Sarah Palin ‘Needs to Smile More’

Sarah Palin’s return trip to normalcy (if being the governor of the largest state in America and having to wake up with Russia staring at you through the window every morning can be described as “normal”) hasn’t been as smooth as the former vice-presidential candidate may have hoped. According to the Times, which checked in on her, she faces resentment from the state legislature, who fret that she’s no longer focused on local issues, and voters, who saw their much-hyped budget surplus turn into a deficit as the national economy crumbled. She’s also been forced to agree to accept more federal stimulus than she originally had announced, after state lawmakers launched overwhelming resistance to her plan to take only 55 percent of what was offered. But things might be looking up. Her nominee for state attorney general appears to be just the kind of shoot-from-the-hip, hard-right (but maverick-y) conservative that will help her find her backbone again.

NRA board member Wayne Anthony Ross, who is expected to be confirmed by state legislators, opposes increased protection for endangered species, wants expanded natural-resource development, and once, years ago, described gays as “degenerates.” That’s the spirit! According to the Times:

As a private lawyer, Mr. Ross said, he lived his initials. “My license plate says, ‘WAR,’” Mr. Ross said in an interview after a recent confirmation hearing. “And my wife’s license plate says, ‘MRS WAR.’ ”Yet even Mr. Ross offered a mild critique of the governor. In the hearing, he said he had urged her “to open better communication between the Legislature and her office.” He said he thought Ms. Palin risked appearing that she had been cowed by critics — “treed by Chihuahuas,” as he put it — and that “she needs to smile more.”

Some Democrats in Alaska fear that she’s being coached by hard-right forces in-state like Ross. But frankly, to us, this just seems like the kind of advice anybody — on the left or the right — would give.

For Gov. Palin, a Rough Return to the Day Job [NYT]

Sarah Palin ‘Needs to Smile More’