Ryan Nelson: Sarah Palin quit on Alaska for fame and fortune, but now wants a second chance



In national politics, Sarah Palin is a household name as a firebrand who can get a Lower 48 crowd of conservatives engaged and excited with her word-salad speeches.

In Alaska, the conservative base is far more divided about Sarah Palin’s political ambitions than national figures like Donald Trump and Corey Lewandowski could possibly understand.

Some Alaskans still like Palin and will bend over backward to support her. Some might even defend her even if she shot someone in front of Anchorage’s 4th Avenue Theater. Other conservatives who have lived in Alaska for years and pay attention to politics remember her reign as governor of Alaska and are less enthusiastic.

While Palin supporters are well meaning in their loyalty, they are often not aware of her failures as a policymaker. As governor, her progressive tax on Alaska oil production (ACES) destroyed Alaska’s oil industry and sent companies like Exxon to greener pastures in North Dakota and Texas, where the business environment was friendlier.

Her many ethics scandals included Troopergate. The time she spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars as Wasilla mayor to renovate her office brought shame to her legacy. Perhaps her most embarrassing mistake was her endorsement of the former Gov. Bill Walker, the governor who cut the Permanent Fund dividend, nearly sold Alaska’s gasline to China, and appointed left-wingers like Scott Kendall, who would eventually go on to be responsible for destructive ballot initiatives like Ballot Measure 2.

Her support for Walker arguably tricked many conservatives into voting for him, making up the difference in a narrow gubernatorial election with Gov. Sean Parnell in 2014.

This wasn’t the only time Palin stabbed a fellow Alaskan in the back. In 2008, when former Sen. Ted Stevens was federally charged weeks before an election in a sham federal investigation meant to target and destroy him, instead of coming to Stevens defense against a clear witch hunt, Palin called for Sen. Stevens to resign. This ultimately damaged Stevens’ image right before a tough reelection, and aided in his loss to Mark Begich. Stevens, of course, was cleared of all charges — after the election.

Did Palin ever apologize for her condemnation of Ted Stevens? No.

Did Palin ever apologize for her endorsement of Walker? No.

Did Palin apologize for doubling the size of Alaska’s state government, and punishing Alaska’s most important industry? No.

Did Palin apologize for her many ethical scandals such as Troopergate? No.

Did Palin ever speak up for Alaskans as Gov. Walker willfully stole our Permanent Fund dividends for more government spending? No.

Did Sarah Palin speak out against Ballot Measure 2 as dark money from out-of-state funding a misleading campaign to change Alaska’s election system? No.

Instead, Palin has always been too self-absorbed to fight in the trenches with us as enemies target Alaska. She has yet to show any remorse for any of her mistakes.

I’m sure everybody remembers back in the days of 2009 when Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska governor. To this day I hear people making the excuse that Palin was forced out by angry attacks from the left that prevented her from effectively governing. However, that argument could not be more unsupported. Gov. Mike Dunleavy endured far worse from the Left with a full-on coordinated attack by the media and Scott Kendall’s campaign to recall him, which began only weeks after he was elected. Yet, he did not resign. He fought on for Alaska. Donald Trump didn’t quit because the going got tough, with two impeachments. He fought on for America.

After Palin’s resignation, these pending lawsuits and litigations did not prevent her from living a lavish lifestyle. I wouldn’t expect a person buried in litigation to have the time to tour the country to promote her book. I wouldn’t expect a person buried in litigation to have the time to fly over to the East Coast to be a contributor to Fox News. And I certainly wouldn’t expect a person buried in litigation to have the time to start her own reality show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”

It’s clear that the reason she resigned was not due to attacks from the leftist media, or because resigning from governor would allow her to better fight for Alaska.

Instead, Palin resigned because she discovered she didn’t like governing. She became drunk on fame, intoxicated by the media spotlight, the paid speaking engagements at large conservative gatherings, and the luxurious life that followed. She could have at least been honest about why she resigned. But she wasn’t. She expected us to believe that she could better serve Alaska with her reality TV show.

If Palin manages to get elected to Congress despite her being a politically polarizing figure in Alaska, it will be all fun in games at first. There’s no doubt she will be on the Sean Hannity Show, and will get a lot of attention from the national media to keep the lights lit in her out-of-state mansions. But at the end of the day, it’s all about Sarah, Sarah, Sarah.

