A BUSH-LIKE LEADERSHIP STYLE…. For all of John McCain’s similarities to George W. Bush when it comes to policies, Bush’s heir when it comes to leadership style is clearly Sarah Palin. The LA Times had an interesting report today on how Palin operates as governor, and used her work on ethics reform as an example.
[A] strange thing happened on the ethics issue once Palin became governor: She appeared to lose interest in completing the task of legislating comprehensive reform, some who supported the cleanup say.
The ethics bill she offered was so incomplete that its supporters had to undertake a significant rewrite. Moreover, when it came to building support for the bill, politicians in both parties say the new governor was often unaccountably absent from the fray. […]
It lacked such long-needed provisions as language making legislators subject to prosecution for bribery if they exchanged votes for campaign contributions. To [state Rep. Les Gara (D)] and to some others, including Republicans who have often supported the governor, their experience on the ethics bill has proven disconcertingly similar to their experience with Palin on other issues.
“When it comes to the real work of crafting policy, she’s often not there,” Gara said. He acknowledged her broad accomplishments, but added: “I don’t know if she’s disinterested in details or not comfortable with them, but the bottom line is: She is not truly a hands-on governor.”
The Times piece noted that the Palin administration “has not been marked by the transparency she promised,” and “shows only marginal interest in crafting policy proposals and getting them passed.” Worse, “Several legislators also say the governor’s office is not a place for open debate: Palin does not tolerate much dissent, they say, sometimes cutting off relations with those deemed unhelpful or critical.”
It certainly sounds like the Bush White House, doesn’t it?
Larry Persily, who worked for Palin’s Washington office, told the Times that some of the governor’s problems resulted from the fact that she “underestimated exponentially how much more complex state government is than the city of Wasilla.” Persily said Palin is smart but has “never” been “deeply engaged.”
I’m curious — if Palin underestimated how exponentially more complex Juneau is when compared to Wasilla, might she also underestimate how vastly more complex D.C. is when compared to Juneau?
Republican state Rep. Mike Hawker said last week, “[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.”
During her brief tenure in statewide office, Palin never demonstrated significant interest in federal issues. But more strikingly, she didn’t seem especially engaged in state issues, either.