Under the headline “Choice Stuns State Politicians,” the Anchorage Daily News offers a disturbing report on the local Alaskan reaction to Sarah Palin’s recent elevation to the national stage as John McCain’s running mate. Below are the opening paragraphs of the article. (Note especially the astonishing quote from the Republican State Senate President Lyda Green, in which she states baldly, and in no uncertain terms, that Palin is not qualified to be a health crisis away from the presidency):
John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate stunned and divided Alaska political leaders on Friday. Supporters said she was a shrewd choice, but others argued Palin has no business being a heartbeat away from the presidency.
“I think it’s very easy to underestimate Sarah Palin,” said John Binkley, a former state legislator who lost to Palin in the 2006 Republican primary for governor.
Serving as small-town mayor of Wasilla was Palin’s main experience before running for governor. Binkley said he underestimated her guts and campaign skill.
“I think there will probably a tendency for the Democrats to do the same thing,” Binkley said. “They will assume that her lack of experience on the national stage will put her at a disadvantage, and I’m not certain that will matter.”
The reaction wasn’t so rosy elsewhere. State Senate President Lyda Green said she thought it was a joke when someone called her at 6 a.m. to give her the news.
“She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?” said Green, a Republican from Palin’s hometown of Wasilla. “Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?”
The article gets worse from there. It notes that John McCain does not even appear to have properly vetted Palin:
The early morning news of McCain’s pick sent jaws dropping throughout Alaska, with friends waking up friends with “Oh my God, have you heard?” phone calls.
State House Speaker John Harris, a Republican from Valdez, was astonished at the news. He didn’t want to get into the issue of her qualifications.
“She’s old enough,” Harris said. “She’s a U.S. citizen.”
Former House Speaker Gail Phillips, a Republican political leader who has clashed with Palin in the past, was shocked when she heard the news Friday morning with her husband, Walt.
“I said to Walt, ‘This can’t be happening, because his advance team didn’t come to Alaska to check her out,” Phillips said.
Phillips has been active in the Ted Stevens re-election steering committee and remains in close touch with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and other party leaders, and she said nobody had heard anything about McCain’s people doing research on his prospective running mate.
“We’re not a very big state. People I talk to would have heard something.”
The full, troubling article, can be read here: http://www.adn.com/news/politics/story/510249.html