Some may argue, “At least she can’t do much damage in a U.S. house seat as she did as governor of Alaska.” To that, I paraphrase Barack Obama’s quote about Joe Biden: “Don’t underestimate Sarah’s ability to F*** things up.”

Alaska, please consider giving a candidate with new blood like Nick Begich a first shot before you recycle Palin.

Ryan Nelson is a resident of Eagle River Alaska.


  1. The more I hear the denigration of Sarah Palin in the interest of supporting Nick Begich, the more I am convinced that Begich is deeply embedded in the bureaucratic theft of our government OF the people. I will vote for Palin because she will do what she thinks is right, not what she is told to do.

    • I’m with ya, Bobby! Sarah could wear that pink polar bear suit on floor of the U. S. House and wow the nation! Can you imagine that? She might even show up on the floor dressed as a pole dancer just to let the ol’ geezers know that she’s got it! With that said, maybe me ‘n’ you ought to vote twice to throw the election for her.

    • I’m with ya, Bobby! Sarah could wear that pink polar bear suit on the floor of the U. S. House and wow the nation! Can you imagine that? She might even show up on the floor dressed as a pole dancer just to let the ol’ geezers know that she’s got it! With that said, maybe me ‘n’ you ought to vote twice to throw the election for her.

    • Don’t let her charm invade your clear conscience, Robert. Sarah is a pure drama queen, hell-bent on pleasing herself, not Alaska or the nation. I made the mistake and I know her better than anyone. Don’t be fooled. And don’t be a fool.

    • What Palin thinks is right is whatever is right for Palin. If you can’t see that by now, no amount of facts is going to change your opinion. You’re just another NPC.

    • Maybe what she “thinks” is right..is NOT what her constituents want!! That’s where Murkowski failed!!

    • Everything in this article was spot on. It’s not that Nick Begich is embedded. It’s that those of us who voted for Palin previously know now we were duped. She was a horrible governor. Nick, at least, has shown integrity and has worked to earn Alaskan votes for years now, as opposed to Palin who is capitalizing on fame to jump in at the last minute. It would be an honest shame if Palin were to win. If she does, you can join the rest of us later who have regrets about voting for her previously.

  2. Stop hitting on her! You remind me of a high school idiot pulling on the pony tail of the girl he crushes on. Worse than Ben Shapiro going off on all the female celebrities who ignore him.

  3. Here we go again with “Sarah Quit”. The circus that media and democrats created in Juneau wouldn’t leave town so she did. It was good for Alaska. Didn’t read the hit-piece, been hearing it for 12 years. However, if someone trusts that young Begich is gonna be a conservative in the house, damn. Wish Tom had ran. At least he’s honest about who he is, hell, I might’ve voted for him.

  4. Palin walked away from the 907. She moved down south. She’s “dating” an east coast hockey player. She isn’t a true conservative. No thanks.

  5. Robert- I am glad we live in a country where people can have opinions. I will not be voting for her so our votes will cancel out but many others will be voting for the same candidate I did.
    I just have 1 question- If Young hadn’t passed away, would she be running?

    My guess is no and that’s why I won’t vote for her. She’s an opportunist. Selfish!
    We have enough of those in office already.

    • Re: “If Young hadn’t passed away, would she be running?”

      Who knows (other than Her), maybe She wouldn’t have run because She wasn’t 100% dissatisfied with Him….

    • “…….If Young hadn’t passed away, would she be running?……..”
      Are you asking that about the other 48 candidates on the ballot for that seat, including Santa Claus? Is Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck on the ballot, too? How about Gay and Strait? Looks like yet another classic Alaskan comedy show to me.

  6. The Cat Fights between Sarah and AOC plus the daily apoplectic reactions of the leftists and mainstream media will make voting for Sarah worthwhile and rewarding. If You cease being entertained, in two years, You can retire Her.

  7. Amazing how many people & news agency’s dislike Sarah Palin, I agree with Mr Rubey makes me also turn towards Palin.

    • Amazing how when so many conservatives dislike Palin, you don’t see it for the warning it is. Please look past the pretty face and examine her record…which is a dismal as portrayed in this article.

    • Ken, sometimes news agencies get it right. Not always, but in Sarah’s case it’s as plain as the egg on your face.

