Separating Palin Fact from Palin Fiction

Whether it's really a Chinese curse or not, you can't say we don't live in interesting times.

Two weeks ago, I was reporting from the Democratic National Convention; the Obama bounce looked solid, and on Thursday night, following the Mile High Annunciation, things were looking pretty grim for the Grumpy Old Man and the GOP.  Of course, by Friday morning, things were looking rather different --- Sarah Palin was announced as the vice presidential choice, political junkies were seeing their chiropractors about their whiplash injuries, and suddenly a new fresh face was in a free-fire zone.

Now, make no mistake, I like Sarah Palin a lot; in many ways she's closer to my politics than anyone I've seen in a long while.  I voted for her in the PJM Veepstakes, multiple times.  That was all based on what I'd read, at Beldar's blog and others, and a little bit I'd heard from my relatives in Alaska.  Of course, most people know that what immediately followed the Palin announcement was a prodigious swarm of new rumors; it seemed that, failing any useful opposition research, people were just making things up about Palin. After I had received thirty or so of them from left-leaning friends, I got a little tired of it, and wrote an email with a bullet list of some of the things I'd read, true, false, and simply ludicrous.  I sent this to a private mailing list of some friends, and then it occurred to me to create a post on the Palin rumors.

And, as Bart said, "The rest was history."

So this is the complete list of Palin rumors, at least as it stands about midnight Mountain Time on September 7, 2008.  (The link will take you back to the complete and current list on my blog Explorations.)  I make a point of the time because the list has been growing by around seven rumors a day; there's at least one in my queue that I haven't been able to completely track down yet.

Warning: some parts of this are jokes.  On purpose.

Sarah Palin Rumors

  • Yes, she is governor of Alaska. No, she's not the lieutenant governor. No, she's not currently mayor of Wasilla. Yes, she was mayor of Wasilla, some years ago.
  • Yes, as governor of Alaska, she's the commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard. And yes, her professional military subordinate is quite impressed with her in that role.
  • And yes, the New York Times says the job of governor of Alaska is one of the harder, and more powerful, jobs in state government.
  • Yes, there are people in Alaska who think she's too liberal.
  • Yes, she did giggle when someone called Lyda Green a "bitch." Yes, Lyda Green is a cancer survivor. Yes, it was the same Lyda Green who tried to force a scheduling conflict that would make Palin miss her son's high school graduation. Yes, this would also be the Lyda Green who complained no one had asked her about Palin during the vetting process.
  • Yes, she did push for and approve the Wasilla Sports Center. Yes, it did cost a lot of money. (People keep saying $20 million, that article says $14.5 million, but then they also added a $1.2 million dollar food service/kitchen piece. This year, after Palin was out of office as mayor.) Yes, the city went into debt to do it (how did you buy your house, bunkie?) and raised the city sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent to pay for it. Yes, the city is paying it off early. Yes, there is an ongoing dispute about title (following a struggle with the Nature Conservancy and another buyer. And yes, at the time it was built, Wasilla had a federal judge's decision that they had title to the land.
  • Yes, she did want authority to have wolves culled from the air, because they were taking too many moose and caribou. Which people hunt for food in the back country in Alaska. No, she isn't shooting them herself. I mean, not that she couldn't, but I'm sure she doesn't have time.