Thursday, April 16, 2009

Statehouse Journal

Gov. Sarah Palin has rejected suggestions by detractors at the Capitol that she has been distracted from state business.

“The source of the greatest tension this year between the Legislature and the executive has been certainly the appearance that the executive is prioritizing her national image, her national brand, over the day-to-day operations of state government and the interests of the State of Alaska,” said Mike Hawker, the Republican co-chairman of the House Finance Committee.

Who wants to govern a mere, and far-away, state, when the national spotlight beckons?

Recently, she has sparred publicly with Levi Johnston, the 19-year-old father of her grandson, who broke up with Ms. Palin’s daughter Bristol. On Thursday, while lawmakers hone the state budget, the governor is to speak at an anti-abortion group’s fund-raising dinner in Indiana. The next morning, she addresses a breakfast for a nonprofit for families like her own who have a child with Down syndrome.

Ms. Palin and her aides insist she is as engaged with state businesses as ever. “We have a very good working relationship, as far as we know, with lawmakers,” Ms. Palin said last week in her office, where she met with reporters. “Our door is always open.”

A royal we?

“There are critics out there who say she’s not engaged in the national ambitions that they have for her,” Ms. Stapleton said. “The fact that she has people criticizing that she’s not doing it the way D.C. insiders would do it is a compliment to her.”

She could turn out to be a shooting star that burns out quickly.

At one point, someone complimented her hand-painted clogs. “Cute shoes,” the person said. Ms. Palin responded, alluding to a recent dust-up over being seen wearing the logo of her husband’s snow machine sponsor: “I may not be able to tell you who paints them or I may be charged with an ethics violation or something.”

Or something. Still, she is not be counted out. Such feigned simplicity plays well with some.

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