Forget the Baby. There’s Too Much Else!

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Look, let’s put Bristol and the baby behind us. There are two new story lines about Sarah Palin currently gaining momentum that are more substantive and potentially more damaging. There is Palin as a ordinary, slimy politician, as articulated by First Read:

On Monday, the papers were full of stories about how Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. Also yesterday, we found out that Palin worked for a 527 group organized by Ted Stevens, who is now facing trial on corruption charges. Then came the news that she has retained an attorney for that Troopergate ethics investigation. And finally is today’sWashington Post story noting that Palin employed a lobbying firm to secure earmarks — which are taboo in McCain World — for Wasilla while she was its mayor. More than any new revelations about her daughter, the bigger drip-drip danger for the McCain campaign could be more signs that Palin begins to look like your average politician.

And then there’s this insane secessionist story, which I hope you’re familiar with. Reportedly, Sarah Palin and her husband were members of the Alaska Independence Party, which seeks a vote on making Alaska an independent nation, in the mid-1990s. Here’s ABC:

And while John MCCain’s motto — as seen in a new TV add — is “Country First,” the AIP’s motto is the exact opposite — “Alaska First — Alaska Always.”

For the record, the McCain campaign denies Palin was ever a member of the AIP, though multiple AIP members say she was and she attended their 1994 convention.

I’m no high-priced political consultant, but I do have a guess as to how to avoid situations like this. Send your vetting team to the VP’s home state more than one day before you announce him or her to the nation!

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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