Re-Election 2010: NOPE


April 27, 2009: With a 2010 re-election campaign about to come knocking on the door of Governor Sarah Palin, the lyrics to the classic rock song "Should I stay or should I go" by the Clash are probably rattling around in that head of hers.

But there is only one verse that is even remotely relevant as it applies to Palin's political future; "If I go there will be trouble, and if I stay it will be double."

There are fewer torturous decisions for an incumbent than the choice between seeking a presumably safe re-election and tossing it aside to reach for a larger, elusive, more shinier brass ring.

However in this case, Sarah Palin doesn't have a choice. Either she reaches for the ring now, or it's gone for good.

Palin's Challenge: Time and Space

One of the biggest challenge facing Palin is the calendar.

Facing re-election in November of 2010 means that if Palin seeks re-election while harboring hopes about competing for the GOP nomination for president in 2012, she'd have to hit the campaign trail less than two months after she gets re-elected to serve a four year term as governor.

If Palin seeks re-election in 2010, the most commonly asked question of her from opponents and the press will be, "Do you commit to serving your full four year term without leaving to run for president." The question will be poised an unmerciful amount of times due to Palin's proven selective memory when it comes to keeping campaign promises.

And while Palin was chosen in 2008, if she elects to run for President in 2012, it will be a calculated decision determined by her own free will.

If Palin answers yes, and agrees to serve out a four year term without abandoning Alaska, then she'll send an instant message that she is no longer in the hunt for 2012 and will lose the national spotlight. Meanwhile, her lower 48 grass roots supporters will find another candidate to fill the vacuum.

If Palin answers no, and is unable to clearly promise to make a four year commitment to Alaska voters, then her opponents will use it to confirm what has been a growing belief over the last eight months; Palin's focus is not on Alaska but on herself. 

If Palin commits to a four year term then runs for president anyway, she'll be crucified by her opponents as a liar and yet another politician who will say anything to get elected. And if she thinks the ethics complaints being filed now are frustrating, just wait until she is traipsing around the country for a year and a half while she should be here governing. 

One of the risks for Palin seeking re-election is that she may lose. Even if she prevails in a close election, her star will be tarnished. Remember, one of the biggest sales pitches that McCain used in 2008 was that Palin was the most popular politician in the United States.

Today, Palin isn't even the most popular politician in Alaska; U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski holds that distinction.

During Palin's first run for governor in 2006, Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Tony Knowles rejected outside Democrat Party money and insisted they stay out of the race for governor. In 2010, Democrats will have both the cash and the increased incentive to throw the kitchen sink at Palin if she runs for re-election.

And if she survives the race for governor in 2010 and then waltzes off to run for president, the time demands will be much more crippling than her extended vacation with McCain in 2008.

While running for VP, Palin was absent from the state for a little more than two months and didn't miss any of the legislative session. 

If she chases the dream of GOP 2012, it will require her to be on the campaign trail for at least fifteen months. That means Palin would miss two entire legislative sessions out of a four year term at a time when Alaska will be facing significant problems. 

D.C. Calling: Palin's White House Fantasy 

To show just how early the campaign for president would begin after the November 2010 election, just look at recent history.

McCain formed his exploratory committee for the 2008 presidential race within a week after the 2006 election and declared his candidacy two months later. Mitt Romney formed his exploratory committee on January 3, 2007 and formerly announced the next month. Mike Huckabee announced his candidacy on January 28, 2007.

In all, by February of 2007, just three months after the November 2006 election the field of major contenders was set. With 2012 providing no incumbent for the GOP, the positioning will begin sooner and as some might even say, the positioning has already begun.

Palin's time pressures are greater than her potential rivals as she needs a lot more educating on issues and has a greater hurdle to clear to convince voters that she actually understands the challenges that the United States faces and can articulately formulate policies to address those challenges.

Palin has a long way to go to un-Couric herself in the eyes of the nation.


In a recent interview with GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich, he laid it out best when it came to Palin's chances; "Is she willing to do the kind of development of national issues and development of a national profile that would be required? She is a celebrity in her own right. She is probably the most successful figure in the party right now, and she's a formidable figure. I think to go from there to becoming a national leader would take a significant amount of work."

Polls have consistently showed that while Palin is popular among the Republican base, she has high negatives with everyone else. History shows that the race for President can't be won by appealing solely to the GOP base. Palin will need to attract independents as well as moderate Republicans; the same voters she chased away in 2008.

And unlike running for VP, Palin won't have the luxury of being shielded from the media and only having to prep for one debate.

The primary race will be grueling and the debates will be endless. With the Iowa caucus scheduled for the first week in January 2012, that doesn't leave Palin much time to get schooled. And since returning from the 2008 Presidential campaign trail, Palin has done little to improve herself or her image.

