Parsing Palin

A couple of weeks ago, I spent several days in Anchorage, Alaska, at the offices of the Anchorage Press, our sister alternative newsweekly.

Either while I was up there or before I went--I can't remember which--someone joked to me that perhaps I'd be in Alaska when the news broke that Gov. Sarah Palin would be John McCain's vice presidential running mate.

Then that long-shot joke became reality, albeit a week after I left Anchorage. And, I hate to say it, but Palin's nomination really is a joke--and not a very funny one.

If you're a bit unfamiliar with Palin--and, heck, who down here in the Lower 48 isn't?--I encourage you to check out the Currents, where Anchorage Press editor Krestia DeGeorge offers up a quick summary on Palin's history. Of course, Krestia wrote the story last weekend, and ever since, Palin news has been breaking like crazy--we added in a line about her daughter's pregnancy on proof. For all I know, Palin may not even be in the race by the time this comes out, considering all the revelations flooding out involving the Alaska governor.

Like the fact that she flew on Alaska Airlines from Texas to Alaska in the final days of a high-risk, Down syndrome pregnancy--apparently after her water broke. Or the fact that she accepted the vice presidential slot, presumably knowing that her 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy would become world news. Or the fact that she is under investigation for possibly pressuring her public safety commissioner to fire her former brother-in-law--and then sacking the commissioner when he refused.

This is the person John McCain has tapped as his running mate? What was our senior senator thinking when he picked her?