Sunday, September 14, 2008

NYT peers into Palin's governing style

People take from school lessons. They can pull from school the importance of popularity; they can absorb the ideals of curiosity and scholarship. Alaska governor Sarah Palin, apparently, focused on the former area. The New York Times published today a revealing look at how she has manipulated people and power, drawing friends and her former classmates into her administration. The Wasilla high school yearbook, The Time's reported, serves as a who's who for the state government's circle of power. On the other hand, she has used her position, first as mayor, then as governor, to dismiss people she disliked or disagreed with.

One can see the logic of Palin's interest in journalism, her major upon graduating from the University of Idaho. She has taken care to manage image and information. She governs by isolating non-allies, and revealing policy to the public and non-ally politicians via press release. Unfortunately, she is extending the philosophy of cliquish-ness from high school into state government. A careful manager of political details and knowledge, she has taken the advise of advisers: they recommended that she and her associates use personal e-mail accounts, instead of government e-mail accounts, to communicate. The theory is that the private accounts would evade the radar of subpoenas.

Read the full article in the September 14, 2008 New York Times, by Jo Becker, Peter S. Goodman and Michael Powell, "Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes."

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