In this article by the WaPo, the things that I admire most about Sarah are center stage.
It was three days before the legislature was to go home, and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was frustrated. The state Senate was thwarting a reduction she wanted in the fee for business licenses. So the governor's aides culled records at the state Department of Commerce for the e-mail addresses of nearly 23,000 Alaskan business owners.
Using the addresses, Palin sent a mass "special message" with her official portrait, the state seal and a backdrop of snow-rimmed mountains. "I urge you to contact your senator TODAY," she wrote, enclosing the phone number of every member of the state Senate.
Lawmakers and other critics were livid. The governor, they complained, had misused state records, violating people's privacy and flouting an ethics rule that forbids Alaska's state employees to use information to which they have access for personal or political benefit. Palin insisted she had done nothing wrong. And the legislature reduced the fee.
In response to complaints about her e-mails to business owners, Palin insisted that the Commerce Department records are public. "You just pick up the phone and ask," she told a news conference the day after this year's legislative session ended.
The result: license fees reduced by 50%. Sarah circumvented bureaucratic barriers and stood up for the Little Guy. And it worked. It's a style of governing called Getting Shit Done. I would argue that if more executives ran their states in this matter, the country would be an entirely different place. Another example of Getting Shit Done methodology:
A typical dispute occurred in January when Palin asked to deliver her State of the State address on the legislative session's opening day at 6 p.m., an hour earlier than the custom, because she had to catch a flight to attend the graduation of her eldest child, Track, from boot camp. When Green, the state Senate president, said the request would conflict with the chamber's schedule, the governor's office threatened that she might deliver her speech only to the House.
In the end, the legislature and the governor agreed on a 4 p.m. start for her 25-minute remarks. Still, Palin called a local radio show to express her displeasure. The
host, Bob Lester, sided with her. He twice said that Green, a survivor of breast cancer, was "a cancer" on Alaska's progress, and he called her a bitch. On an audiotape of the show, Palin is heard giggling at the expletive.
So what? She has a sense of humor. These people were being assholes: her son was graduating from boot camp for chrissakes. Renew your minds, people.
Bipartisan chorus of exultation:
"She has an incredible pulse on the public will," said Bruce Botelho, a Democrat who is mayor of Juneau, the state capital.
"She tends to . . . create a situation where legislators are cornered -- going against her would be political suicide," said John Bitney, who grew up with Palin, was her campaign policy director and became her first legislative liaison.
For all those women concerned about Choice:
Yet Palin has been less ideologically pure than the public image she has cultivated. An avowed fiscal conservative, she has increased state spending by about one-fifth since taking office. An ardent opponent of abortion, she did not fight for measures requiring parental consent and banning the procedure opponents call "partial birth" abortion -- bills the legislature ultimately defeated.
Sarah doesn't have time for bullshit pomp and circumstance. She's an avid multi-tasker:
Still, Palin struck some lawmakers as curiously detached from the process. In early March 2007, she invited the state Senate's leaders to her office for a preview of the pipeline legislation. To the astonishment of the five senators and their aides, she barely said a word for the hour. As staff members explained her signature plan, the governor was preoccupied with her two BlackBerries. "It was so bizarre. We all talked about it afterwards," said a legislative source, one of three participants in the meeting who recounted the governor's silence. "We all said, 'What was that? Was she even paying attention?'"
Haycox summed up a common criticism of Palin: "She seems as if she is incurious about the mechanism of government."
Haycox: ever heard the term "curiousity killed the cat? Yeah. Sarah doesn't need to be involved. She thought it up and has the right people on the execution end. There is nothing wrong being The Idea Person. Also, it's totally OK for politicans to shut the fuck up every once in awhile. Sarah didn't need to dominate the conversation just because she's the Governor. She's humble like that.
Furthermore, Sarah is not big into personal allegiances. Take this example:
Shortly after Palin took office, state senators were in an eight-hour ethics seminar when the new governor called an 11 a.m. news conference to unveil her ethics bill, borrowing from ideas Democrats had advocated for years, recalled Senate President Lyda Green (R), who represents Palin's home town and quickly became a nemesis. With the senators tied up in their training, the only people who stood with Palin before the cameras were a former Republican U.S. attorney and a former Democratic lawmaker. The news conference foreshadowed a pattern: Time after time, Palin's pursuit of her goals would trump her allegiances.
She's goal-oriented. What is so wrong with that? She's here to serve the people, not the Senate that represents the people. She's also outspoken. Apparently people have a problem with this since she has a vagina.
Last month, just before a vote on a ballot initiative to strengthen environmental restrictions on the proposed Pebble Mine -- an enormous project critics say would damage salmon-rich Bristol Bay -- she broke with a long tradition in which Alaska governors have not taken public positions on such citizen initiatives and announced that she opposed it. She had not alerted Rick Halford (R), an influential former state Senate president who had helped her get elected and had been an informal adviser -- and who was a leader of the pro-initiative forces. It failed.
Effective. Bamn. Next, Sarah not only trims the fat off her body, but the state budget as well:
After her first legislative session, she stunned allies by using her line-item veto to make unprecedented cuts in capital budgets for projects in their districts -- $231 million in all -- a particular surprise in a time of large budget surpluses.
"I remember when we were crafting the budget, there were discussions: 'Where is the governor at? What does she want the total size to be?' . . . We could never get a firm answer from her," Wielechowski said. And then, he said, she "whacked . . . without warning, really."
Wielechowski had been one of two Democrats who, incurring the anger of their party caucus, had spoken out forcefully on the Senate floor to support Palin on the pipeline and on an oil tax increase she also pushed through. But the governor cut capital funds for his Anchorage district, he said, by 95 percent. He was startled to discover that, at the same time, she had approved money for a kitchen in a sports complex in Wasilla and for bleachers and stadium lights at high schools just outside her home town.
Wielechowski is just jealous and now he has no Democratic friends. He thought it was going to be tit for tat back scratching, but this not how SP operates. Secondly, what's wrong with a kitchen and new bleachers for the kids? I've seen worse use of public funding.
I just don't get how anyone cannot see how fucking awesome she is. I mean, really. Who wouldn't do shit her way if they were in her peep-toed shoes?