The Odd Lies of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin was not ready for the national spotlight when John McCain asked her to be his running mate. It is questionable whether she would ever be ready, between her Bush-like lack of interest in the details of policy issues and her lack of integrity. Andrew Sullivan has posted this round up from his previous posts on The Odd Lies of Sarah Palin:

Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed to have said, “Thanks, but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere; in fact, she openly campaigned for the federal project when running for governor.

Palin lied when she denied that Wasilla’s police chief and librarian had been fired; in fact, both were given letters of termination the previous day.

Palin lied when she wrote in the NYT that a comprehensive review by Alaska wildlife officials showed that polar bears were not endangered; in fact, email correspondence between those scientists showed the opposite.

Palin lied when she claimed in her convention speech that an oil gas pipeline “began” under her guidance; in fact, the pipeline was years from breaking ground, if at all.

Palin lied when she told Charlie Gibson that she does not pass judgment on gay people; in fact, she opposes all rights between gay spouses and belongs to a church that promotes conversion therapy.

Palin lied when she denied having said that humans do not contribute to climate change; in fact, she had previously proclaimed that human activity was not to blame.

Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska produces 20 percent of the country’s domestic energy supply; in fact, the actual figures, based on any interpretation of her words, are much, much lower.

Palin lied when she told voters she improvised her convention speech when her teleprompter stopped working properly; in fact, all reports showed that the machine had functioned perfectly and that her speech had closely followed the script.

Palin lied when she recalled asking her daughters to vote on whether she should accept the VP offer; in fact, her story contradicts details given by her husband, the McCain campaign, and even Palin herself. (She later added another version.)

Palin lied when she claimed to have taken a voluntary pay cut as mayor; in fact, as councilmember she had voted against a raise for the mayor, but subsequent raises had taken effect by the time she was mayor.

Palin lied when she insisted that Wooten’s divorce proceedings had caused his confidential records to become public; in fact, court officials confirmed they released no such records.

Palin lied when she suggested to Katie Couric that she was involved in trade missions with Russia; in fact, she has never even met with Russian officials.

Palin lied when she told Shimon Peres that the only flag in her office was the Israeli flag; in fact, she has several flags.

Palin lied when she claimed to have tried to divest government funds from Sudan; in fact, her administration openly opposed a bill that would have done just that.

Palin lied when she repeatedly claimed that troop levels in Iraq were back to pre-surge levels; in fact, even she acknowledged her “misstatements,” though she refused to retract or apologize.

Palin lied when she insisted that the Branchflower Report “showed there was no unlawful or unethical activity on my part”; in fact, that report prominently stated, “Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.”

Palin lied when she claimed to have voiced concerns over Wooten fearing he would harm her family; in fact, she actually decreased her security detail during that period.

Palin lied when asked about the $150,000 worth of clothes provided by the RNC; in fact, solid reporting contradicted several parts of her statement.

Palin lied when she suggested that she had offered the media proof of her pregnancy with Trig to “correct the record”; in fact, no reports of her medical records were ever published; and the letter from her doctor testifying to her good health only emerged hours before polling ended on election day, even though there was nothing in it that couldn’t have been released two months earlier.

Palin lied when she said that “reported” allegations of her banning Harry Potter as mayor was easily refutable because it had not even been written yet; in fact, the first book in that series was published in 1998 – two years into her first term – and such rumors were never reported by the media, only circulated as emails.

Palin lied when she denied having participated in a clothes audit with campaign laywers; in fact, the Washington Times later confirmed those details.

Palin lied when asked about Couric’s question regarding her reading habits; in fact, Couric’s words were not, “What do you read up there in Alaska?” or anything close to condescension.

Palin lied when she mischaracterized the “$1200 check” given to Alaskans as the permanent fund dividend check; in fact, that fund had yielded $2,069 per person, and she claimed otherwise to obscure the fact that Alaskans also received a $1200 rebate check from a windfall profits tax on oil companies – a tax widely criticized by Republicans.