Last month I sat down with a former MSNBC reporter, Matt Berger, who is now writing a book on Palin's Vice Presidential campaign. Over coffee at a local Starbucks, he said that after the November election he sought the counsel of one of the GOP's top strategist.

"What does Sarah Palin have to do to be viable in 2012," he asked.

The consultant listed off three things: Return to Alaska and keep her head down. Show she can lead by bringing people together and scoring some policy wins. Educate herself on the issues to prove the media's portrayal of her was untrue.

Unfortunately for Palin, she has managed to accomplish none of the above.

Palin has been in self destruct mode since her election in 2006. While alternating between public pissing matches and public relation nightmares, Palin has done little more than reinforce skeptics claims that she lacks intelligence and diplomacy.

She picked fights with the media, where after saying she loved the media, wished she had more interaction with them and was completely prepped for the Couric interview to her interview two months later with the conservative version of Michael Moore, John Ziegler, where she chastised the media and said she pleaded with the McCain camp not to make her answer the bell and go a second round with Couric.

She picked fights with lawmakers during this years legislative session where her startling lack of leadership drew heated criticism from members of her own political party. The sordid affair culminated in Palin becoming the first governor in Alaska history to have her Attorney General nominee rejected. 

She even picked fights with her own family members. In September when news broke about her pregnant teenage daughter, Palin paraded the father on stage to reinforce her family values to the nation while using the two as roll models for teen pregnancy. Seven months later, Palin was in the press calling the father a liar and saying her daughter made a mistake by hooking up with him.

In return, Palin can look forward to an inevitable tell all book penned by the young Mr. Levi Johnston about his relationship with the Palin's and all of the assorted details in order to monetize his fifteen minutes of fame.  

However, regardless of Palin's challenges on the national stage, they pale in comparison to what she faces if she sticks around for another term as Alaska's Governor. 


2010: The Main Reason Palin Bails Out

Between 2010 and 2014, Palin's much vaunted natural gas pipeline plan will fail and Alaska will continue to burn cash from savings due to a combination of low oil prices, higher government costs and declining production.

With regards to AGIA and Palin's fraudulent claim she took on big oil to build the gas pipeline, which garnered her critical acclaim on the campaign trail; well don't look now but the signs of failure that many of us predicted two years ago are beginning to show.

The recent news that TransCanada has begun the pre-file process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) made for a nice read, but the truth behind the story reveals the desperation within the Palin administration.

According to TransCanada's web site, their schedule for FERC pre-filing wasn't supposed to occur until 2011 and their official AGIA application puts the timeline for undertaking pre-filing well after their proposed 2010 open season.

So why would TransCanada move their FERC pre-filing up two years? The answer is pressure from the Palin administration.

The Palin brains behind the AGIA dream, DNR Commissioner Tom Irwin and Marty Rutherford, forced TransCanada to move up their pre-filing to save face. Both Irwin and Rutherford complained that TransCanada was moving too slow and not hiring enough Alaskans.

In fact most of the money, which is being matched 50/50 by state dollars, is reportedly being spent in Calgary. Meanwhile the competing project, Denali, is spending more money, making more progress and hiring more Alaskans.   

With TransCanada's open season scheduled for July 2010 sure to fail, that would land right in the middle of a re-election campaign. Not so good timing eh?

Meanwhile, the appointment of Harry Noah in February to work on developing cost estimates for an in-state gas pipeline is a direct admission that Palin finally understands that her dreams of achieving a legacy of a gas pipeline with TransCanada and AGIA will not to be realized. One lawmaker told me directly that Noah informed the governor personally that AGIA will not work.

Sources inside the Palin administration say that Irwin and Rutherford are so upset with Palin's change of direction that they aren't even on speaking terms with Noah as he tries to evaluate in-state gas potential. This is unfortunate, as Noah appears to be the only voice of reason in an administration that has refused to pull up from this nose dive called AGIA. 

This is all one big cluster-scrum and neither the big gas line or in-state gas will be economically viable without significant subsidies from the state or the abandonment of Palin's AGIA.

As Southcentral Alaska gets closer to that magical 2013 time frame when natural gas in Cook Inlet is projected to dwindle to the level of grave concern, Palin isn't going to want to be anywhere near the drivers seat of state government. 

What this all means is that if Palin seeks another term as governor, her failed energy policies will be clear as day half way through her second term, thus turning the lights out on her reputation as an energy expert.

If Palin decides not to seek re-election, she preserves the one tool she has used so effectively as governor; she can simply shift blame to someone else, in this case, the next governor.

