Palin's travels broadened the horizons
It was, she said, the “trip of a lifetime”. The young governor from the remote state engaged in her own brand of shuttle diplomacy in the summer of 2007, even posing, gun in hand, with some of her loyal troops in a far-off land.
But this weekend, the story of Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s trip to Ireland, Germany, Kuwait and Iraq began to shrink under scrutiny. Interrogated about hazy details of the itinerary—the first time she had travelled outside of North America—campaign officials acknowledged that Palin had not entered Iraq, but had instead visited Alaska national guard troops at a border crossing with Kuwait.
“You have to have permission to go into a lot of areas, and [the crossing] is where her permissions were,” Alaska national guard colonel Dave Osborn told the Boston Globe. As for the trip to Ireland, well that was little more than a refuelling stop.
The admission by the John McCain-Palin camp further dents her foreign policy credentials. The campaign has made much of her experience dealing with Russia and Canada, both countries that border Alaska. But in an interview broadcast last week, her first television interview since becoming McCain’s running mate, Palin indicated that her knowledge of Russia was restricted to being able to see it from Alaska. It now appears that her knowledge of Iraq has its foundation in her being able to see it from Kuwait.
The latest revelation about Palin’s travels came as several newspapers continued to investigate her tenure as the mayor of a small town in Alaska and her two years as governor of the state. The New York Times accused her of cronyism and carrying out vendettas against her political foes.
Undaunted, or perhaps buoyed by the controversies surrounding her candidacy, Palin campaigned alone for the first time at the weekend in Nevada, a crucial swing state. Both she and the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, were due to campaign in Colorado, another western swing state, today.
Despite a week of adverse news in the media and opinion polls, the Obama campaign was able to announce on Sunday that it had broken its own fundraising record in the month of August, pulling in $66-million during the month.
More than half a million new donors helped to raise the total, a campaign spokesperson announced. - guardian.co.uk