Palin lied when she claimed to be unaware of a turkey being slaughtered behind her during a filmed interview; in fact, the cameraman said she had picked the spot herself, while the slaughter was underway.

Palin lied when she denied having rejected federal stimulus money; in fact, she continued to accept and reject the funds several times.

Palin lied when she claimed that legislative leaders had canceled a meeting with her to hold their own press conference; in fact, they only canceled it after being told she would not participate, and the purpose of the press conference was very different from the meeting’s.

Palin lied when she announced on the news that she never holds closed-door meetings; in fact, she had just attended a closed-door meeting with the legislature earlier that day.

Palin lied when she said that former aide John Bitney’s “amicable” departure was for “personal” reasons; in fact, Bitney said he was fired because of his relationship with the wife of Palin’s friend, plus a Palin spokesperson later claimed “poor job performance” for his firing – without elaborating.

Palin lied when she said she kept her running injury a secret on the campaign trail; in fact, her bandaged hand was clearly visible in photographs and the story was widely talked about.

Palin lied when she claimed that Alaska has spent “millions of dollars” on litigation related to her ethics complaints; in fact, that figure is much, much lower, and she had initiated the most expensive inquiry.

Palin lied when she denied that the Alaska Independence Party supports secession and denied that her husband had been a member; in fact, even the McCain campaign noted that the party’s very existence is based on secession and that Todd was a member for seven years.

Palin lied when she said the dismissal of her public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, had nothing to do with his refusal to fire state trooper Mike Wooten; in fact, the Branchflower Report concluded that she repeatedly abused her power when dealing with both men.

I wouldn’t bother with some of these, such as the questions about Trig. Even if Sullivan’s allegations should turn out to be correct I wouldn’t be terribly concerned if she lied about being the mother to cover up a family scandal. I’m far more concerned with the lies which show her abuse of power.

Several of these could use further elaboration which is often provided in the original post which the list links to. The Harry Potter item appears trivial as posted but it relates to a more important point. Palin had attempted to ban books which were offensive to the religious right. Besides the legitimate news stories on the subject which contained factual information, there was also a mass emailing which continued untrue claims, such as that she had attempted to ban Harry Potter. When asked about her attempts to censor books, Palin would routinely respond by saying that the claims in the mass email are incorrect. This was her way of evading answering questions about her actual attempts to ban books.

Palin might not know much about public policy issues, but she is clever at misleading those who look into her past. Besides this evasion on her attempts to censor books, she practiced similar dishonesty when the reports on Troopergate came out. Although the report showed that she had abused her powers, Palin spun the report to deny this finding. When the real, bipartisan report on Troopergate showed she was guilty of abuse of powers, Palin arranged to have a sham report appear to clear her just before the election. Of course these lies are not really “odd lies.” They were calculated lies to cover up past.

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  1. 1
    Leslie Parsley says:

    Why am I not surprised? She’s not only a Diva, she’s a devious Diva.

  2. 2
    Leslie Parsley says:

    I’ve been aware of most of these lies, but not all, since she popped onto the political scene. I aree with your analysis and the need or more elaboration. Interesting piece – right down my alley.

  3. 3
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I don’t know if she is ‘clever’ about misleading people about her past. Most of her lies are pretty stupid if one looks into them at all. The problem is that too many Americans do not think critically these days, and many of her most avid supporters think the least critically. It’s also sometimes difficult to tell who really believes everything she spouts and who is just really pissed that Hillary Clinton wasn’t the Democratic presidential or VP nominee.

  4. 4
    Sanjay says:

    Its not like Sullivan’s homework will mean much to her supporters. Hop over to memeorandom and check out the trolls that have sure most sites commenting on the story get an earful of Palin the Saint versus Obama the Anti-Christ. In other words Palin supporters are like an old cast iron boiler tank,facts are merely BBs that bounce off. The contrast is shocking. Obama’s worse and most accurate critics have been liberals who see him for the highly centrist to Republican-lite president he is. While Palin supporters see her as saintly, beyond critism.
    And I agree her personal life is inconsequential; its her mangled, petty, vindictive, unethical and dangerous ideas about governance that should bother everyone.

