I just finished watching a video on C-Span’s website of the August, 2006 Republican debate in the Alaska governor’s race. It pitted Frank Murkowski, the then-governor of the state and veteran of 22 years in the U.S. Senate, against Republican politician John Binkley and Wasilla mayor Sarah Palin. And all I have to say is that Palin was good — really good. It wasn’t a debate in which the candidates were in each other’s faces or throwing out zingers, but Palin clearly outshone her rivals — especially Murkowski, the longtime senator who played the role of the experienced statesman.
As far as substance was concerned, the debate was heavy — I mean heavy — on oil, natural gas, and the money that comes therefrom. To my ears, Palin knew a great deal about the subject and spoke with real authority about it — again outshining her rivals.
On a few other issues, there was a passage in the debate that will lay to rest all those reports we have seen that Palin supports abstinence-only education when it comes to sex. It seems Palin had written in a questionnaire that she opposed “explicit” sex-ed programs, so she was asked:
In a recent survey you said that you would support abstinence-until-marriage education but that you would not support explicit sex-ed programs. What are explicit sex-ed programs, and does that include talking about condoms in school?
No, I don’t think that it includes something that is relatively benign. Explicit means explicit. No, I am pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I’m not anti-contraception. But yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don’t have a problem with that. That doesn’t scare me, so it’s something that I would support also.
Finally, Alaska does not have a death penalty — I did not know that — and Palin was asked for her opinion. Her answer was that if the state legislature decided to pass a narrowly focused death penalty, she would support it.
If our lawmakers were to consider such a thing, I think that support should be given for heinous crimes. A murder of a child? I say, my goodness, hang ‘em up. Yeah. A murder of a child, anything to such a degree, I don’t think that there can be anything worse. And if lawmakers were to consider it, that should be the consideration.
If you have time, you should definitely watch the debate.