Will Her VP Run Hurt Palin in Alaska?

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The fact that the McCain campaign essentially speaks for Sarah Palin — answering any question directed at her office by everyday Alaskans — is hurting her popularity in-state. And Democratic legislators, accustomed to partnering with Palin, have soured on the Governor. From the LA Times:

In stubbornly independent Alaska, the sudden intrusion of a political campaign into so many corners of state government — not to mention Wasilla, where a dozen or more campaign researchers and lawyers have also begun overseeing the release of any information about Palin’s years as mayor — has touched a raw nerve. McCain staffers have even been assigned to answer calls for Palin’s family members, who have been instructed not to talk.

“Why did the McCain campaign take over the governor’s office?” the Anchorage Daily News demanded in an editorial Saturday. “Is it too much to ask that Alaska’s governor speak for herself, directly to Alaskans, about her actions as Alaska’s governor?”

The partisan spillover of the presidential campaign into the statehouse, political analysts here say, now threatens Palin’s most powerful political capital in Alaska: her commitment to transparency, her willingness to forge bipartisan alliances with Democrats to advance her legislative agenda, and her battle to upend the good ol’ boy network…

Democratic leaders, whom the Palin camp accuses of initiating rounds of partisan sniping, say the bipartisanship that helped Palin win passage of ethics measures, a new natural-gas pipeline and an increase in the oil production tax — in most cases over the objections of her own Republican leadership — is essentially over.

“She would have gotten none of her bills passed without us, and to see
her come in and attack us now the way she’s attacking us, when it’s completely unwarranted, is just tearing people up,” said Democratic state Sen. Bill Wielechowski. “I think it’s going to make it hard for her to come back and govern in this state.”

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