Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Who's popular now, Governor Palin?

Back on Aug. 29, I crowed about the fact that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin wasn't the only Western governor with high approval ratings. I scoffed at the fact that she had an 82 percent rating, which wasn't all that great for a somewhat competent Republican governor in a red state. Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal had equally impressive numbers as a Democrat in a Really Red State. Here were the stats from an 8/24 article in the Denver Post:

The six-state Mason-Dixon poll also asked voters to judge their governors' performance. Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter received excellent or good ratings from 60 percent of those polled. That put Ritter on the lower half of the scale, compared with 81 percent approval for Dave Freudenthal in Wyoming, 82 percent for Jon Huntsman Jr. in Utah and 66 percent for Janet Napolitano in Arizona.

At the time, Palin had not been recruited for the Veep spot on the Republican ticket.

What are the latest approval ratings in Alaska for Palin? That would be 68 percent. Maybe it's because Alaskans haven't seen too much of her lately, or maybe because they've seen too much of her on TV interviews (quick, name your favorite newspaper -- or least favorite Supreme Court decision!). Or maybe it's because so many sordid details of her governance have been revealed by that nasty liberal press.

What if Dave Freudenthal had been tapped by Obama as his running mate? I know it's far-fetched, but just think about it. How many skeletons does the Gov have in his closet? In the 2006 race, desperate Wyoming Republicans dug deep for dirt. They discovered a non-scandal about alleged misuse of the state airplane. That went nowhere (the scandal, not the plane). Considering the resources at the disposal of Repubs in this state, with old pal Dick Cheney just a phone call away, you'd think they could come up with something solid -- or just make up something completely outrageous, which is their usual m.o. (Cheney's, especially).

They couldn't, and didn't. Our governor remains popular two years into his second term. Sure, Wyoming has a huge budget surplus, which makes things easier on the decision-maker. And we're a pretty easy-going bunch here in the least-populated state in the nation. We seem to like the fact that we have something Alaska doesn't -- a governor who reads, thinks and can speak in complete sentences.

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