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Friday, September 2, 2022

Alaska politics !

It rained very heavily in Bengaluru – and it has been raining in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu too. Away in USA, most of the country is sweltering in the dog days of summer, but some parts of Northern Alaska picked up their first dustings of snow over the last couple of days. It doesn’t look like tons of snow fell, but . .. .. sure signs of another good winter. Even the frosted white tips of mountains over 4,000 miles away is enough to quench the thirst ! – it would not be too long before   snows are blanketing the  mountains.

Even in that snow clad area - Alaskans are passionate about competing in sports and cheering for the State’s – and their respective region’s and local – sports teams and athletes. Not all sports could be played here -  professional football and basketball might seem like natural indoor stadium sports fits for this cold weather state, no current franchises exist in Alaska. In Alaska, cross-country runners and skiers, mountain climbers, back-country skiers and snowboarders, sled dog drivers and snow machine drivers, Alaska Native sports enthusiasts and student-athletes are among the state’s biggest, brightest stars.

Alaska is a state located in the Western United States on the northwest extremity of North America. A semi-exclave of the U.S., it borders the Canadian province of British Columbia,  also shares a maritime border with the Russian Federation's Chukotka Autonomous Okrug to the west, just across the Bering Strait. Alaska is by far the largest U.S. state by area, comprising more total area than the next three largest states (Texas, California, and Montana) combined. It represents the seventh largest subnational division in the world. The state capital of Juneau is the second-largest city in the United States by area, comprising more territory than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware. The former capital of Alaska, Sitka, is the largest U.S. city by area.

Sarah Louise Palin served as the ninth Governor of Alaska from 2006 until her resignation in 2009. She was the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee alongside U.S. Senator John McCain.Palin was elected to the Wasilla city council in 1992 and became mayor of Wasilla in 1996. In 2003, after an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor, she was appointed chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, responsible for overseeing the state's oil and gas fields for safety and efficiency. In 2006, at age 42, she became the youngest person and the first woman to be elected governor of Alaska. Immense legal fees incurred by both Palin and the state of Alaska from her fights against ethics investigations led to her resignation in 2009.

Palin was nominated for the vice presidency at the 2008 Republican National Convention, shortly after her selection was announced by McCain's campaign. She was the first Republican female vice presidential nominee and the second female vice presidential nominee of a major party, after Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. The McCain-Palin ticket subsequently lost the 2008 election to the Democratic Party's then-U.S. Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Throughout the race, her public image and experience came under media attention.

She has also led a career as a television personality. From 2010 to 2015, she provided political commentary for Fox News.Her personal memoir Going Rogue, written following the 2008 election, has sold more than one million copies.On April 1, 2022, Palin announced that she would run in the special election for Alaska's at-large congressional seat that was vacated after the death of Representative Don Young

Today comes the news that Sarah Palin has lost a special congressional election in Alaska, in a district that was Republican-held for nearly five decades.The winner, Democrat Mary Peltola, will be the first Alaskan Native to serve as a lawmaker in Congress for the state.The race was to fill a vacancy left after the former officeholder died. The seat is up for grabs again in November.

Ms Peltola, 49, was declared the winner by three percentage points in a state that ex-President Donald Trump took by 10 points in 2020.The former state lawmaker advocated for abortion access, climate action and the state's salmon populations.Ms Palin, who was endorsed by Mr Trump, outspent her Democratic rival by four to one in the run-up to the 16 August election, according to Politico.Ms Peltola ran against two Republicans in the state's first ranked-choice election, a system that was criticised by Ms Palin during the race as confusing and unfair.The Democrat, who is Yup'ik and grew up in a rural part of Alaska, will also become the first woman to hold the seat.

While political analysts will search for clues in this special election as to how both main parties may fare in the US midterm elections this November, it is not clear to what degree Ms Palin's big personality was a factor in the outcome.Her brand of combative conservatism and anti-establishment appeal led many to consider her as the political precursor to Mr Trump.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
1st Sept. 2022.

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