So long, Sarah. We're certain this isn't the end

Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2009

If there's one thing that can be said about Gov. Sarah Palin, who leaves office today, it's that there's always something that can be said about Sarah Palin.

Let's face it, the past three years -- and the last year in particular -- have made for an interesting ride on the Alaska political scene.

Palin swept into officewith the slogan "New energy for Alaska," beating a sitting governor in the Republican primary and a former governor and a popular legislator in the general election. She brought us all kinds of fun acronyms -- ACES and AGIA, for example -- and leveraged the breaking corruption scandal to her political benefit.

We've seen proposals from the administration come from every which way -- a natural gas line running north from Cook Inlet, natural gas line running south from the North Slope, which one is it the governor really backs?

Palin likes to cite Aug. 29, 2008 -- the day she was selected as John McCain's running mate -- as the day things changed in Alaska, but there are a number of other dates that are even more telling.

There's Sept. 3, 2008, the day she spoke at the Republican National Convention, when she said she told Congress "thanks, but no thanks" for the earmarks to build a bridge in Ketchikan -- a phrase no Alaskan had ever heard uttered when it came to accepting money from the federal government.

Or there's Sept. 15, 2008, when Ed O'Callaghan and the McCain campaign "Truth Squad" emerged from the shadows and jumped into the fray over the Troopergate investigation.

As watchers of Alaska politics may recall, Palin had agreed to cooperate with the Legislature's investigation into the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan -- "Bring it on" was the phrase she used -- only to reverse course.

We've watched as the frivilous ethics complaints pile up -- and yes, most them are frivilous -- while the administration refuses to acknowledge that the most expensive and time-consuming ethics charge -- the Troopergate probe -- was legitimate.

And there's the spats with lawmakers that Palin never gets over. Did anyone really think Rep. Beth Kerttula would be appointed to the vacant Senate seat after Kerttula questioned Palin's ability to be vice president?

Over the past 12 months, we've learned more than we really needed to know about Palin and her family. We've watched the title of Governor of Alaska become a late-night punchline. We've seen her be a good sport on Saturday Night Live, and a very poor one when it comes to the mainstream media.

It's appropriate -- or perhaps ironic -- that Palin has chosen a picnic for her farewell speech, because the past year has been no picnic on the Alaska politcal scene.

So long, Sarah. If we're deciphering your Twitter posts correctly, you intend to be on the scene for a while to come. We're sure we'll still have plenty to talk about.



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