  5. 5
    Julie says:

    “The problem is that too many Americans do not think critically these days, and many of her most avid supporters think the least critically.”

    I guess this statement is also true for those Obama voters who had no idea what he stood for or what his plans were. They voted for him because they were swayed by his silver tongue and liked the words “hope and change,” which I have learned in talking with many voters meant many things to many different people. Best campaign in a while (maybe ever), I’ll admit. I wonder how many of those who voted for Obama critically thought about that vote and what it meant for America and her freedoms. My guess would be a small percentage.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Obama was quite clear as to what he stood for. I imagine that there are people who vote for any candidate without knowing much about them but there’s no reason to think any more so with Obama. If anything this would be less with Obama considering how much information was available. Sure there are many ignorant conservatives and PUMAs (which is redundant) who have no nothing about Obama other than for campaign slogans. For intelligent voters there was abundant information available including his books, multiple in depth interviews, and his web site.

    As for America and freedom, after eight years of Bush voting for Obama represents a considerable improvement.

  7. 7
    Eclectic Radical says:

    While Julie’s attack on Obama may be pretty boilerplate stuff from the Republican box, she is right in that a lot of Obama voters (particularly in the primary) were not thinking as critically as they should. The significant degree to which many on the left who blindly assumed that he was a dedicated ‘progressive’ despite his very clearly center-right program and his constant message of pragmatic, bi-partisan compromise. They voted for him over far more liberal candidates who more truly reflected their own views, and are now angry at him for their unwillingness to take their vote seriously enough to examine the differences between their own thinking and his. I’ve been very critical of these writers and voters, as there were candidates available who perfectly reflected their ideals and desires and they chose him over them.
    I believe he is having some experience of just how difficult and unrealistic actual bi-partisan compromise really is in our political system, particularly when the opposition believe ‘compromise’ involves giving up every political goal to suit their ideology. Clearly, however, he has not completely learned the lesson yet. The attempt to cobble out bi-partisan health care reform is proving that.
    All that criticism of his positions and my fellow leftists aside, he is easily the most intelligent president we have had in my lifetime and he possesses the most important capacity in a national leader: the ability to coolly and pragmatically consider all the options available and listen to the best advice available and make a genuinely informed choice. This has been a strength lacking in every American administration previous, perhaps going back as far as Gerald Ford. I didn’t vote for him in the primary, for ideological reasons, but I voted for him in the general, am far more pleased with his presidency than displeased despite my criticism of some of his positions, and will vote for his re-election.

  8. 8
    Jesmi says:

    I patiently await the arrival of Clipmarks own “Sarah Palin Sheeple Choir”  to chime in with point by point refutations of these facts so the rest of us can find a way to bask in Sarah’s regal grace with clear conscience that the next saviour of all things conservative, our own annointed Caribou Barbie, really isn’t a lying bimbo airhead.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:


    “she is right in that a lot of Obama voters (particularly in the primary) were not thinking as critically as they should.”

    True but this is true about voters for all candidates. Only a minority of voters for any candidate pay close attention to the details of a candidate’s position. What is incorrect is the meme that this is any more true of voters for Obama than anyone else.

    It made sense for voters on the left to vote for Obama when it became clear that it was a two way race between Obama and Clinton. What doesn’t make sense is when many on the left act shocked when he governs as he said he would as opposed to how they would prefer him to govern.

    ” I voted for him in the general, am far more pleased with his presidency than displeased despite my criticism of some of his positions…”

    That’s generally the case in a two party system. I don’t agree with Obama over everything but he was the best choice of the candidates who had a realistic chance to win the nomination and election. At least my areas of disagreement with him are considerably smaller than with Bush.


  10. 10
    Julie says:

    “I imagine that there are people who vote for any candidate without knowing much about them but there’s no reason to think any more so with Obama.”

