Anchorage - The warm jets had barely cooled in the frostbitten night before Governor Palin - That's right; Governor Palin - faced a barrage of media chomping at the bit to get to know the Belle of Wasilla. After all, by several accounts our fair lady, sequestered behind the iron curtain, so to speak, on a bitterly brutal and caustic campaign trail.
Sometimes - even at home sweet home - a welcome home greeting can be an anti-climactically mixed barf bag. Interviews of Guv we read about in an AP report in our beloved Anchorage Daily News enlightened us to how the exhaustive rigors of campaign life can take a dreadful toll. Even in the most favorable light, this usually captivating candidate was a little cranky. And although a small, enthusiastic throng greeted Queen Outpost's homecoming, a lengthy laborious laundry list of leftover governance chores remain. Illuminated by the ever-present brilliance of the media spotlight, Her Majesty's jet plane wheels on the McCain/Palin aircraft hit the runway of Ted Stevens International Airport in style. Big ole' jet airliner. And the bittersweet bright lights glare on and on.
We, heretofore viewed in some Alaskan circles as "The Loyal Opposition," can only keep hope in our hearts that this regal airplane ride is the closest she ever comes to riding in Air Force One.
With tawdry details to attend to, coming home to her distinguished fellow Republican colleagues she so ceremoniously dissed on the campaign trail also has to suck. More frost likely in that part of the forecast. Stay tuned.
Lady Palin discussed her own version of being unceremoniously dissed on this page in the Anchorage Daily News. Palin appeared as frosted as the Anchorage alders, offering her version of the manner in which certain members of the McCain/Palin campaign team mistreated her.
I would wager the frost also extends to Ted Stevens, who can be none too happy about the fervor with which Palin urged Alaska's Favorite Son to drop out of the sweepstakes. The less than enthusiastic approach she took to Don Young's campaign won't win her any additional GOP brownie points of support here at The Outpost either.
Ted Stevens led Democrat/Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich by about 3500 votes in the race for Alaska US Senate with more than 50,000 remaining to count for a few days. Many Alaska Republicans crowed like our real-life local resident ravens. But hold the phone: Is the unthinkable possible? Whoa Nellie, The Outpost has embraced change. Now Begich leads the race by over 2300 votes today with less than 24,000 remaining to count in an update posted 11/18/08 - 1:13 PM AKDST of the Anchorage Daily News. As anyone relatively conscious has learned, Stevens absconded $250,000 in gifts, mostly renovations, on his Girdwood AK home. Stevens is appealing the verdict. A few days ago, Sarah Palin had an odd take on all this Ted Stevens stuff: "The Alaska voters have spoken and me not being a dictator won't be telling anyone what to do.” Yeah. Right. Whatever that meant. And now, whatever that meant, the likelihood of a Mark Begich victory makes it mean something entirely different.
In contrast, a proud, decisive nation far away took a bold step forward toward change. It dared to unabashedly face the challenges of an uncertain future fraught with worldwide turmoil and economic strife armed with its only conceivable weapon...hope. Whether it fares any better or worse seems, at this point, irrelevant. The newly discovered spiritual aspect of a long-awaited, vibrant person of character leading the nation toward purposes beyond personal gain has energized many of us in ways beyond numbers possibly reflected in polls. Polls can't measure the collective heart. That's where hope lives. You can hear it. Deep inside. It's the subtle, steady heartbeat of the ultimate American possibility.
Meanwhile, back here at The Outpost we'll drop by the supermarket and pick up a few extra band-aids, maybe some ointment for our comrades' knuckles, scuffed from dragging on the frozen ground.
I hear cold bacon grease helps.