By Lekan Olanrewaju
A glimpse into the internal struggles and frustrations endured by former Alaska governor and GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been offered in a number of newly-released emails.
“I’m just beat down on this one.” One of the emails, written just months after returning from the presidential campaign trail reads. “I am tired. The opponents have succeeded on the drive towards our personal bankruptcy, and have divided my family,”. She concluded “One has to be single, wealthy, or corrupt to function in this political system.”
These frustrations resulted from a relentless examination which lingered for months after Palin’s stint as a vice presidential candidate in 2008, and thousands of documents released by the state this week indicate that it ultimately drove her to leave political office.
Emails show that Palin remained engaged as governor in the issues of her day job, pushing for a natural gas pipeline, preparing speeches for civic groups, coordinating with the state’s chief lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and even helping arrange a reception for football players at the governor’s mansion. She said it was invigorating to directly speak to protesters holding a derogatory sign.
In a May 2009 email with then-Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, Palin showed frustration with scrutiny about her and her family’s travel and the financial cost of ethics charges. Parnell invited Palin to a police memorial ceremony, but she was unable to attend because she was in Juneau.
“I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I’m condemned and scrutinized for not being here enough,” she wrote.
The governor said she paid out of pocket to repay travel by her family, which was “based on bogus accusations that I traveled too much in the past,” and said she paid back taxes for not being in the governor’s mansion “enough” during renovations.
“This Juneau situation cost Todd and me about $35,000 recently. The double standard applied to me and my spouse keeps me from freely traveling as other govs did,” she wrote.
The treasurer of Palin’s political action committee, Tim Crawford, said Thursday: “We encourage everyone to read the emails. They show a governor hard at work for her state.
Linda Young, president of the National Women’s Political Caucus, said she believed Palin and other women like Hillary Clinton are more scrutinized than their male counterparts. She said it was clear that people were particularly focused on trying to expose Palin’s faults – a process made worse by what Young sees as a climate of combative politics.
“While I don’t agree with many of her political beliefs, I do think that it would be a lot more appropriate if male and female candidates were treated alike,” she said.