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Opinion: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin faces state probe, nixing McCain VP rumors

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Alaska doesn’t get much news coverage, stuck way up in the northwest there on the shortest route to Asia. Not unless there’s some crime (see the federal indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens this week) or the eternal congressional fight over drilling for oil in an unprotected corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Recently, there have also been some murmurs about its telegenic, reformist Republican governor, Sarah Palin, as a possible long shot for vice presidential running mate with Sen. John McCain.

The 44-year old mother of five earned the nickname ‘Sarah Barracuda’ for her intensity as a high school basketball player, a nickname some political opponents have kept alive in adult times. She doesn’t seem to mind.

The well-spoken politician won election in 2006 as a reformer and was quickly seen as a rising star in Republican political circles.

There was even a ‘Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President’ movement or, at the very least, a website, despite her claims that a spot on the national ticket was not in the cards ‘this time around.’

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She’s doing all right with Alaskan voters too, enjoying envious statewide popularity ratings somewhere above 80%.

But now Palin is also caught in a probe of her official conduct that likely nixes whatever chance she had to be on the McCain ticket. She’s only been a governor for two years, but that’s about four times as long as someone else mentioned as GOP VP pick, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

However, questions have now arisen over whether Palin used her office to try and fire her ex -brother-in-law from a state trooper’s position. Palin asserts the charge is untrue, but the Alaska Senate this week approved the hiring of an independent investigator to look into the allegation.

Our colleague Frank James over at the Swamp has more details on this governor we’re likely to hear more about in coming years.

--Andrew Malcolm


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