At any rate, the Queen of the Last Frontier has returned and she was never far from home, as KTUU reports:
Palin says she was monitoring the Mount Redoubt situation and had a travel plan in the event of an eruption: Fly to Seattle and finish the trip via automobile.
She returned home Sunday afternoon and said she used her time in Washington — including at Saturday night’s exclusive black tie Alfalfa Club dinner — to talk up the ways Alaska’s energy resources can help the nation and to make the case for federal assistance in doing that.
Palin says she’s dead set on proving Alaska can develop its resources responsibly and ethically.
On Monday Palin and state lawmakers will send a joint letter to Congress detailing their concerns about the economic stimulus package.
“We have to make sure that the nation’s deficit for this year and our long-term debt is not just growing to create more social programs, and to pay for some programs that states will inherit through a basically unfunded mandate,” Palin said.
She supports investment in infrastructure and wants to see Alaska get its share of those dollars, but wants a cautious eye out for proposed federal programs the state may have to fund on its own in the future.
Who does the base like more – McConnell and Boehner, or Palin? And why should she lend them her cache until they prove they’re going to actually accomplish something after being stuck as Bush’s water carriers for eight years?
They have every bit as much to prove as she does. And she’s smart to keep her distance from them for now.
She doesn’t need to prove anything to McConnell and Boehner. She’s supposed to be proving that she’s a good governor of Alaska. That’s what everyone told her to do. That’s what she’s doing. Ten bucks says these two Congressional characters will be history in two years time.
And she’s gaining more important friends. As I noted yesterday, one of those friends is Fred Malek, a major fundraiser.
Here’s what he had to say about Palin on his blog (these days even kingmakers have blogs):
I did not recommend Sarah Palin and was surprised by her selection. However, I am now a fan and deplore the small minded people who are striking out against her. Sarah and her husband, Todd, spent time with Marlene and I at our home in Virginia in early September. She is smart, quick, charming, and able. Both Sarah and Todd impressed us on a personal level, and of course her ability as a communicator has been proven. If there are any questions on her preparation for interviews, the finger should point not at her but to those who helped her prepare. Having talked to the top people in the campaign, I am convinced that any criticism has come from third level, fourth raters who for some reason have an axe to grind. Sarah Palin will have an important role in the future of the Republican Party. [emphasis added]
On Friday night, Malek hosted a dinner party “reunion” for McCain and Palin, as DCExaminer.com reports:
Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin hadn’t been together since the close of their campaign for the White House last year, according to Fred Malek, who was the national finance committee chairman for McCain. Which is why Malek said he was so thrilled to host the two of them for a dinner at his house Friday night in advance of Saturday’s Alfalfa Club dinner.
It was part of a whirlwind weekend for the popular governor. She attended an Alfalfa Club–related lunch hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and visited Alaska’s office here at the Hall of States Building.
We asked Malek whether he thought she’d run for president in 2012, but he said it was too soon to tell: “I think she’s going to focus on being a very good governor of Alaska. In all our conversations, that’s all she focuses on.”
Final thought: Check out this photo of the ‘Cuda and her Gal Friday in DC this weekend. Don’t you love the fact that the two Alaskans are walking around without winter coats while the beltway folks are all bundled up? It seems that Meg is a native of Auburn, NY. She moved to the Last Frontier eight years ago. I’ve seen New York in winter. She’s no stranger to snow.