Has David Brooks come out against the idea of a VP Palin? It seems so. "Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she'd be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness."
"The idea that 'the people' will take on and destroy 'the establishment' is a utopian fantasy that corrupted the left before it corrupted the right. Surely the response to the current crisis of authority is not to throw away standards of experience and prudence, but to select leaders who have those qualities but not the smug condescension that has so marked the reaction to the Palin nomination in the first place."
The Washington Post reports that Palin "is unlikely to meet with a special prosecutor looking into whether she or other state officials improperly pushed to punish a trooper, a spokesman for John McCain's presidential campaign announced Monday. Since Palin was named as McCain's running mate Aug. 29, the campaign has dismissed the state legislature's investigation into her dismissal of the state's director of public safety, saying that Democrats are exploiting the probe for political gain."
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow spoke with Monegan. Some excerpts:
MADDOW: Governor Palin told Charlie Gibson--you just heard the clip there--that she nor her husband pressured you to hire or fire anybody. Is that the truth?
MONEGAN: No, not entirely. The part about did she or any of her staff say fire him, quote unquote, that never occurred. No one ever said "fire him." What they said is things like "this man should not be a trooper, this man shouldn't represent the troopers," those kind of things which are inferring to fire him.
MADDOW: Would you describe it as being pressured to move him out of the office and how overt was that pressure if you did feel that pressure?
MONEGAN: Well, the very first time I even heard trooper Wooten's name was by-uh- through her husband Todd who wanted to tell me what kind of character was working for me and how he had filed a complaint and had documents and pictures and primarily he wanted to describe the character of Trooper Wooten. And that was in January of '07. It continued, right up until the last, I think it was in February of this year. So, it was continual. It was a reoccurring theme. If it wasn't--initially, it was the governor and her husband, but then it became other commissioners and not only did they call me, but they called other members of my staff.
"Palin may eventually have said 'no thanks' to a federally funded Bridge to Nowhere. But a bridge to her hometown of Wasilla, that's a different story," the AP reports. "A $600 million bridge and highway project to link Alaska's largest city to Palin's town of 7,000 residents is moving full speed ahead, despite concerns the bridge could worsen some commuting and threaten a population of beluga whales."
"What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? A tanning bed!" a Los Angeles Times blog writes. According to a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Transportation, Palin put in a tanning bed in the governor's mansion. It was first reported by an Alaska blog and picked up by Ben Smith at Politico and others.
The Wall Street Journal takes a look at an example where Palin didn't look like a small government conservative. "[W]hen Alaska government officials wanted to shut down a money-losing creamery, the governor overturned the decision after dairy farmers near her hometown complained the loss of subsidies would cripple them. On June 8, 2007, a board overseeing the 71-year-old state-run Matanuska Maid creamery announced the business would close after amassing $1.5 million in red ink since 2005, the result of a run-up in milk prices and other essentials. 'I feel we are safeguarding the public interest in the decision that has been made,' Mac Carter, chairman of the Alaska Creamery Board, said in a letter to the Palin administration."
More: "On June 16, 2007, Gov. Palin attended a rally by dairy farmers near her hometown of Wasilla who pleaded that the creamery stay open to help them and other members of the local dairy industry. 'Things are kind of a mess right now with what's happening with Mat-Maid, and we're going to clean it up,' the governor said at the event. She then sacked the creamery board and replaced it. The new board, headed by one of her childhood friends, ordered the creamery kept open. Six months later -- after the business racked up more than $800,000 in additional losses, according to state officials -- the new board ordered it closed again."
"The candidate's handling of the matter has been fodder for some critics challenging her credentials as a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative. She has also been criticized for securing federal earmarks as mayor of Wasilla and, as governor, for raising taxes on oil-industry profits. 'I think what happened here was her personal desire to satisfy a local constituency, versus what is right for the state,' says Lyda Green, president of the Republican-run state senate and a political rival from Wasilla."