    Nowhere in my comment did I say the above. All I was trying to point out was that the lack of critical thinking is on both sides of the isle. Not necessarily “more” with Obama voters, but most definately “also” with Obama. Let’s be fair in our criticism of uninformed voters…it’s just not the conservatives.

    Too many people vote R or D, blinded by the “party”, when they should be voting for those who aligh with their values. You may claim that 8 years of the Bush conservative America was too much, but Bush was not a conservative in many areas. While I agreed with him on some things, there were many things with which I did not agree. Americans need to wake up and vote based upon merit, not party. This fighting like 5 year olds over turf is getting old.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    “You may claim that 8 years of the Bush conservative America was too much, but Bush was not a conservative in many areas.”

    That’s largely due to the limitations in our political terminology. Bush was a conservative in most if not all areas, but there are different meanings of conservative. Therefore it is common for many conservatives to disagree with Bush on some issues and to see the issues where they disagree as differing from conservatism.

    There is certainly ignorance in voting by supporters of all candidates. While there are uninformed voters on both sides, studies have shown that conservatives are more likely to believe things which are untrue–such as with WMD in Iraq even after the government conceded that Saddam no longer had WMD at the onset of the war, a belief that Saddam was involved with al Qaeda and 9/11, denial of the scientific consensus on climate change, denial of evolution. There is also a strong correlation between watching Fox and believing things which are untrue.

  12. 12
    Julie says:

    Where are the studies which prove this “strong correlation between watching Fox and believing things which are untrue?” Which studies “have shown that conservaties are more likely to believe things which are untrue?”

    Denial of scientific consensus on climate change? I have heard from many scientists and seen loads of scientific consensus who disagree with global warming as it is being pushed by Al Gore et al. So, please, don’t try to argue with me that a majority of scientific experts agree on climate change. This is just one of many areas where I am sick of hypocrits. “We, the government, are going to regulate your energy usage, while we do whatever we want, fly wherever we want, waste whatever we want.” Give me a break. Yay, Obama is changing all the lightbulbs in the Whitehouse. I’m sure that makes up for all the unnecessary traveling by him and members of Congress.

    If you are going to preach belief in global warming, be like Leonardo DiCaprio. At least he practices what he preaches.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    There have been numerous studies showing decreased knowledge among conservatives and viewers of Fox. Doing a quick search here is the first one I found.

    You are showing such ignorance which is common among conservatives with your incorrect statement with regards to climate change. There is a strong scientific consensus on the topic. There is no longer any real controversy among the scientists in the field.

  14. 14
    Julie says:

    I used to buy into global warming, even as a conservative. The fact that I am no longer sold on global warming has nothing to do with the fact that I am a conservative. It has everything to do with the fact that I have studied contradictory evidence, and understand that global climate change is cyclical. Thousands of years of data prove this. Yes, I recycle and believe that we should do everything we can to conserve when possible. I am also sick of politicians (R & D) who go on and on about global warming and use it as a scare-tactic. For the most part, they do not practice what they preach. Hypocrits…can’t stand them.

  15. 15
    Fritz says:

    However, there is a huge air gap between the evolving science of climate modeling and measures like cap-and-trade being pushed through.  And, to be blunt, Al Gore grates on some people’s nerves.  His Churchillean rhetoric is preposterous.
    There is way too much excitability on this subject.  I have had purportedly rational adults scream “The Earth Is Burning Up!”.  Um, no it isn’t.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    The scientific consensus on human role on climate change and supporting any specific political responses are two different things.

    This really has little to do with Al Gore. He is just publicizing scientific findings. What is important is the science, not what Al Gore says. Conservatives just love to avoid real consideration of the issues and instead demonize opponents.

    The important thing is also what the science shows, not if some people claim “the earth is burning up.”

  17. 17
    Ron Chusid says:

    “It has everything to do with the fact that I have studied contradictory evidence…”

    Of course the “evidence” is not actual scientific evidence but politically motivated statements put out by conservatives to try to confuse the science. So you “studied” the subject. I’ll stick with the scientists who actually work in the field who pretty much universally agree.

