Sarah Palin's out in Georgia today, ostensibly campaigning for the execrable Saxby Chambliss with her usual brand of right-wing populism that plays especially well in places like Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.
I say ostensibly, because who she's really campaigning for is Sarah Palin in 2012. These campaign stops are all about Palin positioning herself to become the leading figurehead of the Republican Party. Lotsa luck with that, of course. (You betcha!) [Wink]
But in the meantime, the fine folks back in Alaska are wondering what became of their governor. The Alaska Democratic Party's chairman, Patti Higgins, held a press conference a little earlier today raising that question. From their press release:
Palin has been back in Alaska at work for only a few days since running for vice president.
"Alaskans need our Governor here earning her salary and working on key problems facing Alaska families," said Alaska Democratic Party Chair Patti Higgins.
Alaska is facing significant challenges, Higgins said, including:
Oil prices have dropped dramatically to about $45/bbl from the peak of $144/bbl in July, which threatens the state budget.
Alaskans are paying some of the highest prices for gas in the nation, averaging $2.87 per gallon, while the national average is $1.91.
The state's oil production continues to decline, due to falling prices and mature fields.
The global credit crunch and falling natural gas prices threaten the Alaska gas line.
The State is failing to meet its constitutional obligation to take care of public education as shown by the high drop out rates and the low graduation rates.
Many Medicare patients cannot find doctors.
There is continued flight from rural villages.
Alaska faces the prospect of reduced federal dollars from Washington, D.C.
"Alaska's challenges are significant, and there is much that needs to be done right now. Our Governor should remember that her primary job is to work on behalf of the citizens of Alaska, not engage in partisan politics in other states," Higgins said. "Governing is more than creating photo ops. We'd like a commitment that the Governor is working, not just scheduling media appearances."
In a way, though, there's a certain symmetry about Palin gallivanting off to campaign for Chambliss. It makes clear she really doesn't give a rat's hindquarters about her actual constituents.