THAT’S NOT WAFFLING YOU CAN BELIEVE IN…. One of the more foolish talking points the McCain campaign has come up with in defense of Sarah Palin is the notion that she’s clashed with Alaskan Sen. Ted Stevens (R). As the story goes, Stevens is corrupt (he’s currently under indictment), and Palin’s willingness to stand up to him, despite his power in Alaska, is proof of her strong willed independence.
A week ago, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNN, “Gov. Palin took on Ted Stevens. If she can take him on, she can take on the Russians. Heh.” McCain made similar comments on Sunday.
It’s all very strange. For one thing, Palin hasn’t “taken on” Stevens; she actually helped run Stevens’ 527 group. For another, far from rebuking Stevens, Palin hasn’t ruled out voting for him, despite the felony charges he’s facing.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is not saying whether she will vote in November to send the indicted Ted Stevens back to the Senate for a seventh term.
The indictment has put Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) running mate in a tricky position. If Palin endorses Stevens, it will appear that she is undermining her message of taking on the GOP establishment and cleaning up corruption in her state. But should the popular governor oppose his reelection, it could deliver a blow to Stevens’s campaign and give Democrats ammunition as they try to pick up one more Senate seat.
Palin’s spokesmen in the McCain campaign have not responded to several inquiries seeking comment on the governor’s position on Stevens. A spokesman for the McCain campaign told the Alaska-based Peninsula Clarion that Palin has yet to endorse Stevens, the paper reported on its website Friday.
It’s not a trick question. Does Palin support the allegedly corrupt Stevens, or doesn’t she?
Bethany Lesser, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Democratic Party, presented a reasonable case: “Palin claims to spearhead reform in Alaska, rooting out corruption. But so far she has stood steadfast by indicted Sen. Stevens’s side. Alaskans and the nation deserve to know once and for all — where does Palin stand on Stevens for Senate?”
This isn’t waffling we can believe in.