Energy isn't the only area where Palin is facing tremendous exposure. Alaska's fast growing senior demographic will continue to put strains on Alaska's health care system and so far Palin has done little more than create two different task forces to study health care. 

In addition, bad business decisions made as a result of cronyism will be forced to the surface. This includes the Agriculture Board, where the granting of questionable state loans to the Valley Creamery, a local dairy run by Palin's friends and neighbors, will finally come home to roost when the creamery defaults on hundreds of thousands in government bail outs they never should have been given.

The Strategy…The Prediction

There is a growing feeling among politicos that Palin for obvious reason, will not seek re-election .

The lure of the big city lights (lets face it, once you've flown in your own jet, it's hard to return to coach), the petty fights she has picked with a legislature she will have to deal with at least one more year, her lack of leadership and refusal to make any decisions what so ever with regards to governing Alaska. Hell, she has shown her incompetence in her own family life, let alone the life of the state and it's people.

Strategically Palin faces the problem that as soon as she indicates there won't be a second Palin term, she'll become a lame duck in designer glasses.

Best to play coy when asked about future plans and say, "Just tryin' to get through this term to move Alaska forward, tryin' to do what's best for Alaska," yaddah, yaddah, yaddah.

Meanwhile, Sean Parnell will quietly begin raising money under the guise of running for re-election for Light Guv. He has been a loyal soldier for Palin and would surely have an inside track for her endorsement. More than likely, Palin will help Parnell raise money.

Palin will then wait until the end of next years legislative session to make any announcement. If she announces she won't seek re-election, she'll throw her support to Parnell.

While Parnell's name has been mentioned as a possible Attorney General nominee, that would preclude Parnell from running for office. As a state employee, Parnell would have to resign his position before he filed to run and begin raising money for his campaign.

Since the Attorney General is an appointed position, and new governor's like to appoint their own people, if Parnell accepts the AG post from Palin, he could be facing a short stay.

Just like the 1982 song by the Clash, the risks for Palin are huge either way she goes.

"If she goes there will be trouble, if she stays there will be double."

If she goes there will be trouble, because she is unelectable in 2012. A Palin candidacy will collapse under the weight of the competitive pressures as she'll be fair game for fellow Republicans during the primary battles. With the GOP looking for someone to compete against Obama in 2012, they're not getting to the dance with Palin and her Dan Quayle brand of baggage.

If she stays there will be double, because all of the short sighted economic policies she has bet the state's future on, will come up snake eyes making for a rough four years. 

Since Palin has alienated most all legislative Democrats, if she finds economic religion during a second term and tries to modify her ill conceived policies like ditching AGIA or reducing production taxes, Dems will block her attempts. Imagine, the same votes that helped Palin adopt these bad policies will be the same ones who make her live with them. 

The state's predictable economic challenges between 2010 and 2014 will dim Palin's national spotlight and her stock will plunge.

Now that we've all come to realize that Palin can't survive without the national media attention, after all, it's why she's spent so much time blowing her own horn rather than actually governing; she really has no choice but to leave home and try her solo act on the road.

Given the risk of exposure Palin faces in a second term, I predict she will bail out and leave the next governor to clean up her mess. 


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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Madonna
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 10:07:00

    Poor Sarah. She just can't get a break. Not that I'm complaining.


  2. ken
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 12:01:00

    she has put some fresh air into the republican party,does she have the backing to really be a contender in the 2012 election's,even if she won her party's endorsement she would have to beat obama and his 'vote for me i'm a poor ex-slave' con-job.i really hope she could get enough backing to win ,8 year's of this marxist in the white house will ruin this country


  3. JBodine
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 14:03:00

    Funny how the owner of this blog is so ignorant of basic civics, then again as a high school dropout what else would you expect. Looks like poor ol 9% Andy, who by the way ran for governor must also be a dropout, does't seem to know basic civics either. Well at least the 91% who did not vote for him figured it out. That's at least a positive for Alaska.
    Listen up people: Governors do not spend money, Legislatures spend money. If the legislature does not appropriate funds, none are spent……got it.


  4. ken
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 14:14:00

    syrup's whole post is a swann song,from her remark's about the godless old party to her desire's that the gop will not have a leader in 2012,most people see 2012 as a breakout year, maybe syrup and phony's like her will fade back into the fog and bring their thinly vieled hatred for real world peace with her


  5. Syrin from Wasilla
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 14:34:00

    Thank you for the link. That is a start….


  6. JBodine
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 15:14:00

    Mr. 9% Andrew Halcro's blog is her source for this, I think he finished a grade ahead of Sherry, he can write in complete sentences anyway. Something Sherry struggles with, witness her comments.


