LePage offers model for image of a Palin presidency

Posted Feb. 15, 2011, at 7:56 p.m.
Last modified May 11, 2011, at 10:10 p.m.

Did reality star Sarah Palin move one step closer to running for wolf-hunter-in-chief this week when she hired a chief of staff for her potential presidential campaign? Are polar bears drowning within eyeshot of the mama grizzly’s Alaskan porch?

CNN reported Feb. 11 that Palin hired veteran politico Michael Glassner to be the senior adviser to Sarah PAC. If you go to conservatives4palin.com you’ll see what seems to be her back as she stares at the White House. The image of Palin choosing between the Alaskan landscape — illustrating what she did to the state when she quit her job as governor halfway through her term — and the presidency is darn fitting.

Her choice of attorney Glassner — or his choice of her — may be quite telling as well. One thing’s for sure about Glassner — if there’s a loser in the pack, he can pick ’em. Glassner worked for both failed presidential hopefuls Bob Dole and John McCain. In fact, according to CNN, “Glassner managed vice presidential operations during John McCain’s unsuccessful White House bid.” So he’s at least in some way responsible for some of Palin’s dimwitted moves during her campaign.

If you need to take your mind off a bad toothache or your endangered unemployment compensation go to http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Sarah-Palin-Blooper-Reel and guffaw at the gargantuan errors Palin made relating politics and history during her vice presidential run. But most painful of all, you can listen to the entire conversation Palin had with a man she thought was French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In the audio, Palin never falters in her gushing dialogue even when the pranksters — posing as the head of state for America’s eighth-largest trading partner — pretend to be Sarkozy bragging that his wife is “so hot in bed.”

Even if Palin proved she can’t go toe to toe with CBS fluff darling Katie Couric when asked what books she reads, that encounter was unavoidable and at least legit. But adding insult to injury, her campaign handlers — Glassner especially — were too inept to keep her from getting sucker punched by a couple of Canadian comedians.

Imagine if McCain won the election, how uncomfortable that first G-8 summit would have been as the real Sarkozy or his “hot in bed” wife had to meet Palin knowing that she played along with faux Sarkozy’s trash talk.

Her lack of prudence when confronted with such preposterous dialogue inspires sheer terror at what she might have said if they’d pretended to be Hosni Mubarak instead and how that repartee could’ve haunted this country over the last few weeks.

As head of the vice presidential team it was Glassner’s job to help her avoid such pitfalls in 2008. Maybe Palin’s thinking that his experience with her inane behavior will be an asset and assumes that if she’d had the veteran strategist on her team in 2010 she might not have confessed to crossing the Canadian border to get health care. In case you missed that admission, the Calgary Herald quotes Palin, “we used to hustle on over the border for health care … I remember my brother, he burned his ankle in some little kid accident thing and my parents had to put him on a train and rush him over to Whitehorse and I think, isn’t that kind of ironic now.”

No, it’s not ironic, it’s infuriatingly predictable. When Palin was the child of a middle-class working family she needed good health care at an affordable price. And even with the price of several train tickets added in, that meant going to Canada. Now that she’s a millionaire — and not a very bright one — she admits to it as she coldly works against equal access to medical care for millions of U.S. families. To be fair, Palin worked against it before she became a millionaire, when she was an elected official and her health benefits were provided by the taxpayer.

If Glassner’s experience running losing campaigns makes him rein in Palin, then she won’t be making any more gaffs in the future.

And that makes Maine even more important as presidential politics heats up. If folks want to know what a Palin presidency would look like, Gov. Paul LePage appears to be darned close. Believe it or not, some people think that’s good news.

Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is the author of “Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States.” She may be reached at PatLaMarche@hotmail.com.

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