Added on August 30, 2008
Is Sarah Palin an adept of
“creation science”? At
the end of October 2006, according to the Anchorage Daily News, Palin
said about evolution and creationism in a TV debate on KAKM Channel 7:
“Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so
important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching
both.” The next day she backtracked and clarified her position: “I don't
think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class.
It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum”. Palin added: “I won't have
religion as a litmus test, or anybody's personal opinion on evolution or
creationism”. The newspaper wrote that Palin said that teaching
creationism is nothing she has campaigned about or even given much thought
to. Her dad is a science teacher.
“My dad did talk a lot about his theories of
evolution,” she said.
“He would show us fossils and say, 'How old do you
think these are?'” Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin
“I believe we have a creator.” She would not say whether her belief also allowed
her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.
“I'm not going to pretend I know how all this came
to be,” she said.
Since December 2006, when she became governor, Sarah Palin has not
introduced or tried to introduce creationism in the schools in Alaska.
Article added on August 29, 2008 at 18:20 Swiss time
John McCain has kept his common sense. As I pointed out
in my morning article about
Barack Obama's Denver speech, the Democrat's
choice of senator Biden as his running mate opened up a huge window of
opportunity for John McCain: the female vote.
Now it is official, John McCain's pick for vice president is the Alaska
senator Sarah Palin. The Republicans managed to
“make history” too with Sarah Palin as the first possible female vice president
of the United States. A similar Democratic attempt failed a few decades ago.
I already feared that John McCain might chose Mitt Romney, the man who
wanted to double Guantanamo. A more experienced politician than Sarah Palin
- born in 1964, an excellent vintage, I may add - might have been a better
choice. Still, with Barack Obama (*1961) just three years older, the Democrats
cannot seriously attack her on experience.
A female governor who went against Alaska's GOP establishment to push
reforms through. In other words, a woman with executive experience and a
maverick image, that is an excellent choice.
Ironically, among the four people in the race for the country's two top jobs,
the youngest, the 44 year old woman with five children, is the only one with
executive experience, the one experience that really matters in a
[Added on August 30: 2008: after finishing her journalism degree at the
University of Idaho, Palin moved back to Alaska where she worked as a TV
reporter for Anchorage's NBC affiliate KTUU. A year later, she met her
husband Todd and left journalism to fish commercially with him and start a
From 1992 to 1996, Sarah Palin served two terms on the Wasilla City Council.
In 1996, she unseated the incumbent mayor in an electoral campaign in which
she focused on spending and high taxes. In 1999, Palin was confirmed in her
position as she won a race again against the former mayor.
In 2003 and 2004, she served as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and
Gas Conservation Commission. She resigned in protest, accusing the GOP
establishment of legal and ethics violations. As a whistleblower, she
managed to force the Alaska GOP chairman and the Alaska Attorney General to
Palin's greatest coup came at the end of 2006 when she first defeated the
Republican Governor Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial primary and
subsequently won the general election against her Democratic opponent, a
Furthermore, appealing to Conservatives is the fact that Sarah Palin is
pro-life and decided to have her second son diagnosed with Down Syndrome. At
the same time, she is an unconventional Conservative who went against the
party's establishment, as explained above. She also killed the infamous
bridge to nowhere project [added on September 10, 2008: as a candidate for
the job of governor, she was in favor of the bridge at a point when the
project was already killed on the federal level. She only definitively
killed it once elected governor].
In short, unlike Barack Obama, Sarah Palin has a record of achievements,
although only on the Alaska state level. Obama has no record, neither on the
state nor on the national level.
This morning (Swiss time) I felt down with Obama's populist, protectionist,
anti-economy speech, which seemed to be popular. Now I am upbeat again with
John McCain and Governor Palin. They present an attractive counter-project
that does not vilify globalization, free trade and economic success. Both
McCain and Palin are mavericks ready to challenge party cronyism, corruption
and conflicts of interest.
A few final notes on her personal life
Sarah Palin is the daughter of a popular science teacher who moved to Alaska
when she was a child. She is a hunter and a member of the NRA. She admitted
to have used marijuana when it was legal in Alaska.
In 1982, nicknamed Sarah Barracuda, she led her underdog Wasilla high school
basketball team to the state championship.
In 1984, after winning the Miss Wasilla beauty contest and being voted Miss
Congeniality by the other contestants, she won second-place in the Miss
Alaska beauty pageant.
In 1987, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications
journalism from the University of Idaho, where she minored in politics. Will
this be enough to face Joe Biden in a foreign policy debate?
Sarah Palin is married to her high school sweetheart Todd, an Eskimo [added
on August 30: 2008: according to Anchorage Daily News,
Palin was born in the western Alaska town of Dillingham to
Jim Palin and Blanche Kallstrom, who is a quarter Yu'pik Eskimo]. He is
a production operator for BP at an oil field, a fisherman and a four-time
chapmion of the iron Dog, the world's longest snowmachine race. The Palin's
have five children, three daughters and two boys [correction of the last
sentence added on August 30, 2008: the youngest child, son Trig, was born in
April 2008 and suffers from Down Syndrome. The oldest child is son Track
Palin, who enlisted in the US Army in 2007 and is currently in an infantry
boot camp preparing for Iraq].
Kaylene Johnson: Sarah: How a Small Town Mom Turned Alaska's Political
Establishment on Its Ear. Epicenter Press, April 2008, 159 pages.
Order the book from
Amazon.com. More of an introduction than a profound book, but that's all I
could find about Sarah Palin.