  7. ken
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 16:16:00

    what's this is syrup teaming up with madonna the most liberal transexual on vox.the only thing i can't understand is why she keep's calling herself a conservative know palin has the support of most christians,from catholics to church of scientology.most woman and no that doesn't mean you madonna.and after 4 years of jessie jackson's little boy from kenya we'll really need some change


  8. Helen
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 18:38:00

    What's wrong with you JBodine?


  9. Helen
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 18:41:00

    Hmm, the whole post didn't post – here it is:

    What's wrong with you JBodine? I thought you had some manners! There
    is nothing overtly hostile in this post. You need to apologize and then
    leave graciously and limit yourself to a diet of one or two snarks a
    month. You really are looking like a snarkoholic, sheesh. And what's
    wrong with you Ken? Do you just follow JBodine around and say whatever
    he says, do whatever he does? WE GOT THE MESSAGE, YOU TWO DON'T LIKE SYRIN. RECIEVED, UNDERSTOOD, NOW SHUT UP, PLEASE. (Notice I said Please.)Now why don't you go somewhere and spend your valuable time a little more wisely? Thanks
    for this ~ I found this to be an interesting post as I was looking for
    a discussion of some of this time squeeze facing Palin. And I liked
    the song too…If I stay there will be trouble, if I go there will be


  10. JBodine
    Apr 27, 2009 @ 21:39:00

    Who are you, what's this we stuff, you don't get the message. First off I Love (the command of Christ) Sherry, I have great concern for her. You have to admit she is consumed by Sarah Palin and it is not policy or performance related; it is PERSONAL.
    I have tried to engage Sherry on multiple levels, come to my page and read through the exchange we had on facebook before she blocked and defriended me and comment on it, I would appreciate your input on it. Sherry deletes my comments on her posts when I discuss her error and present the facts.
    The comment you are replying to is truthful, no one has presented any facts to the contrary. Yes I can be a little snarky when I am repeatedly disrespected. Sherry seems to only want sycophants to comment here, she does not welcome discussion. It's agree with her or get lost, just as you just did.
    Ask Sherry why she removed my comments presenting a counter argument to her copy and paste posts. Why didn't she engage on the issues and show my error, no, she just deletes it so you and others can't see it to show how wrong and consumed she is with her personal hate for Sarah.
    How long have you known Sherry, I'm told by Vicious Vixon she is nice; I don't know this by the way she has treated me. I welcome a civil debate, I can be misinformed as anyone can be. Without a civil debate, how can we reason to the truth. Tell me where I am wrong.
    The many blogs are just so terrific; all these forums for discussion with people from anywhere on the globe you would otherwise never meet to receive their point of view and they yours. I can not express in more sincere terms my love of my fellow man and the love of the debate as I near the end of my time here on earth.
    Now this preoccupation with Sarah and National aspirations. Sarah said she is Governor of Alaska and she is fulfilling her promise to the people of Alaska to put them first and she is doing so. She is not running for any other office and she has made no indication as to whether she is going to run for re-election to Governor or not. All this talk of other things is political speculation by others with their own desires projected onto her. When Governor Palin is going to do something, like go to an event, she tells you. Lots of people want her and speculation runs wild. Forget them, listen to what she says; everything else is just noise.
    I have never heard or read where Sarah claimed to be perfect, she is a sinner as am I; but for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we would all be doombed. She seeks to serve the people of Alaska. Why don't you pray for her success and that what she does is in accordance with God's will, as I do. I do not judge her as I do not judge you, I seek to know you as a fellow creation of God's basking in his Glory.
    I have covered many subjects in this reply, it would be much appreciated if you could respond to each to enlighten me. Show me where I error and I will correct it, and apologise if required.


  11. Syrin from Wasilla
    Apr 29, 2009 @ 10:31:00

    It's very apparent that you are fully consumed with Sarah Palin! You WORSHIP HER. But you don't even know her or her policies and don't care. The truth is out there, you don't have to hear it from me. (LUCKY 13)
    It's pathetic that you are able to continue to make excuses for SP's unethical behavior. Do you have a pregnant teen? Do you do drugs? Are you mentally ill? I believe that you need to spend more time with your family, worry about issues in your state. Help the wife in the yard, maybe help kids with homework, do you have anything better to do for your family then spew hate for an Alaskan who holds no political office? You have no creditibility and you're blinded by ignorance.

    Holding Elected Officials Accountable for Abuse of Power
    Wasilla blogger, Sherry Whitstine, who chronicles the governor’s career with an a stringent eye


  12. xango_xango
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 10:47:00

    I was thinking more on the line of na na na na hey hey hey, goodbye.


  13. Laurie
    Apr 30, 2009 @ 12:14:00

    I really think the woman is done…over…finished.


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