You get a sense of honoring historical context here, while also sending a not-so-subtle message to Juneau.
The gubernatorial inauguration was held for the first time ever in Fairbanks, to honor the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the state constitution, where it was ratified, in Squarebanks. Sure, it wasn't Willow (site chosen a a more centrally-located state capital, by popular state initiative). And it wasn't Anchorage (largest city). I suppose they could have picked Seward, which was I think the first capital of the state, one of the earliest thriving cities, but devastated by the tsunami from the Good Friday earthquake of 1964.
So she honored the past, and my mom tells me, spoke movingly about the state and its future. It's like she's giving folks hope, which all politicians would like to do (except Frank Murkowski, who appears to have lost his marbles totally in his last days in office, see below). So is it political lip service? Look at the first article below, at what she's doing with the big three oil companies, who in many ways own the state in the same way Kerr McGee once owned Oklahoma.
Go Sarah! I'm still rooting for you. And I found this old basketball picture from the Anchorage Daily News. Ooh, did we really wear those awful shorts back then?!
Ah, but that's better than that topless beauty pageant shot from the late 1980s, what I found on the Wonkette site. It appears the Washington naughty political talk site has deemed Sarah the "hottest" governor in the U.S., a "hottie," or a "GILF," what the site somewhere calls the "Governix I'd Like to Fornicate." (I'm quoting the Wonkette site. I don't mean myself.)
I just gotta say, this scene with Libby Riddles as Emcee for the inauguration is just classic.
Palin era begins at inauguration
By KYLE HOPKINS
Anchorage Daily News
Published: December 5, 2006
Last Modified: December 5, 2006 at 02:06 AMFAIRBANKS -- The applause built for a full minute after Sarah Palin took the oath making her Alaska's new governor Monday. Then, from somewhere high in the seats of the Carlson Center sports arena, the chanting started: "Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!"
"OK, the governor said cease and desist," said the event's emcee, Libby Riddles, quieting the crowd of thousands.
Riddles was the first woman to win the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and it's no coincidence she was asked to host the swearing-in ceremony of the state's first female governor.
"She was an underdog. She was a risk-taker, kind of an outsider," Palin said in describing Riddles, but also defining her own rise from a small-town mayor and Republican Party maverick to the state's top political job.
Palin takes Alaska reins
The Associated Press
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Unabashedly promising to defend the interests of all Alaskans as the state increases its energy-production role, Sarah Palin was sworn in Monday as the ninth person to lead the state since Alaska was granted statehood in 1959.
"I will unambiguously, steadfastly and doggedly guard the interests of this great state as a mother naturally guards her own," she told an overflowing crowd at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
"We must have reserves and explore for more to energize our homes, our businesses, for new industry to come alive, to heat our economy and allow self sufficiency while gifting our nation with safe domestic supplies," she said.
"Couple this with ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] oil and inexhaustible alternative-energy sources, and Alaska can lead the nation in a much-needed U.S. energy plan," Palin said.
She asked why Alaska couldn't fuel the nation and lead the world.
"America is looking for answers. She's looking for a new direction, the world is looking for a light. It's Governor [Walter] Hickel that reminds me, that light can come from America's great north star; it can come from Alaska," she said.
She plans to meet today and Wednesday with 12 companies or groups interested in building the pipeline before she moves to the Governor's Mansion in Juneau later this week.
The meetings will include the three big oil companies that negotiated with Gov. Frank Murkowski on a natural-gas-pipeline contract — ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and BP PLC, the companies that also own the leases to the gas. The Legislature never ratified that contract.
Palin promised that her pipeline-contract negotiations would be open and transparent, and has told the companies any information or documents offered would be public. Murkowski was criticized for negotiating secretly with the oil companies for several years.
Palin is the state's first female governor and, at age 42, also is the youngest person to hold the office. She also is the first not to be sworn in in Juneau, the state capital.
She chose Fairbanks for the ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the Alaska constitution, which was drafted in Fairbanks three years before statehood in 1959.
And then there's this:
Palin to examine last-hour job blitz
MURKOWSKI: His ex-staff chief was appointed to a gas pipeline authority he bucked.
Published: December 6, 2006
Last Modified: December 6, 2006 at 07:44 AM
JUNEAU -- Gov. Sarah Palin will revisit 35 appointments made by her predecessor in the hour before he left office this week, especially one she called "bizarre."
The appointment is that of Murkowski's former chief of staff, Jim Clark, to the volunteer seven-member board of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority.
At least one board member said Clark -- Murkowski's right-hand man in the failed negotiations with oil companies on a $25 billion natural gas pipeline -- has bucked the board's decisions since its inception.
Board member Scott Heyworth questioned Murkowski's motives as well as Clark's support for the authority.
"To do this at the 11th hour and then appoint his chief of staff who's been at odds with ANGDA since Day One, it's amazing," said Heyworth.
Palin's spokesman, Curtis Smith, said he told Palin of the appointment minutes before she took the stage for her swearing-in at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
"It's an issue she will revisit when the events of the day settle," Smith said Tuesday as Palin was involved with reopened pipeline negotiations.
Palin has the final word on appointments to any of the state's boards and commissions.
Murkowski also ended his term as he began it, with the appointment of a family member. He named his son-in-law, Leon Van Whye, to the board of the Alaska Railroad.
Van Whye is married to Murkowski's daughter Eileen.
Frank Murkowski opened his administration in 2002 by naming another daughter, Lisa, to the U.S. Senate seat he vacated after winning the governor's office.
Like I said, Murkowski appears to have gone off the deep end over having to leave office.