Thursday, July 2, 2009

The AIP and the Band-Aid

The Vanity Fair piece is shedding alot of light onto the inner workings of the McCain campaign and its staffers, and I say, good. The more we know about these weasels, the better.

Many things have hit the fan, but I want to address two right now: Todd's involvement with the Alaska Independence Party, and Andrew Sullivan's fascination with Sarah Palin's band-aid.

First up, the AIP.

Some emails sent between Palin and Steve Schmidt about the question of Todd's registration with the AIP have surfaced. Here is Sarah Palin concerned with accusations about her husband being a member of the AIP:

"Pls get in front of that ridiculous issue that's cropped up all day today - two reporters, a protestor's sign, and many shout-outs all claiming Todd's involvement in an anti-American political party," Palin wrote. "It's bull, and I don't want to have to keep reacting to it ... Pls have statement given on this so it's put to bed."

Schmidt's response:

"Ignore it," he wrote. "He was a member of the aip? My understanding is yes. That is part of their platform. Do not engage the protestors. If a reporter asks say it is ridiculous. Todd loves america."
Palin's answer:

"That's not part of their platform and he was only a 'member' bc independent alaskans too often check that 'Alaska independent' box on voter registrations thinking it just means non partisan," Palin wrote. "He caught his error when changing our address and checked the right box. I still want it fixed."
And Schmidt's (long) reply:

"Secession," he wrote. "It is their entire reason for existence. A cursory examination of the website shows that the party exists for the purpose of seceding from the union. That is the stated goal on the front page of the web site.

Our records indicate that todd was a member for seven years. If this is incorrect then we need to understand the discrepancy. The statement you are suggesting be released would be innaccurate. The innaccuracy would bring greater media attention to this matter and be a distraction.

According to your staff there have been no media inquiries into this and you received no questions about it during your interviews. If you are asked about it you should smile and say many alaskans who love their country join the party because it speeks to a tradition of political independence. Todd loves his country We will not put out a statement and inflame this and create a situation where john has to adress this."

Palin did not reply, and no statement was issued.

For the record, I couldn't care less if Todd were a proud member of the AIP. Most, if not all bodies of land not directly attached to the Lower 48 (and some that are) have independence movements (Guam, Hawaii, etc...).

And the frustration level that would lead to advocating secession is understandable considering that no one in Washington wants to listen to Alaska on issues like ANWR and insists on telling them what they can and can't do with their own resources.

Many feel disenfranchised and unrepresented in Washington. This leads to that good old, independent spirit that led our founding fathers to cut themselves off from Great Britain.

There is nothing wrong with that spirit, if anything, it's healthy. It shows an aversion to tyranny and a longing to be free and to make decisions for yourself. It doesn't mean you're a radical wacko who wants to nuke the Pentagon.

The CBS article where I got the emails suggests that Palin lied about what the voter registration form actually said, and I don't know. I have never seen a voter registration form from Alaska, especially not from the year Todd registered. I don't even know what year that was, so I'm not going to go into that. It was at least seven years ago, and we can't remember every detail. I don't remember everything that happened yesterday, so, I don't really care about that part.

Now, if I were an actual journalist I would look up all of those things, but I'm not getting paid, so I don't really care. If it becomes an issue, I'll stretch myself. Beyond that...

Two points:

1. How many times does Schmidt think you register to vote? Annually?

If you made a mistake on your registration form (as in, thinking you were registering as Independent, but in fact as a member of the AIP), why would you change it? As far as you know, it's correct.

And if you think it's correct (I don't look at my initial voter registration every year to make sure it's still good) you will naturally just go along thinking all is well.

It wouldn't be until you had to change something on that form or redo your registration (like when you move and get a new address) that you would catch the problem and correct it, which is exactly what Sarah Palin said happened.

2. The problem with Schmidt is that he believed the accusations.

Schmidt was not in Palin's corner. He believed the accusations that Todd was a secessionist, etc... (Which, again, even if he was, I don't care). So rather than feel compelled to go out and correct the supposed misconception, his advice to Palin was to simply gloss it over with a smile and a non-answer.

Oh, that worked out real well. To this day there are questions swirling around this issue. The right thing to do would have been to find out all of the facts and to present them. Period.

Okay, enough of the Schmidt clown, on to the band-aid.

Andrew Sullivan in the Daily Dish seems real concerned with Sarah Palin's truthfulness. The most pressing thing on his mind today?

Her band-aid. (Yes, her band-aid.)

In her interview with Runner's World (which is an awesome interview, by the way) she said that she swore her security detail to secrecy and thought that no one knew about how she cut her hand while running.

Sullivan writes:

"I keenly remember watching the news the day of the big VP debate. I remembered as she came down the stairs off the plane in St. Louis that she had the bandage on the palm of her hand as she waved, and the newscaster told how she had injured her hand in a fall while running."

Notice that his accusation is not that she lied about her story, but that she lied about how many people knew about the story.


That's not a lie, that's not knowing how many people knew about the story (like I've said before, she was in a bubble during the campaign). If this is an example of how dishonest Sarah Palin is, she's got nothing to worry about.

These people who claim they hate Palin so much, I actually think are obsessed with her. Only someone with an obsession would pick on something as innocuous as a band-aid.

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