  18. 18
    Fritz says:

    Unfortunately, in the American psyche, there is little or no gap between “Something exists” and “We have to do something, anything, that seems to be doing something about this!”.  I suppose it is a charming part of our character, but it can get very expensive.

  19. 19
    Mike b.t.r.m. says:

    Ron-I went to that website with the Fox watchers report. IMO rather worthless but fun none the less. I took the news test and missed 2 out of 12, then I took the science test and got 12 for 12! (I was definately guessing on a few of them) What I found interesting was that even regular Rush Limbaugh listeners scored 4 times higher in news knowledge than regular Keith Olbermann watchers. Just kidding, I made that up. It does show (for whatever dubious value) Rush listeners scoring higher than CNN watchers.

  20. 20
    Ron Chusid says:

    Another study showing Fox viewers are less well informed is summarized here.

  21. 21
    Julie says:

    Actually, the “evidence” I speak of came from scientists, not conservatives. PhD’s in geology to be exact.

  22. 22
    Fritz says:

    You actually want to argue differences in understanding among people who get their news from TV?  Isn’t that sort of missing something right off the bat?

  23. 23
    Ron Chusid says:

    Interesting how conservatives always cite scientists in fields other than climate change. Note the overall views of scientists in the post from earlier today.

  24. 24
    Ron Chusid says:

    Anyone who gets their news solely from television is going to be quite misinformed. Still there are significant trends such as the beliefs of Fox viewers on issues related to the Iraq war.

  25. 25
    Julie says:

    Again, my beliefs are based upon thousands of years of scientific evidence, not on the fact that I am a conservative.

  26. 26
    Ron Chusid says:

    I see, you think that there thousands of years of scientific evidence with regards to the consensus statements of the last several years?

    You very clearly are basing your views on ideological views which have absolutely nothing to do with science.

  27. 27
    Julie says:

    You know me so well. Next time I’m trying to decide my opinion and what I am basing it on, I’ll ask you first.

    You very clearly do not want to believe that there is scientific evidence which contradicts with your beliefs. I have seen the data that shows that climate change is cyclical…and I believe it. You act as if every scientist in the world agrees on this topic. Sorry to burst your bubble, but they don’t. Maybe the ones you choose to site on your blog feel the way you do, but that isn’t nearly the majority of all scientists.

  28. 28
    Ron Chusid says:


    You are clearly repeating right wing talking points, whether you realize it or not.

    I have no “beliefs” on the matter. I am quoting the scientific consensus. I would prefer that it isn’t so, but unlike you I am not going to ignore science when the data conflicts with what I would prefer to be the case. A poll just out today shows that 84% of all scientists agree with the scientific consensus on global warming. Virtually all scientists who are actually studying climate change agree.

    There is no controversy in the scientific community. The claim that there is disagreement among scientists is just another claim from the right wing which has no basis in fact.

  29. 29
    Julie says:

    Did you even read my statement? I believe that “…climate change is cyclical.” Not disputing the fact that there are changes occuring in the climate. Just saying that it isn’t as “man made” as many claim.

  30. 30
    Ron Chusid says:

    That is essentially rejecting the scientific consensus.

  31. 31
    Mike's I.P. alter-ego says:

    Julie- I love mixing it up with Ron on this subject, although I admit I get weary at times. I’m dead set against what the government proposes to do, but there is more common ground than you might realize. Particularly with Ron. Ron can tell me if I’m not charaturizing him correctly but he isn’t one that says the world is coming to an end tommorrow if we don’t stop driving cars. Julie, you would agree that science or not, then net sum of human activity on the planet adds heat rather than subtracts, no? I often argue that the “warmers” tend to overdiscount many other factors, also this consensus that Ron constantly refers to, real or not, can’t be quantified. Do you have that vote count yet? (No he doesn’t- no such number exists)

  32. 32
    Ron Chusid says:


    We do have the “vote count.” We have consensus statements from the scientists in the field. The consensus is real despite the efforts of conservatives to deny it and to falsely claim there is controversy over the issue.

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