11 sep. 2008

4. Palin may have rewarded serviceman with promotion for his about-face on her candidacy.

When the McCain campaign first announced that Palin would be joining the Republican ticket, most people thought they had just undercut their best attack against Obama: his supposed lack of experience. The McCain campaign was quick to answer concerns by parading Sarah Palin's position as Commander in Chief of the Alaskan National Guard as an example of executive leadership. But few bought the sale, knowing enough about the National Guard to realize that being Governor doesn't exactly make you a general.

This idea was backed up when the Adjutant General of Alaska's National Guard Major Craig Campbell reportedly told the Boston Globe that the Alaskan governor is not in the chain of command and has no authority over its operations. But Campbell's thoughts on the matter quickly changed, as Brandon Friendman reports for the Huffington Post:

But suddenly -- and strangely -- the commander of the Alaska National Guard, Major General Campbell, changed his story. By the end of the convention, he was praising Palin's experience, talking on TV about how she had taken control of Alaska's National Guard operations and how she was a "great" leader.

Interestingly enough, Palin promoted him with his third star -- to the rank of Lieutenant General -- only three days later.

Essentially, Campbell had been unhelpful to the campaign at the very least. But all of a sudden he became one of Palin's biggest supporters. And he was then promoted to be one of the two highest-ranking state National Guard officials in the country.

The timeline that Friedman lays out in his piece shows Campbell's full metamorphosis from a critic to a preacher of Palin's executive experience with the National Guard. Buying off a service-person with a quick promotion in order to get them to change their tune? Maybe the McCain Campaign is right -- maybe Palin does have the chops of an executive after all.