Monday, September 01, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Closed Door Energy Forum where Her Water Broke

It did not take long for people to discover the strange circumstances surrounding the birth of Sarah Palin’s youngest child, Trig, widely reported to be a Down Syndrome baby.

Ms. Palin only revealed that she was pregnant one month before his birth, when she was in her 7th month, and in the midst of a very busy schedule, with recent trips to Washington, DC and Los Angeles. She bragged about going back to work as a Mayor the day after giving birth to her daughter, Piper, and, sure enough, in April, when Trig was born, she was back in her office in three days (it might have been earlier, but this birth was on a Friday, so there was a weekend following).

That is enough to make many of us squirm, but it gets much stranger when we learn that Governor Palin’s water broke while she was attending an energy forum in Texas on Thursday, April 17th, but that she stayed for the event, made her own 30 minute speech, and then, rather than going to a hospital, she chose to board an Alaska Airlines plane for what must have been at least a 9 hour flight, according to their current schedule, then drove another 43 miles to give birth at the Mat Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer, Alaska.

Her choice to not respond to her water breaking has led to an internet uproar at and elsewhere, especially regarding her priorities, her decisions, her parenting, and her character. . .
But to me, they’re missing the point.

I return to the question of why Sarah Palin was chosen by McCain, especially when he hadn’t even spent any time with her?

The reasons can't be good. And, in truth, the reasons aren't just his. At one time in his life, McCain may have been his own man, but that time has passed. He is in the hands of Rove and Cheney's people, or he wouldn't be where he is today. They may not be thrilled with the candidate they got, but given the other choices of a flipflopping Mormon, an evangelist, or a lazy actor, McCain appeared to be the most electable. So they picked up from his failing campaign, dusted him off, and assigned their people to him as consultants. They settled, and so did he, and he is cooperating.

So, now we have a vice presidential candidate who came out of nowhere.

No, not nowhere -- Alaska. Where Ted Stevens is old and busted - so the oil companies can't use him any more.

But Sarah Palin? Oh my. Known for that odd combination of being both a Christian and a bully, and for her support of giving up both the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and polar bears, she fits the Bush/Cheney/McCain transition perfectly.
In this light, I ask,

"What was she doing in Texas that was so important that she couldn’t leave, and that she didn’t want to highlight by giving birth in Texas?"

Reported to be a "forum on energy with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and executives from four other states", it took a little digging to find that this forum was a closed-door affair hosting a select group of nine Republican governors and such notable corporate energy VIPS (and polluters) as Greg Boyce, chairman and CEO of the Peabody Energy Corp.; John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil; Robert A. Malone, chairman and president, BP America; Anthony Orlando, president and CEO, Covanta Energy Corp.; and John Somerhalder II, chairman and CEO, AGL Resources.

It is important, too, to understand that the host, Governor Rick Perry, is the governor neatly trained to take Bush's spot in the Texas Governor's mansion. Before that, Perry defeated Jim Hightower for Texas Agricultural Commissioner with the help of Karl Rove and his scurilous tactics.

Perry is also the father of Dick Cheney's son-in-law, the lawyer Phillip Perry, who has bounced back and forth for the last several years between lobbying for Lockheed Martin and working for the White House. His wife, Elizabeth Cheney, though a mother of five herself, is a hawk for attacking Iran and has worked in the Bush Cheney State Department.

So, while the pregnancy story does bring up questions about Sarah Palin's character and priorities, I still think the far more relevant information for voters is what was going on behind closed doors in Texas that day?

This is what we deserve to know.

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