15 December 2006

Keep the Jet

It's too late, of course, but I'd like to be contrary-minded for just a minute - the Palin administration should keep the jet.

I don't deny for a minute that it is a symbol of the arrogance of power and out-of-touchedness of the Murkowski administration. Particularly given the way he used it, on private business apparently and to campaign, makes it an even greater symbol of what is wrong with politics.

But... Alaska is a huge state and its chief executive should be familiar with as many parts of it as possible. The jet provides fast(er) and greater access to the many remote parts of the state than any other means of transportation. If Sarah Palin insists on flying commercial or using the King Air, rural Alaska is just going to see less of her and she's going to know less about the many important issues rural Alaska faces. Nobody wins from that situation.

On the other hand, if it's really true that the King Air can land on some runways that the jet cannot, I'm really looking forward to seeing Governor Palin visit the remote, subsistence villages that are equally a part of the state but are so frequently overlooked by road-system politicians. That would be the only saving grace of this impending sale.

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