In a stinging editorial in today’s Anchorage Daily News, the newspaper claimed that Gov. Sarah Palin is hiding behind the hired guns of John McCain to avoid accountability and cooperation with the Troopergate investigation.
The newspaper asked why Palin isn’t accountable to her own constituents, “The governor who said, “Hold me accountable,” is hiding behind the hired guns of the McCain campaign to avoid accountability. Is it too much to ask that Alaska’s governor speak for herself, directly to Alaskans, about her actions as Alaska’s governor?”
The editorial wondered if Palin can’t handle her own defense, “Is the McCain campaign telling Alaskans that Alaska’s governor can’t handle her own defense in front of her own Alaska constituents? Way back when, before John McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running mate, Palin promised to cooperate with the investigation. Now she won’t utter a peep about it to Alaskans. Nor will her husband, Todd, who definitely needs to explain his role in Troopergate.”
The editors pointed out that it is offensive to see an out of state politician muscle in on an investigation, “Instead, Alaskans have to sit back and listen to John McCain’s campaign operatives handling inquiries about what Alaska’s governor did while governing Alaska. Residents of any state would be offended to see their governor cede such a fundamental, day-to-day governmental responsibility to a partisan politician from another state. It’s especially offensive to Alaskans.”
This is the problem with the McCain campaign’s overly heavy handed response to the investigation. By trying to squash the investigation it makes it look like Palin has something to hide. They are creating a scandal where one might not have existed if the governor and her husband would have stuck to their original intent to cooperate. I think it would be offensive for the residents of any state if a presidential nominee and his campaign injected himself into a state investigation about a state incident.
If there really is nothing to Troopergate, then Palin should cooperate, and let the investigation run its course. If she did nothing wrong, then she should welcome the investigation as a chance to clear her name. By allowing the McCain campaign to do what they are doing, Palin is destroying her credibility as an independent voice, because Palin is accountable to the people who put her into office.
The McCain campaign is somehow managing to undo all of their publicity about Palin being a new kind of politician and a reformer, by responding as if she is nothing more than a guilty politician who abused her power, and now needs to cover her tracks. As usual with the McCain folks, they have found a way to turn a positive into a negative, and nothing is going to cost John McCain more that his campaign’s ability to consistently pick the wrong strategy.