Whoever in the world would have thought that Democrats — already feeling energized as the midterm election approaches — would get a big gust of wind in their sails … from the Arctic Circle?
Yep, that is where a Democratic candidate for Congress scored an upset over a one-time Republican darling, former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP’s 2008 nominee for vice president of the United States.
Mary Peltola will take her seat in the House, succeeding the late Don Young in the state’s only U.S. House seat. Palin was thought to be a shoo-in for the post. Then they counted the votes and it turns out that Peltola got more of them than the former Sarah Barracuda.
What’s most astonishing is that Peltola becomes the first Democrat to serve in the House from Alaska since the beginning of Alaska’s statehood. Alaska is as reliably Republican as any state in the Union.
And to be brutally candid, it’s good to see Palin knocked down a peg or three from her imagined towering perch.
Palin became a sort of caricature of herself over the years, with her assorted high-profile family issues erupting here and there. She quit the governorship halfway through her first and only term in office.
I’ve always thought of Palin as an empty vessel, someone with hardly an original idea in her noggin. That the late Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, would choose her as his running mate turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of McCain’s long and distinguished career in public service.
Peltola now must go through a general election campaign, having knocked Palin out of the race. May the new congresswoman serve her state well. I have this feeling she’ll do so with the dignity that Palin usually was unable to find.