Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin: Country First


As I previously blogged, John McCain's vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her husband are former members of the Alaska Independence Party. What does this fact tell about the likelihood that Palin will successfully win over American voters? Democratic Strategist reports:
The AIP (or AKIP, as it likes to style itself) is an exotic but locally significant political party that's long advocated a reconsideration of Alaska's 1958 decision to accept statehood, with a return to territorial status, an independent "Republic" position, or secession to Canada (or to some new confederation of Western Canadian provinces) being lively options.

Thanks to some investigative work by Mark Kleiman, we know that AKIP claims that Sarah Palin is a former member of its party who attended their 1994 convention.

. . . she is now the putative vice presidential candidate of a super-patrotic GOP and the handpicked running-mate of a presidential candidate whose message is "country first." "Alaska First" or "Canada First" are not acceptable points of view for John McCain's GOP, not matter how happy conservative activists may be about Palin's reactionary views on cultural issues.
We don't know Palin's views about joining Canada. ( And it is not clear to me why Canadians would want to have anything to do with Sarah Palin). But I think we can safely say -- on the basis of Palin's interests and priorities -- that she has long considered herself an Alaskan first.

Update: New information suggests Palin herself was not in fact an AIP party member; but it is still alleged that her husband was a member, and that she attended the conventions. NYT reports, "After checking the party’s archives, Ms. Clark said that she could find no documentation that Governor Palin had been a member of the party. She said Ms. Palin attended the party’s 1994 and 2006 conventions and provided a video-taped address as governor to the 2008 convention. Ms. Clark said that Ms. Palin’s husband, Todd, was a former member of the party."

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