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Gov. Palin More Concerned on Doing Her Job!

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Via(The Hill)

Palin shuns spotlight to pick up the pieces

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) is uncharacteristically shunning the spotlight this week in an apparent effort to repair damage to her political stature back home.

Even though just about every big-name governor and leading conservative will be in Washington this week, the former vice presidential candidate skipped this weekend’s National Governors Association meeting and will be absent from the Conservative Political Action Conference later this week.

After suffering through a rocky month back home she spent Friday in rural Alaska, providing state aid to rural communities hit hard by food and fuel shortages.

“To a certain extent, she’s doing damage control in western Alaska,” said Anchorage-based pollster Ivan Moore.

Pain took a number of hits back home, some of them from fellow Republicans, during February.

They first criticized her for flying to Washington for the white-tie Alfalfa Club dinner, headlined by President Obama.

“There’s no one more basic need than to feed Alaskans,” state Sen. Jay Ramras (R) told local television station KTUU. “I have got little tolerance, and I bet they had a whole lot better dinner at the Alfalfa Club than what they’re eating tonight in Emmonak and Kotlik.”

When Palin returned, lawmakers found her husband, Todd, in contempt for refusing to testify about his role in the firing of a state trooper, and her attorney general resigned amid criticism that he protected government employees from the official Troopergate probe. And last week, state officials ordered Palin to pay $18,000 in back taxes on travel expenses she incurred while commuting between her home in Wasilla and the state capitol, Anchorage.

Her fellow GOP governors — and potential future rivals — said this weekend that they missed Palin’s energy and expertise on energy issues.

“She brings an Alaska attitude and an Alaskan perspective and that’s far different perspective than most other states have,” said Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R), who has been mentioned along with Palin as a possible candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who was a finalist along with Palin to become Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) running mate last year, said that he still expects Palin and other governors to play a big role in the party’s revival.

“Along with hopefully a whole group of us we’ll be able to lend voice to how the Republican Party can be more effective in the future,” Pawlenty said.

Palin hasn’t said whether she’ll run for re-election in 2010 or for president in 2012. But she has made moves to stay in the national political debate. In addition to going to the Alfalfa Club dinner in February, Palin formed her own political action committee, SarahPAC, and endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry over Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in their GOP gubernatorial primary race.

Palin has remained popular with Alaskan voters, at least up until this month.

More than six in 10 Alaskans approve of the job she’s been doing, which is about twice as many as those who disapprove, Moore said. He added that those numbers probably won’t change because of the state’s large number of conservative Christian voters, the pollster added. They may like her even more after her aid mission to western Alaska since she traveled with evangelical leader Franklin Graham, he said.

“She has a very large and solid loyal base and it’s going to take a volcano eruption to make a severe change,” Moore said.

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The Truth Tracker
Jason R. Bootie