According to an article in Salon today, when Sarah Palin ran for Mayor of Wasilla she ran a whisper campaign against her opponent worthy of Rove/Bush.
Her opponent was a three-term incumbent and fellow Republican, John Stein, who was her political mentor when she ran for City Council. The Palins and Steins were friends before she sought the mayor's office.
And, how did she treat her friend?
There was a knife-sharp, personal edge to Palin's campaign that many locals found disturbing, particularly because of the warm relationship between Palin and Stein before the race.Apparently, the opportunism is a pattern for Ms. Palin:
"I called Sarah's campaign for mayor the end of the age of innocence in Wasilla," said Carney.
Even though Palin knew that Stein is a Protestant Christian, from a Pennsylvania Dutch background, her campaign began circulating the word that she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor." Some of Stein's supporters interpreted this as an attempt to portray Stein as Jewish in the heavily evangelical community. Stein himself, an eminently reasonable and reflective man, thinks "they were redefining Christianity to mean born-agains."
The Palin campaign also started another vicious whisper campaign, spreading the word that Stein and his wife -- who had chosen to keep her own last name when they were married -- were not legally wed. Again, Palin knew the truth, Stein said, but chose to muddy the waters. "We actually had to produce our marriage certificate," recalled Stein, whose wife died of breast cancer in 2005 without ever reconciling with Palin.
"I had a hand in creating Sarah, but in the end she blew me out of the water," Stein said, sounding more wearily ironic than bitter. "Sarah's on a mission, she's an opportunist."
According to some political observers in Alaska, this pattern -- exploiting "old-boy" mentors and then turning against them for her own advantage -- defines Sarah Palin's rise to power. Again and again, Palin has charmed powerful political patrons, and then rejected them when it suited her purposes. She has crafted a public image as a clean politics reformer, but in truth, she has only blown the whistle on political corruption when it was expedient for her to do so.Pssst, McCain: You've been warned (watch out for flying knives).
"The idea that Sarah shook up the state's old-boy network is one big fantasy, it's complete bullshit," Halcro said. "She got all this public acclaim for throwing people who backed her under the bus -- but she only did it after they became expendable, when she no longer needed them.