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Another moose caught in the headlights: New ethics complaint against Sarah Palin.

By       Message Lani Massey Brown     Permalink
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Sarah Palin broke Alaska's state ethics rules by holding national television interviews from her governor's office to talk about her vice presidential run. She's trying to repair her political image. She crossed line between job, self-promotion.

Remember the last Republican Darling, Katherine Harris? Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and former Secretary of State Katherine Harris have much in common: dark hair, lipstick, ambition, ethics... failing upwards. And both were used badly by the men in their lives. They were propped up high before being smeared down, if not vilified and cast aside. For Sarah, McCain's bad choice and campaign cronies did her in. Jeb was Katherine's undoing. Will Sara follow Katherine's lead to nowhere?

McCain used Sarah to do his dirty work, sling the mud and wild accusations. With more experience and a lot more knowledge she might have survived the defeat. But lacking both, her image cracked along the way. In the end, Sarah's own choice to take on a role that was over her capabilities may have mortally wounded her political future. Sarah wasn't ready. She grabbed for the brass ring before she knew the weight of it. Not a beauty pageant, Sarah. Just business... political business.

Katherine wasn't ready either. But Katherine did a lot more damage. She robbed the entire country of a fair election. Weak in so many areas Katherine soaked up the limelight in her 2000 role, while Jeb's legal team called the shots and propelled her forward to gain Jeb's brother his presidency.** Had Jeb's caper failed, it was Katherine's signature on the documents, her name on the door. She would have gone down in flames... She did anyway, but for different reasons. Done with her, Jeb didn't want her around tainting his own reputation and political plans.   

The Katherine thing worked well for Jeb and George. But McCain's pitbull did not and McCain eventually wallowed in his own mud. With so many qualified candidates to choose from, McCain and his team forgot one very important business adage when they tapped Sarah to lure women over to their tent. Hire the best. They forgot, but women across America knew better. Apparently qualifications for the job are more important than gender.

What did Sarah and Katherine think would happen when the spotlights finally beamed bright enough to reveal the flaws beneath their veneer? One more moose in the headlights, snuffed out like an old flame. It takes a lot for a girl to overcome a sullied reputation. Katherine never did. But the jury's still out on Sarah, literally.

I hope we see more of Sarah. I hope she examines her core values, sets her goals high. (Right, she's already looking to 2012.) Maybe next time time, armed with the sting of failure, she'll look to her shortcomings, to the needs of the country and do the hard work, strengthen her qualifications beyond Russian airplanes and the bridge to oblivion.


** Conspiracy, coincidence, or skullduggery? Five lawyers from Jeb's general counsel office took unpaid leave to shape the Republican legal strategy in Florida. ''Clearly [Jeb's] been keeping a low public profile. But obviously every move the secretary of state has made is in keeping with the Bush strategy."  

 

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Author of A MARGIN OF ERROR: BALLOTS OF STRAW, featured in "Small Press Bookwatch" - Politics is a tough career, with more knives in (more...)
 

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