by Jonathan Singer / MyDD / Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 11:27:57 AM EST
It has been forty years since someone as inexperienced as Sarah Palin has been put on a national ticket, and surprisingly enough there are some real similarities between Palin and her unprepared predecessor, Spiro T. Agnew, who also had been governor less than two years at the time Richard Nixon picked him to be his number two and who also had a corruption problem lingering in the background that would end up causing his running mate problems.
Prior to being sworn in as the Governor of Alaska a mere 19 months ago, Palin served as the mayor and a city councilor of the small city of Wasilla, which according to 2005 census estimates had a population of 8,471. This hardly rounds out the type of resume traditionally seen in vice presidential candidates — and indeed is one of the two thinnest resumes of any major party vice presidential nominee since 1936, the only other nominee to match her level of inexperience being Agnew, who had also only served two years as Governor (though of the significantly larger state of Maryland) by the time he was sworn in as Vice President in January 1969.
But the comparisons between Palin and Agnew do not end there.
Just as a corruption scandal from Agnew’s time as Maryland Governor plagued him throughout his Vice Presidential tenure — in the end forcing him to resign — so too does Palin have a corruption problem brewing in the background. What’s more, her corruption and abuse of power problem is one easily understood by voters: She allegedly attempted to have fired a state trooper in a custody battle with her sister.
Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday revealed an audio recording that shows an aide pressuring the Public Safety Department to fire a state trooper embroiled in a custody battle with her sister.
Palin, who has previously said her administration didn’t exert pressure to get rid of trooper Mike Wooten, also disclosed that members of her staff had made about two dozen contacts with public safety officials about the trooper.
But Palin said her decision to fire Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan last month had nothing to do with his refusal to dump trooper Mike Wooten.
The governor said evidence of what she called a “smoking gun” conversation, and other calls made by her aides, only recently surfaced as the attorney general started an inquiry at her request into the circumstances surrounding her firing of Monegan. Palin wanted the review because a special investigator hired by the Legislature is about to investigate the firing and a legislator has been quoted in a newspaper story talking about impeachment.
The majority of the calls came from Palin’s chief of staff at the time, Mike Tibbles, according to information gathered by the state attorney general’s office. Attorney General Talis Colberg and Palin’s husband, Todd, also contacted Monegan about the trooper.
Do we really need to put another wildly inexperienced, purely political choice into the White House, only to see issues from that candidate’s past potentially stain the Vice Presidency?