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EXCLUSIVE: Palin to stump for conservative Democrats
Question of the Day
The object would be to build a majority coalition that reflects what polls suggest is the center-right tilt of the U.S. electorate as a whole.
A USA Today-Gallup poll found that her resignation from office bolstered her appeal among Republicans, two-thirds of whom say they want her to remain “a major national political figure.”
But 55 percent of independents say they would rather she exit the national stage. She is also unpopular among Democrats.
Mrs. Palin confirmed during the interview that she has signed a book contract but would not discuss how much it is worth — rumored to be $6 million or more. She also declined to discuss other employment prospects, including becoming a television commentator.
“I can’t talk about any of those things while I’m still governor,” she said.
The governor defended her decision to step down early, despite criticism by Democrats and Republicans that she risked being labeled a quitter.
She said constant attacks in the press and the barrage of ethics violation claims against her — all dismissed or pending — have cost state taxpayers dearly and made it nearly impossible for her to move forward with her agenda. The legal cases also forced her to go into debt for more than $500,000 in legal expenses.
“Pragmatically, Alaska would be better off” by allowing her lieutenant governor and fellow Republican, Sean Parnell, 46, to serve out her term, she said.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Palin said the state needs a new ethics policy after another ethics complaint was filed against her. The new complaint, filed Friday with the state personnel board, claims Mrs. Palin has been paid for media interviews, according to the Associated Press.
Mrs. Palin said she hopes the new complaint is “a wake-up call” to Alaskan lawmakers and the public that at new policy is needed.
“The only saving grace in this recent episode is that it proves beyond any doubt the significance of the problem Alaska faces in the ‘new normal’ of political discourse,” she said in a release that was posted online through her Twitter account. “I hope this will be a wake-up call — to legislators, to commentators and to citizens generally — that we need a much more civil and respectful dialogue that focuses on the best interests of the state, rather than the petty resentments of a few.”
In her interview with The Times, Mrs. Palin denied reports that the decision to resign had been made hastily with little notice to her family or staff.
“We had been contemplating this for months, so I didn’t surprise my family or the people around me,” she said, glancing at her top aide, Kris Perry, who was seated across the room from the governor during the interview. Ms. Perry smiled and nodded emphatically.
Among the barrage of ethics complaints against Mrs. Palin are many filed by Republican activist Andree McLeod.
“She put personal and partisan political interests before the state of Alaska,” Mrs. McLeod told The Washington Times.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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