Diary

How the Palin Family Makes Decisions

I must admit, I was reeling yesterday with the news of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. Not that it would change my vote or anything, because it won’t. But I did still have questions. My big questions were-

Did John McCain really know this in advance?

All indications are that he did know about this and Todd’s DUI that took place before the Palins were married in 1986. The Washington Post has a good story on how McCain chose Palin. I had read it before and re-read it to soothe my mind.

Here is the link for anyone interested. It is a good read and should put to rest that this pick was last minute and reactionary.

The AP is also running a story that is sourced from Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., the lawyer who conducted the background review.

Culvahouse disclosed details of his examination in a half-hour interview with the AP. First, a team of some 25 people working under Culvahouse culled information from public sources for Palin and other prospective candidates without their knowledge. For all, news reports, speeches, financial and tax return disclosures, litigation, investigations, ethical charges, marriages and divorces were reviewed.

For Palin specifically, the team studied online archives of the state’s largest newspapers, including the Anchorage Daily News, but didn’t request paper archives for Palin’s hometown newspaper. “I made the decision that we could not get it done and maintain secrecy,” Culvahouse said.

Reports, 40-some pages and single-spaced, on each candidate then were reviewed by McCain, Schmidt, campaign manager Rick Davis and top advisers Mark Salter and Charlie Black. Among the details McCain’s campaign found: Palin had once received a citation for fishing without a license. Palin, like others on the short list, then was sent a personal data questionnaire with 70 “very intrusive” questions, Culvahouse said.

She also was asked to submit a number of years of federal and state tax returns, as well as any controversial articles she had written or interviews she had done. The campaign also checked her credit. Then, Culvahouse conducted a nearly three-hour-long interview. He said the first thing she volunteered was that her daughter was pregnant, and she also quickly disclosed her husband’s DUI arrest.

Okay, so I felt 100% better about the whole vetting process. Sarah Palin was vetted as well as anyone else. Even better than Barack Obama has been, IMO.

My second question, as a mother, is the one that nagged at me all night. Why in the world would she accept this position knowing her daughter was pregnant and that things could get ugly? I found my answer this morning reading Beldar’s Blog. He quotes an excerpt from Sarah’s biography about her possible senate run in 2004.

In 2004, friends and supporters urged Sarah to challenge Lisa Murkowski. [By then,] Sarah had made a name for herself as a reformer, and supporters thought she had a good chance of winning. So, Sarah approached her family to discuss the possibility. Like all of her decisions, the decision had to be unanimous.

“People don’t believe me, but it’s true. It had to be a family decision,” she said. Todd was up for a move to Washington, D.C. and the girls were on board as well. But son Track, in his early teens, was becoming aware of the contentiousness of a political battle. He valued his privacy, and felt uncomfortable in the limelight. “Track did not want me to run, and he was adamant about it. He had to bless me,” Sarah said. “If he had said at the time ‘This is great,’ I would have done it.”

In 2006, however, Frank Murkowski himself was up for re-election as governor. Continues Johnson (at page 91): “This time, when Sarah talked with her family about running, the decision was a unanimous decision to go for it.”

For me, this is all I needed to see. I needed to know that Sarah Palin did indeed consult her family. And that they were all onboard for the adventure. In my gut, I knew it, but my heart needed proof.

The book is titled-Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment Upside Down by Karen Johnson. You can purchase the book here-

I intend to order it today if possible. I’ll also be sending McCain/Palin Victory Fund some more cash today.

Folks, this is probably going to be a rough few days in the news. Let’s do all we can to get the truth out there. I know I am ready to now that I have all the facts.