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July 07, 2009

Palin's Time Magazine Interview
Added: Rasmusen Poll: 40% of Republicans Say She's Hurt Her Chances

I didn't really agree with DrewM's assessment that her CNN interview indicated an interest in the presidency -- while Drew seized on her statement of a three part platform, it struck me that could just as easily be the platform for a PAC -- but this Time interview has me wondering. (Edit: Slightly.)

When you resigned from the AOGCC [Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission], that was a huge catapult for you. Do you think this might catapult you as well? Or do you see it as kind of a selfless move, more for the state than for you?

It's all for the state. For me personally, it's extremely tough to make a decision and an announcement like this because I love my job and I love Alaska. This is who I am. This is what I am. And serving the people of Alaska is the greatest honor. But when you know that you come to a point when you cannot effect the change because of circumstances that have so greatly changed, and that happened on Aug. 29, the day that I was tapped to run for VP. Circumstances have so drastically changed, I just have to be realistic about it and I have to be honest about it and say Alaska — certainly, Alaska, our state's fine without me at the governor's desk — but Alaska's going to be even better off in terms of progressing and reaching our potential and our destiny with Sean Parnell coming in, taking over the reins. Same agenda, same staff, but it turns down the volume on the distractions that had been ramped up on Aug. 29.

Not really a lot of hints there, but maybe one can glean from that "I'm going to be too busy in the lower 48 to deal with this," if one is inclined to.

She also continues saying she doesn't know if she's running for president and she doesn't want to rule anything out, which a lot of people take to mean she's running. I take it to mean she doesn't know and doesn't want to rule anything out. Not to be snarky and stir the pot, but those who say she's running tell me "take her at her word" right up until she says stuff like this, at which point we're invited to read between the lines. That may be the right way to do it, but I think it's also fair then to say one can read between other lines.

I don't know if this says anything either way, but she hammers Obama on policy. This is my favorite part. Running or not, she's a good spokesman, and I've wanted her to grow into the opposition's chief spokeswoman against Obama for a while now.

Good stuff under the fold.

When you resigned from the AOGCC [Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation CWhat do you think is particularly wrong with what Obama is doing now?

President Obama is growing government outrageously, and it's immoral and it's uneconomic, his plan that he tries to sell America. His plan to "put America on the right track" economically, incurring the debt that our nation is incurring, trillions of dollars that we're passing on to our kids, expecting them to pay off for us, is immoral and doesn't even make economic sense. So his growth of government agenda needs to be ratcheted back, and it's going to take good people who have the guts to stand up to him, stand up to him and debate policy, not personalities, not partisan politics, but policy to effect the change that we need there. And allow free enterprise and the industrious Americans who run our small businesses and want to raise a family, allowing our families to grow and prosper and thrive, Americans who still believe in those ideals to get in there and effect change. I want to work for people who believe in that.

Two of his big platform issues now are universal health care and your favorite issue, energy, his global-warming plan. What do you think of his positions on both?

His cap-and-trade agenda is a cap-and-tax agenda, and it's going to drive the cost of consumer goods and the cost of energy so extremely high that our nation is going to start exporting even more jobs to China and to other countries that do not have the corporate tax or the equivalent of the corporate tax that the cap-and-trade — I call it cap-and-tax — agenda is going to usher in. What he needs to be understanding is, we have the domestic supplies of energy in America. It's conventional sources — oil, gas, coal, it's nuclear — and we have the renewable sources here in America. But if we're not allowed to drill and develop those conventional sources in this transition period between now and when we can rely more on alternative sources, we're going to become more and more reliant on foreign sources of energy and importing more and more goods because they're going to be cheaper over there to produce, and our country is going to be in a world of hurt. And that, of course, has so much to do with his economic policy in thinking that it's O.K. to borrow money from other countries to fund this government largesse that he's believing in. It doesn't make any sense. We need to develop responsibly our natural resources of energy here. This will provide the jobs here, the true economic stimulus is developing our domestic, safe supplies of energy here, and Alaska is the place to look to contribute.

And health care?

And health care too. I remember certainly on the campaign trail, John McCain and his ideas — basically, bottom line, allowing businesses to afford to pay for health care, to provide health care and to give employees options, and Obama scoffed at that. His campaign thought that that was ridiculous. It's funny now to hear him kind of go to some of John McCain's ideas. John McCain had some good ideas about bolstering the economy through businesses so that families could afford to pay for health care and making sure that no one was falling through the cracks and not receiving health care. One way you do that is to reduce the corporate tax on our small businesses especially in America.

Now she asks the question I keep demanding the media ask:

You're going to see Obama increase those taxes on small businesses — whether he admits it today or not, he's going to. One thing reporters aren't asking the Administration is — it's such a simple question and people around here in the real world, outside of Washington, D.C., want reporters to ask — President Obama, how are you going to pay for this $1 [trillion] or $2 [trillion] or $3 trillion health-care plan? How are you going to pay off the stimulus package, those borrowed dollars? How are you going to pay for so many things that you are proposing and you are implementing? Americans deserve to know what the plan is to fund these things, health care included.

Indeed. As Fred Hiatt wrote yesterday -- but has been noted before, including by myself -- Obama is pursuing an anti-Reagan plan. Whereas Reagan sought to control the growth of government by reducing its resources and "starving the beast," Obama is getting the country addicted to big-ticket spending in advance of any plan to pay for all these goodies. Once his spending plans are in place, he thinks, no one will have the fortitude to cut them, and raising taxes to European levels, or higher, becomes possible.

First create the crisis, then supply the "solution," sold as a means to an end, but which in fact was the end goal the whole time. I don't know if that's an Alinksy thing or Cloward-Piven or what, but it sounds that way.

40% of Republicans Say She's Hurt Her Chances: 52% combined say she's either helped herself, which I personally doubt strenuously, or has neither hurt or helped her chances.

This poll question is a little hard to read, because it doesn't ask whether or not Republicans themselves are less confident in her. It asks instead about her chances, meaning her chances with other people, and hence invites people to guess at other people's reactions. Rather than reporting what they don't need to guess at -- their own reaction.

That said, this is still a useful thing to know, because people do make decisions about whom to report based on someone's perceived viability. Sarah Palin's seems to have been downgraded a bit.

I think 52% of the party is being pretty unrealistic about whether the fact of resignation hurts her. Probably they mean on the net it doesn't hurt her, because she sheds her chains (I think she used that word) and gains this freedom of action, but even that is overly optimistic. "Chains"" are precisely what elected office entails -- responsibilities, burdens, commitments, limitations on freedom.

That's what any job is, actually.

I just cannot conceive of this as a zero-cost transaction. I know I'm "slavishly adhering to the tired old playbook" wherein people serve their terms and all that, but that has been the way it has typically been done.

Maybe Sarah Palin knows she couldn't have done it the typical way, but still: All else being equal, I think it would have been better to find some way to shut down these frivolous ethics complaints or modify the way they're treated and serve out her term.

Her fans hail this as unpredictable and exciting, but you know, I think people don't mind a little predictability and boringness in their President.

Before today, I didn't really have to address this question, the question of how badly her resignation hurts her. I didn't have to address it because I knew it hurt her some, and therefore I was able to answer a threshold question: Is she running or not? Given she's hurt her chances, I thought "No," and then did not have to address the hypothetical of whether she could recover from the resignation.

Now I'm not quite so certain of that "No" to "Is she running?," and I have to think more about the second question. The only answer I have is boring and predictable: It hurts her and she'll have to do quite a bit to overcome it.

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posted by Ace at 03:20 PM

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