I’m already tired of her squeeky voice, so I’m going to leave Sarah Barracuda alone until I can review her acceptance speech on Wednesday night. Last couple of thoughts.
Careful Vetting?–Rove Swat Team Member, Steve Schmidt, ducks the question of whether they knew Bristol Palin was pregnant when they chose her mother. Turns out they never even checked her hometown paper for other possible problems. I’m getting the sense that the whole thing was put together very last minute when they realized they would have a floor fight with the delegates if they tried to push through Joe Lieberman.
Steve Schmidt, the chief strategist for the McCain campaign, was surrounded by reporters and cameras as he walked through the media center next door to the Xcel Center in St. Paul, where the convention is taking place. Asked over and over when and how Mr. McCain found out about Bristol’s pregnancy, he repeated, “Senator McCain was aware” of it and called it “a private family matter,” He would not say when he found out or how, calling it a “private conversation.”
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports that there are Republican lawyers up in Alaska now still working on the vetting process. Kind of the cart before the horse if you ask me.
Palin Troopergate-Josh Marshall does his typical great job of researching Palin’s attempts to get her sister’s former husband, Mike Wooten, fired from the Alaska State police.
The Palin family had a feud with Wooten prior to her becoming governor. They put together a list of 14 accusations which they took to the state police to investigate — a list that ranged from the quite serious to the truly absurd. The state police did an investigation, decided that 5 of the charges had some merit and suspended Wooten for ten days — a suspension later reduced to five days. The Palin’s weren’t satisfied but there wasn’t much they could do.
When Palin became governor they went for another bite at the apple. Palin, her husband and several members of her staff began pressuringPublic Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan — a respected former Chief of the Anchorage police department — to can Wooten. Monegan resisted, arguing that the official process regarding Wooten was closed. And there was nothing more that could be done. In fact, during one of the conversations in which Palin’s husband Todd was putting on the squeeze, Monegan told Todd Palin, “You can’t head hunt like this. What you need to do is back off, because if the trooper does make a mistake, and it is a terminable offense, it can look like political interference.”
Eventually, Palin got fed up and fired Monegan from his job. (Palin claims, not credibly, that she fired Monegan over general differences in law enforcement priorities.) This is an important point. Wooten never got fired. To the best of my knowledge, he’s is still on the job. The central bad act was firing the state’s top police official because he refused to bend to political pressure from the governor and her family to fire a public employee against whom the governor was pursuing a vendetta — whether the vendetta was justified or not.