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Leashing Sarah in Four Acts

Much Ado About Nothing

The Anchorage Daily News pretends to be confused about Gov. Sarah Palin’s travel plans. It asks whether the governor will going to New York City and Washington, D.C., this weekend:

The Chicago Tribune’s political blog and others are reporting as fact that the governor is going to be Fox News’ guest at the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

But it’s not clear if that’s true.

ADN quotes Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton:

“The governor may be on the East Coast this weekend to attend state events and meetings. If she is there, the governor may accept one of the standing invitations for dinner.”

The left-leaning McClatchy newspaper then asks whether Gov. Palin will appear at New York’s Alaska House for an Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute event there and take part in NCNA listening tours across the lower 48. Again, Stapleton responds:

“If there is something that she can do that benefits Alaskans or Alaska or allows her to keep Alaskans first, she’ll participate.”

Whenever there is an event which would require the governor to leave the state, we are treated to this sort of political theater. The actors know their parts well and don’t even need to rehearse their lines, so often have they repeated them.

The drive-by media opens Act I by asking whether the governor will attend some event the organizers have – either by leak or outright promotion – let it be known Gov. Palin is invited to attend.

In Act II, her political enemies, those strange bedfellows that are the Democrats as well as the Republicans she has stood up to, whine that Palin is more interested in her national political opportunities than she is in doing the job the voters hired her to do.

Act III is that part of the play where the governor’s spokesperson says that if the governor travels beyond the state lines, it will be in Alaska’s best interests, as Sarah Palin is well-known for talking up Alaska as a source of energy, a producer of seafood and other products and as a place of scenic wonders not to be missed by passengers on the cruise ships.

In Act IV, Gov. Palin either skips the event, citing pressing state business, or attends and makes an Alaska sales presentation a key part of her visit. If she does not attend, the drive-by media, who we remember from Act I, crows that the governor’s aides are incompetent and there are communication problems between her staff in Alaska and her PAC in Washington, D.C. If she does attend and then returns home, Palin is roundly criticized by her enemies for abandoning the state, and some even go so far as to file frivolous “ethics” complaints against her for having the temerity to actually think that as an American citizen, she has the right to freely travel around the country. The drive-by media types then reprise their role as publicity agents for these enemies of Gov. Palin by pretending to take their ridiculous compalints seriously and amplifying them. The play ends on a suspensful note, as the drive-by chorus asks the snoozing audience members whether the governor can survive. The curtain falls.

And so the governor’s enemies and the media play off of each other to keep Sarah Palin on a leash. She cannot go anywhere outside of Alaska or do anything without having to justify the excursion as something which will greatly benefit the 49th State. She and her spokespersons have to be non-committal to keep from providing her enemies with a surplus of ammunition to be used against her.

Some have opined that Mother Nature keeps her close to home by threatening one natural disaster or another, but this is the 21st Century, where all sorts of electronic marvels allow the governor to stay in touch with state officials and direct operations from any place on the globe just as well as if she were in Juneau or Anchorage. It’s all about perceptions. If she is out of state and Redoubt blows its top, the media and the anti-Palin forces will blame every potential death, injury or dollar lost on her, when in reality it would make no difference one way or another whether she were in the state or beyond its borders if and when the incident occurred.

Having had some success tethering Sarah Palin to Alaska, the Democrat wing of the anti-Palin axis has reported to DNC headquarters, and now the tactic is being used against Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal. If it’s successful in the Bayou State, look for it to be adopted in any state with a Republican governor who has a shot at a leadership role in the GOP. In other words, this pitiful play is likely coming to a state capitol near you.

It’s the modern version of “Much Ado About Nothing” and a remake that’s pointless to anyone who isn’t a Democrat activist. The stagecraft is really getting tiresome. The same chorus which sings its sad lament seems to collectively forget its lines every time Barack Obama jets to Hawaii or a Democrat governor goes to another state to campaign for a fellow party member running for public office. But hypocrisy has always been the core value of the party of the Braying Ass.

- JP

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