Brief of the Week June 15, 2009

WHAT A WEEK FOR SARAH: Sarah Palin had some eventful days last week. First, the Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee drew a wildly cheering crowd of 20,000 in Auburn, N. Y., as she led the city’s Founder’s Day parade and signed a proclamation honoring its favorite son William Seward (who, as Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of State, purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867). “Run, Sarah, run!” chanted the crowd, as Palin criticized President Obama’s lack of any solution to the energy crisis in remarks at Seward’s home. Three days later, the governor was in Washington to attend the Republican Party’s congressional dinner to raise funds for its Senate and House campaign committees. Although Palin was at first announced as the headline speaker and was later replaced by Newt Gingrich, she nonetheless attended and was introduced by Gingrich, drawing a prolonged ovation. In a development lightly reported nationally, Palin got some good news at home with the State Personnel Board’s dismissal of a complaint that she abused her office by wearing to a public function a jacket made by a company that sponsored her husband Todd in a snowmobile race. “Asinine,” is how Palin had described the charge. This came on the heels of a similar dismissal of a complaint to the Federal Election Commission that the Republican National Committee had violated campaign spending laws by purchasing clothes for Palin in ’08. The FEC dismissal and the clearing of 13 charges by the Personnel Board means Palin is now 14-for-14 in terms of fighting off complaints against her. Her week ended on a low note, however, with some vicious, unfunny remarks by David Letterman on “Late Night” about Palin’s 14-year-old daughter and New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriquez. Palin promptly took to “Facebook” to demand an apology, and Letterman made one, sort of, and invited the governor and her husband to New York.