Palin

When did the McCain campaign take over the governor's office?

September 20, 2008 

Gov. Sarah Palin has surrendered important gubernatorial duties to the Republican presidential campaign. McCain staff are handling public and press questions about actions she has taken as governor. The governor who said, "Hold me accountable," is hiding behind the hired guns of the McCain campaign to avoid accountability.

Is it too much to ask that Alaska's governor speak for herself, directly to Alaskans, about her actions as Alaska's governor?

A press conference Thursday showed how skewed Alaska's relationship with its own governor has become.

McCain-Palin campaign spokesman Ed O'Callaghan announced that Todd Palin will not comply with a subpoena to testify about his role in Troopergate, the Legislature's investigation into whether Palin abused her power in forcing out former public safety commissioner Walt Monegan.

O'Callaghan also announced that Alaska's governor is "unlikely" to cooperate with the investigation by the Alaska Legislature about questionable conduct by Alaska's chief executive.

Monday, he and campaign sidekick Meg Stapleton stood before Alaskans and defended the official personnel decision by Alaska's governor to fire Alaska's public safety commissioner. ABC News reported that Gov. Palin's official press secretary, Bill McAllister, paid by the state of Alaska, didn't even know the McCain staffers were meeting the press to defend his boss.

Is the McCain campaign telling Alaskans that Alaska's governor can't handle her own defense in front of her own Alaska constituents?

Way back when, before John McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running mate, Palin promised to cooperate with the investigation.

Now she won't utter a peep about it to Alaskans. Nor will her husband, Todd, who definitely needs to explain his role in Troopergate.

Instead, Alaskans have to sit back and listen to John McCain's campaign operatives handling inquiries about what Alaska's governor did while governing Alaska. Residents of any state would be offended to see their governor cede such a fundamental, day-to-day governmental responsibility to a partisan politician from another state. It's especially offensive to Alaskans.

O'Callaghan said Todd Palin objects to the subpoena because the Legislature's investigation "has been subjected to complete partisanship." That's the kind of dizzying spin that Washington has perfected. It is the McCain-Palin campaign that has worked overtime to politicize the entire matter in a transparent attempt to justify the stonewalling.

Futile as the request may be, we encourage Gov. Palin to stand up to McCain's handlers and be personally accountable for her administration's response to Troopergate. She is the governor of Alaska, not John McCain or Ed O'Callaghan.

BOTTOM LINE: Official state business -- like Troopergate -- should be handled by the governor of the state, not by McCain presidential campaign operatives.

Unity now

Danger of economic meltdown should cool partisan passions

The time for bipartisanship in Washington is right now.

Congressional leaders, President Bush, officials of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department will work through this weekend to shore up a U.S. economy battered by the mortgage crisis and the failures of major investment banks.

Such federal intervention is sacrilege to devoted free-marketeers.

They should get over it.

"I think we're still on the precipice of a meltdown," Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens said at an Anchorage press conference Friday. Stevens said Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson convinced him federal intervention is necessary; Stevens said that needs to be a bipartisan effort with minimal static from the political campaigns.

He's right.

The senator hopes to play a part, though he's got a corruption trial to deal with beginning Monday.

A hopeful sign that all hands understand the need to pull together came from the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama on Friday. Obama said he wanted to refrain from economic suggestions just now and concentrate on giving federal officials the emergency authority they need to buy up mortgages and stabilize the market.

That's just a first, necessary step. Congress needs to pull together swiftly and decisively now. Americans will breathe easier when they see their leaders are serious and united -- along with people in the rest of the world. The crisis is global, but the problem began in the United States. So must the solution.

BOTTOM LINE: Economy on the brink challenges political leaders to pull together.

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