Tales from the Trail

Union chief takes on a ‘Mama Grizzly’ — Sarah Palin

The head of the largest U.S. labor federation went to Alaska, “The Last Frontier,” to address local members Thursday and take on a self-proclaimed “Mama Grizzly” — Sarah Palin.

RACING/AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka mocked the former Alaska governor, a 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee who is seen as a conservative power broker and potential 2012 White House hopeful.

“Sometimes — about Sarah Palin — you just have to laugh. But it’s not really funny,” Trumka said.

Citing her use of the phrase “don’t retreat – reload,” Trumka said, “She’s getting close to calling for violence.”

“Some of her fans take that stuff seriously. We’ve got legislators in America who have been living with death threats” since their votes in Congress in support of President Barack Obama’s overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, he said.

Is Palin’s fee too steep for Iowa?

Iowa Republicans have differences over the propriety of a conservative group’s effort to raise a $100,000 fee for former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to speak at a banquet next month,  according to Politico.com.

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Whether Palin requested a fee (and there’s no indication that she did says Politico) or whether she should be paid may be a moot point — but, more about that later.

First — It’s not the amount of the fee that has some Iowans bothered — it’s that a fee is even being considered at all.

Palin’s financial disclosure: $1.25 mln advance for “Going Rogue”

The following is reported by Yereth Rosen in Anchorage, Alaska.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin got a $1.25 million advance from HarperCollins for her soon-to-be-released memoir “Going Rogue.”

PALIN/Palin listed the advance, which she received while still governor, in the 2009 financial disclosure form filed Monday with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. See the form on The Anchorage Daily News Web site.

“The Governor has complied with Alaska disclosure law by her filing yesterday. Now, as a private citizen, her business dealings, including her publishing agreement, are confidential,” Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton said in an email.

What does Palin no show at “Values Voter” summit say about her 2012 intentions?

Why is former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin passing on the summit of self-styled conservative Christian “Values Voters” this weekend?

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It’s a question worth asking because the annual meeting of “Religious Right” activists has become a “must attend” on the political calendar of any Republican who is serious about running for the party’s presidential nomination in the next election cycle.

Former governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney  – frequently mentioned as 2012 heavyweight Republican contenders — will be there.  So will Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who many pundits see as another possible candidate for a White House run in 2012.

Dinner with Sarah Palin? It’ll cost you

Ever wanted to ask Sarah Palin over dinner what she really thinks? Now’s your chance. But it’s going to cost you — more than $25,000.

Dinner for five with the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate is up for grabs on ebay. The last bid was more than $38,000 (yes that’s three zeroes) for a dinner whose value is being promoted as “priceless.”

It looks like this time ebay may work for her (remember the campaign trail stories of her unsuccessful effort to sell the Alaska governor’s plane on ebay).

Biden on Palin: respect her decision

USA-POLITICS/DEBATEVice President Joe Biden says he won’t second guess the decision by his former political rival Sarah Palin to resign as Alaska governor, because in politics sometimes it is just about the personal.

Palin, who famously greeted Biden with “Nice to meet you. Can I call you Joe?” at last year’s vice presidential showdown debate, has seen her political fortunes rollercoaster after John McCain plucked her from relative obscurity to be his Republican running mate.

 She once again surprised everyone on Friday at a news conference in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, by announcing she would resign this month. The unexpected move raised speculation that perhaps she has her eye on running for higher office.