Who the heck is Sarah Palin? Updated

Update below.

Well just about the whole world started asking that question this morning (followed swiftly by “What the heck was he thinking???”). And, thanks to the netroots, we didn’t have long to wait for the answer.

As is often the case, Down With Tyranny! was on the ball with the nuts and bolts.

At least he’ll win Alaska (unless they give reindeer the vote).

Palin will be a more difficult target. It’s funny that for all McCain’s carping about Obama’s supposed lack of experience, Palin really has none whatsoever. I mean, talk about a “readiness gap!” Of course, she had more judgment than McCain himself– having praised Obama’s energy plan. (She has now tried to scrub her praise for Obama’s energy plan from her website, very 1984 creepy.) CNBC, which had been all gung ho on Willard was in shock. “This is utter madness, absolutely insane,” said political analyst Greg Valliere, who then ran down McCain’s age and all of his health problems. “This woman makes Dan Quayle look reasonable.” When asked about Valliere’s assessment, John Harwood responded, “[it’s] basically a nightmare scenario for the Republican ticket.” On the other hand, this will sure up McCain’s recent slide in Alaska.

Palin, proud daughter of Alaska’s pork machine:

Although the McCain campaign is busily re-writing history to make Palin sound like she opposed the corrupt earmarks that have landed Ted Stevens and Don Young in hot water– particularly their “Bridge to Nowhere” that McCain is always railing against– Palin was always a big supporter of the Bridges to Nowhere and all the criminal pork Young and Stevens were bringing back to Alaska. In 2006, when she was trying to make the leap from runner up in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant and mayor of Wasilla (population 8,471) to gubernatorial contender, she was asked how she felt about the Bridges to Nowhere. According to the October 5th, 2006 Anchorage Daily News she replied. “I do support the infrastructure projects that are on tap here in the state of Alaska that our congressional delegations worked hard for.” In fact, she then started complaining that the federal money for the two horrible projects weren’t coming in fast enough!

In fact, Palin has always been a pork-crazed maniac, the kind of straw man McCain loves to bash on the stump. This year Alaska received nearly $100 million more In pork than any other state ($379,669,715). According to the Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Palin employs the lobbying firm Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates to seek earmarks for the state of Alaska. You think the vetters missed that when they were looking into her past? If so they also missed this: According to that same Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, Palin paid the lobbying firm of Hoffman Silver Gilman & Blasco to lobby on behalf of the City of Wasilla while she was mayor and according to Citizens Against Government Waste, in 2000 the City of Wasilla received a $1 million transportation earmark for the Wasilla Intermodal Facility for bus and bus related facilities while Wasilla’s Life Quest Community Mental Health Center gobbled up a $500,000 earmark, same amount as the town’s emergency shelter, although less than the $600,000 earmark for the Wasilla city bus facility. Meanwhile Wasilla received a $1 million earmark for the Wasilla Regional Dispatch Center, a $1.5 million earmark for water and sewer improvements, and a $2.6 million transportation earmark for an alternative route project. And back then only 5,000 people lived there. Now that’s pork. So, as inexperienced as she is about everything else, she sure knows how to rook the federal government out of boucoup taxpayer dollars. I wonder if McCain will still be screamin’ and hollerin’ about earmarks and Bridges to Nowhere now that she’s on his ticket.

Update: An Alaskan blogger provides quit the primer on Sarah Palin‘s political “experience” as a “reformer.”

Wasilla has a population of about 5500 people, and 1979 occupied housing units.  This is where your potential Vice President was two short years ago.  Can you imagine her negotiating a nuclear non-proliferation treaty?  Discussing foreign policy?  Understanding non-Alaskan issues?  Frankly, I don’t even know if she’s ever been out of the country.  She may ‘get’ Alaska, but there are only a half a million people here.  Don’t get me wrong….I love Alaska with all my heart.  I’m just saying.

This blogger also a provides a digest version of “Troopergate,” the pending ethics investigation of Sarah Palin for abuse of office.

So, if McCain had made his selection six months ago, the squeaky-clean governor meme would have made a little more sense.  But, Sarah Palin is currently under an ethics investigation by the Alaska state legislature.  The details of this investigation read like a trashy novel, and I suspect that the players will soon have newfound celebrity on the national stage.  I’ll try to explain for all you non-Alaskans who suddenly have good reason to want to know more about Sarah Palin.