‘The nitty-gritty unglamorous work of government’

‘THE NITTY-GRITTY UNGLAMOROUS WORK OF GOVERNMENT’…. It’s obviously difficult to scrutinize Sarah Palin’s gubernatorial record, given its brevity. Arguably the most noteworthy development of her brief tenure is the investigation into whether Palin abused the powers of her office and lied about it.

But if substance is out as an option, how about style? We talked yesterday about The Anchorage Daily News’ Gregg Erickson, who’s noticed that the Alaskan Republican takes a decidedly Bush-like attitude towards matters of government: “[Palin] tends to oversimplify complex issues…. It is clear that she has not paid much attention to the nitty-gritty unglamorous work of government, of gaining consensus, and making difficult compromises. She seems to be of the view that politics should be all rather simple. That often appeals to the wider public, but frustrates those who see themselves as laboring in the less glamorous parts of the vineyard.”

Kevin noted today that this is not an uncommon assessment from policy makers — from both parties — in Alaska. Republican Mike Hawker said, “[Palin’s] administration had the appearance of paying absolutely no attention to any of the rest of the unglamorous side of government, whether it be dealing with human services, public services, highways, all the routine aspects.”

Kevin added: “So in addition to not having much curiosity or interest in political affairs outside of Alaska, she apparently doesn’t have much curiosity or interest in political affairs inside Alaska either. Sounds like the perfect successor to W.”

This, of course, leads to a fairly obvious question: who vetted Sarah Palin? Even Alaskan Republicans aren’t sure.

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 Tom Eagleton parallels seem to be getting stronger.