Obama picks Palin foe for Alaska pipeline job

December 9, 2009

USA/President Barack Obama picked Larry Persily, a former-aide-turned-critic of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, to be federal coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects.

In that position, Persily — who became one of Palin’s most vocal in-state critics — would oversee plans for a massive, long-desired Alaska natural gas pipeline.

Obama asked Drue Pearce, the Republican who held the job in the Bush administration, to leave the post last month.

Persily is a former Alaska journalist who has worked for both Democratic and Republican politicians. He worked for more than a decade on oil and gas issues for three Alaska governors, including Palin.

He resigned from her office before she was picked as John McCain’s running mate on the ticket that lost to Obama and Joe Biden. Since then, he has been quoted repeatedly criticizing Palin.

For example, Persily called Palin a flamethrower, telling CNN: “She yelled fire in a crowded theater. She really did, in some of her speeches –‘palling around’ with terrorists and some of the other slurs she was hurling in the way of Obama and the Democrats.”

“That turned off an equally big chunk of the American public that found it distasteful, destructive, divisive, mean and ignorant. Whereas others said, ‘Way to go girl. You stick it to them,” he said.

On the Huffington Post website, Persily questioned Palin’s assertions in her stump speech and during her debate with Biden.

Some conservatives criticized the appointment as payback for Persily’s harsh comments about Palin.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Picture credits:  A section of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline is seen heading south near Glenallen, Alaska August, 10 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson and Former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin attends a signing for her book “Going Rogue”, in Fairfax, Virginia December 5, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Theiler


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I’ll stick with Palin anyday. Pearce is the right man for the job. Typical wrong Obama decison against the oposition. I hope I live long enough to see Obama get the crap kicked out of him in the next election AND see Palin as the first female president!

Posted by mareechka | Report as abusive

mareechka. There was a poll this week that showed Palin and Obama their approval to be within one point of each other.

Here is why this is significant. Palin has endured the hatred of the media and all liberals who fear her. Obama is loved by the media and will not criticize him. But low and behold, they have a nearly identical approval rating. 43 to 44 percent.

Even former President Bush is slowly gaining in approval while President Obama continues to fall (44 to 50 percent). Why? Because Americans are realizing Obama is a radical who is working hard to destroy our way of life.

I don’t know if Palin will run for president or even win, but it is clear Americans identify with her values and the values of former President Bush over the radical values of our current president.

This isn’t rocket science (and I am sure I am going to be attacked for stating my opinion here). Americans want nothing to do with Obama’s agenda.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive