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What Has She Done?

The notion that Sarah Palin is unaccomplished and untested is frankly a media invention. For those who bother to examine her actual record, the facts tell a different story. Kim Strassel in the Wall Street Journal rightly notes that from media coverage ” you’ve heard plenty about her religious views and private family matters,” but precious little about what she has done in office. Strassel tries to correct this  by describing in blow-by-blow fashion Palin’s record in bringing down a corrupt machine and taking on the oil companies.

Ironically, Palin’s record before becoming Governor (which the Obama team has ridiculed) is in and of itself more impressive than anything Barack Obama has actually done. Strassel explains:

The former mayor of Wasilla had been appointed by Mr. Murkowski in 2003 to the state oil and gas regulatory agency. She’d had the temerity to blow the whistle on fellow GOP Commissioner Randy Ruedrich for refusing to disclose energy dealings. Mr. Murkowski and GOP Attorney General Gregg Renkes closed ranks around Mr. Ruedrich—who also chaired the state GOP. Mrs. Palin resigned. Having thus offended the entire old boy network, she challenged the governor for his seat.

Mrs. Palin ran against the secret deal, and vowed to put the pipeline back out for competitive, transparent, bidding. She railed against cozy politics. Mr. Murkowski ran on his unpopular pipeline deal. The oil industry warned the state would never get its project without his leadership. Mrs. Palin walloped him in the primary and won office in late 2006. Around this time, news broke of a federal probe that would show oil executives had bribed lawmakers to support the Murkowski tax changes.

Then as Governor Palin reinstated the Natural Reosurces Commissioner who had been fired after challenging the Murkowski machine, passed an ethics reform, and renegotiated the pipeline deal. Strassel sums up:

Throughout it all, Mrs. Palin has stood for reform, though not populism. She thanks oil companies and says executives who “seek maximum revenue” are “simply doing their job.” She says her own job is to be a “savvy” negotiator on behalf of Alaska’s citizens and to provide credible oversight. It is this combination that lets her aggressively promote new energy while retaining public trust.

Several things are remarkable. First, it is not a story which MSM outlets are explaining or acknowledging. Why? Because it runs counter to their concocted storyline that her sole selling point is as a cheerleader for social conservatives, sent to whip up the base at the expense of selecting a competent VP. Second, there is nothing remotely evident in Obama’s record, or Joe Biden’s, frankly, which demonstrates this level of political competence, direction, accomplishment or tenacity. It is not merely a throw away line to say that she is more experienced than Obama, it is factually well established — for those who care to look. And finally, of course, John McCain wants such a person. This is now the essence of his campaign — run against corruption and do-nothing careerism.

I think the Obama camp would be smart to ignore Palin. As Palin rightly pointed out Wednesday night, Obama, when asked what he has done of note, can only cite two books, some speeches, and a perpetual quest for higher office.  If the media ever get around to reporting on the comparative records of the two, it won’t be a favorable one for Obama.



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