"I'm confident that Senator Stevens from this point on will do the right thing for the people of Alaska."
In Japan, doing "the right thing" in such a situation might involve a very sharp knife in the hands of the person who has to do it, but in Sarah's world, it usually involves a very large bus with studded tires year-round. She drives it.
She just hasn't figured out how to do it yet. She's trying to find allies on this at the same time she is making her 2012 allies, from town to town.
The chief spokesperson for the Alaska GOP was all over the media late this afternoon, saying:
"We need to continue to support Sen. Stevens. We need to vote for him because a vote for him is a vote for a conservative candidate, a Republican who best represents the interests and beliefs of Alaskans. … We don't know what happens in the future. But if you don't want Mark Begich, you vote for Ted Stevens."
I realized this evening, sitting at a Valley board meeting, that there's an incredible cognitive dissonance here. Unless Palin comes out against Stevens, if asked further about it before the coming weekend, she's endorsing her state party spokesperson's recommendation to vote for the poster child of the group most often linked with the crackdown on Alaska political corruption.
This is very big, for Alaska and the country.