Opinion: Sarah Palin’s emails: Annoyingly gaffe-free
This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.
By now, we lamestream-media bullies were expecting to have an arsenal of IEDs (Internet embarrassment devices) to hurl at our favorite target. But a surprising thing happened after the state of Alaska released more than 24,000 pages of Sarah Palin’s emails sent during her term as governor from 2006 to 2008: Like Al Capone’s vault, it turned out there was nothing there.
The emails, released Friday, were pretty unrevealing for anybody with a passing familiarity with Palin’s career. News reports tell us they portray a governor who was unusually thin-skinned about media criticism for such a prominent politician (how shocking!), an outsider who relied extensively on her husband Todd for assistance (no kidding!), and a ‘drill, baby, drill’ Republican who was surprisingly critical of oil companies (as long as she was trying to extract higher taxes from them in order to hand bigger rebate checks to Alaska voters, that is). All in all, she comes off as precisely what she was: An inexperienced small-town mayor getting on-the-job training in the governor’s mansion.
So what were we expecting? Somebody dumber. Editors, bloggers and producers were doubtless rubbing their hands in glee on the expectation that the unfiltered thoughts of Sarah Palin as expressed in her email messages would be at least as idiotic as some of the unfiltered statements that come out of Sarah Palin’s mouth when she’s in front of a camera. If there’s anything surprising about the emails, it’s that the Palin who thinks her state’s proximity to Russia enhances her foreign-policy expertise, or who makes bizarre rambling speeches about Paul Revere when caught without a prepared statement, isn’t in evidence. Or as Palin herself would put it, there were very few ‘gotcha’ moments to be found.
Of course, it must be pointed out that the publicly released emails were heavily redacted by state officials, with reams of material off-limits because it was deemed personal or privileged communication; who knows what juicy tidbits we might have found had the rest been available? But I suspect there aren’t many people who have never written anything embarrassing or stupid in an email, and if this is the worst an army of reporters can turn up, Palin has little to be embarrassed about.
-- Dan Turner