Friday, March 14, 2008

Governor Palin's Speech at the Opening of the 2008 Alaska GOP Convention

As is typical when a political party's top figure is the sitting governor, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin opened the Alaska Republican Party's 2008 convention. The speech was a dousing with cold water to the party's old guard, an offering of a drink of fresh water to insurgents her sometimes astounding success here has nurtured.

The Governor relentlessly brought up the image of "Change." Beyond that, she asked for anyone attending who is willing, to call for a "Declaration of Independence" from the GOP in Alaska as it is currently constituted. Her appeal to "clean up politics" was directed at a political organization which has done everything in its power to thwart her fairly progressive agenda. And still does.

Younger people in the audience applauded loudly as she asked, "Why should we wait for others to manifest that commitment for change? Let it be us, cultivating new leaders."

Older people were looking more and more glum, as she then quoted President Bush, in his 2008 State of the Union message, when Bush declared war on the earmark process, that has gone out of control during his presidency. Acknowledging Alaska's dependancy on earmarks in the past, she said, "It is time to embark on a new era in Alaska. It IS time for change."

Young people clapped harder, some rose to applaud and cheer. Palin kept using the term "change," almost as if she were auditioning to be Barack Obama's running mate. But she isn't.

Palin sees the continuing rule of GOP Party Chair Randy Ruedrich as an obstacle to the separation of her new paradigm from the statewide and increasingly important national highly negative image of Republican Party politics in Alaska. She next called the Party's Central Committee on their decision late Thursday night, to keep a vote on a rule change that would allow a vote against Ruedrich's tenure to come to the floor a questionable decision. Her request for vocal and physical support from the floor was indelibly recorded by Alaska Report's David Zaki.

I wanted to write about this Friday morning, but my other laptop started acting up. It is going into the shop tomorrow. I thought through the day, as I went from an interview with Diane Benson before she embarks on a trip, at a rehearsal at UAA, and at the Mat-Su Democrats dinner tonight, that some other news source would pick up on the chutzpa of Palin's call for change. None seems to. The Parnell announcement overshadowed Palin's appeal, but I thought her speech to be the most interesting by an Alaska politician I've ever witnessed.

I heard at the Mat-Su Democrats dinner that some news outlet announced a time for a vote Saturday on the motion to suspend the rules and consider Ruedrich's termination, but I haven't seen any further information.

As I left the convention site, I overheard one of the young Fairbanks Republicans who was handing out "Vote for Change" buttons say to another kid, "The reason Young is so much against change is because he knows that when his lawyers are done with him, that's all he'll have left - CHANGE."


kevin said...

Thanks for posting this, and for sitting through so much of the Republican convention so that the rest of us could be spared. It is time for change in Alaskan politics folks. Even the Republicans see it. The question is, who is better able to actually change the tenor of the game and bring about progressive change that we so desperately need - progressive Democrats or the same party that has brought such shame on Alaska for so long?

Anonymous said...

The only thing that bothers me with this is the use of change-- it reminds me of a Campus Crusade meeting. In the end, the people will go back to their old ways or the ways of the ones in power. How committed will they be to preserving their new way of being? Corruption will creep in. It always does.

Will the laws that kept Sarah quiet about Randy be modified? (Have they been?) Will whistle blowers be protected? How will things actually get done in the future?

Polarbear said...

There have been persistent, repeated calls to open ANWR coming from the Republican convention and the delegation. ANWR is a DEAD issue. Trying to open ANWR is 1) a waste of political capital, 2) seriously reduces Alaska's credibility in other areas, 3) ill-advised when NPR-A remains out of production, and 4) not credible in the face of repeated production field maintenance problems at Prudhoe Bay. Why vote for a Republican when they continue to show such poor judgment? On the ANWR issue, all I see is a 30 year record of Republicans hitting themselves in the head with a brick.

Philip Munger said...


I don't think the oil companies are capable of drilling, opening, transporting and MAINTAINING oil fields in ANWR in a responsible way. Although the technology exists to do it right, there is no guarentee they will perform in ANWR better than BP - broken pipeline - Alyeska - broken pipeline in the near future - or Exxon - broken ocean - have performed in the past.

But all the Dem candidates, including Diane Benson, my favorite, are either strongly (Ethan, Jake, Mark) or mildly (Diane) in favor of opening ANWR.

Polarbear said...

Phillip - I would appreciate one of the candidates saying, "Look, the political reality is, if ANWR did not happen when we had the 'Perfect Storm' of Bush-Cheney-Stevens-Murky-Young and a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, then ANWR is not going to happen. We are wasting our time and credibility." We would be more successful if we agreed to leave ANWR alone, in exchange for development of NPR-A. We might be able to make NPR-A happen, as demonstrated by Knowles. I think the electorate is a mood for straight talk. Thanks for your coverage of the convention. I hope you did not have to fork over $200 to get in.

Philip Munger said...


So true! I didn't have to pay - they accredited me as a journalist. I didn't go today - Saturday - because I damaged my main laptop yesterday, and have been downloading stuff from it to my older iBook G4 today, in prep to take the damaged one into the shop until it is fixed.

Anonymous said...

Will the Democrats show us a new way to pull defeat out of the "jaws of victory" again. Lets hope not

Anonymous said...

The D's won't need to snatch defeat from victory -- Sean Parnell will take care of that quite nicely. I think that this year, against that opponent, Young will go down in the primary. I think Parnell will beat him even if he is still unindicted at primary election time. And with Sarabarracuda(80+% approval rating) strongly backing him, Parnell will be almost impossible to beat in the general election [by any of the three D candidates; Metcalfe would be the strongest candidate in the general; the other two failed to get more than 41% of the votes in the 2006 state-wide races (Benson 40.1%; Berkowitz 40.7%)]. Remember, notwithstanding recent events, Alaska is still a bright red state, and the R's won't stay home if it looks like Begich is threatening Stevens and either Obama or Clinton can win.


Arggggghhhhhh said...

Sean is so fake! Everything about him is contrived! I call him BrownNoser! His wife is boring! They will eat this all up. I am not even going ot the ADN if he wins.

Anonymous said...

Anon too,
Please remember the Valley was Democratic in the late 60's and early 70's, then the D's got arogant and thought they knew better than their constituancy what was needed and now you have Green and Co on that boat. It is only a matter of time.
Anon one