About this allegation that Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence Party. At first I thought it was a big deal or at least a potential big deal. But, upon inspection it seems much less serious. For starters, it seems she was never a member. She’s been a registered Republican since 1982.
Okay, but lots of people are making a big deal about her address to the party convention. Okay, so I checked out the video. Eh.
I’d be curious what some Alaskans think about this, but my impression from my various interactions up there, is that the AIP has always been something of a quirky protest party akin to the Libertarian Party. Alaskans do have a real independence streak and, one might say, a chip on their shoulders on how they’re treated and viewed by folks in the lower 48 (which is one reason they support pork barrel politics so much). I have no doubt it has its fair share of loons in it, but I also have no doubt it has plenty of serious folks as well (just like the LP). But this address strikes me as entirely underwhelming political boilerplate. First, she delivered it by videotape — often a sign of lack of political commitment somewhat akin to Republicans addressing the pro-life march by telephone. Second, she offers some (very brief) bridge-building words to the convention, and that’s it.
Again, more shoes could drop. But, as of now, I think this is an example of the quirky and parochial nature of Alaskan politics not translating well — just as I suggested when they first announced the pick — rather than any kind of crackpotism on her part. I wonder, has Obama spoken to any Hawaiian “nationalist” groups?
Update: From a reader:
You wrote: “I wonder, has Obama spoken to any Hawaiian “nationalist” groups?”
Um, he was part of a black nationalist church for 20 years. Does that count?
Update II: From a reader
Listen again to the first few sentences. She says “your party” while
also saying how competition is “so good, and that applies to political
parties as well”. She’s just welcoming them to her state as Gov.
Right, though I think “congratulating” or some such is a better word than “welcoming” since, you know, where would the Alaska Independence Party be coming from?