  8. Between these two opinions, how is it non democrat voters are stuck with revak, sweeny, and palin. The republican party had since november 2021to decide putting up a better list of candidates than the present. Maybe all those freedom loving patriots with professional backgrounds protesting the anchorage assembly ought to be running for office. This way our 2nd, 3rd, 4th choices are just as trustworthy as the first choice. I saw the testimonies! many of you representatives of your diplomas and job occupations even the teens should be leading the boards and commissions, sitting on district councils, and elect office. Your acquired education what is it for anyway? Show off how smart you are, how well you talk, how much wealth your education grew for you. You can live that way but its a boring life, while their are crowds peoples voices unheard because of incoherency. I will still vote for palin and revak, as well wright and begich cause there is no one else.

  9. No, Sarah quit because state law said she was personally liable for all the nuisance lawsuits filed against her and she needed to preserve her family. You can spin it all you like, but you know what you said is garbage.

    • Palin bragged to high Heaven about how she ended the “old boys’ club” with the changes she and the communists, excuse me, Democrats made to the State Ethics Act, you know that State Ethics Act that she and her sycophants now claim drove her from office to save her family.

      Palin is either a lot dumber than I thought her to be or she’s lying. She’d been an appointee for a couple of years before she left government to run for Governor. She’d had to file Ethics Act Reports every year and technically whenever her economic situation changed. She knew or should have known the application of the Ethics Act to an elected or appointed official. Both under the old law and the changes she bragged about making, if you were involved in any activity that might implicate the Ethics Act, you described the activity to the Ethics Attorney, and if they disapproved you couldn’t do it, and if they approved the State would indemnify you in any Ethics Act charges. Palin either thought she was above reporting her activities to the Department of Law or she didn’t want the DoL to know what she was doing. Her legal bills and any liability were all on her.

      • “………Her legal bills and any liability were all on her………”
        Ah, so the Andree McLeod/Don Mitchell approach to political justice is an appropriate and honorable tact? Wouldn’t it be fun to attack NB3 in such a way, especially with his family history? Are you really sure you approve the Demonrat/lawsuit/complaint form of governance?

  10. Sarah’s lack of character has been on display for many years. It’s difficult to reconcile that with the known fact of her participation with Mary G, the chief trainer for intercessors in Alaska and beyond.
    Guess all those years they spent together in a wasilla prayer group did not pay any future blessings.

  11. For every hack article like this, I promise to turn 10 Nick Begich voters into Palin votes so keep it up.

    How many times will Suzanne Downing let “guest” opine on the same old talking points which reek of butt-hurt. Everyone LOVED Palin up to the day she resigned. ACES was overwhelming passed 57-2. ACES brought in $17 Billion in oil tax revenue that shored up state bank accounts and forward funded state education by millions.

    But…but…but….Palin, she left Alaska. Palin, she dressed in a suit and sang on stage…but…but….but… 😉

    The childish snarky author comments should once again, be beneath what Downing considers worthy of posting. More conjecture, hearsay, and speculation with the same old talking points. Hey Mr. “Ryan” Nelson, I was in Valdez watching the first barrel of oil arrive from Prudhoe Bay via dogsled, as a kid I played in that very pipe stacked in Valdez before construction that now carries oil to Valdez. My late uncle was sectary-Treasure of Teamsters 959 who built the pipeline. I guess you could call me an oil kid.

    Walker won by 52%. Many Alaskans now crying voted for Walker. Palin had half of Alaska PO’d at her so standing next to Walker in a photo hardly got him elected.

    Did Nick J Begich III ever apologize for his uncle Mark Begich throwing Ted Stevens under the bus? NO.

    Did Nick J Begich III ever take accountability for his vote for Ethan Berkowitz? NOT REALLY! Blamed fake media reports 😉

    Did Nick J Begich III apologize for his vote for his business partner and uncle Mark Begich for democrat Senate? NO. In fact, he won’t even discuss it. Nick has proven he will voted democrat party line.

    Did Nick J Begich III ever speak up for Alaskans as Gov. Walker willfully stole our Permanent Fund dividends for more government spending? No. IF so, where?

    Did Nick J Begich III much less the AK GOP speak out against Ballot Measure 2 as dark money from out-of-state funding a misleading campaign to change Alaska’s election system? No. IF so, where?

    Instead, Nick J Begich III has always been too self-absorbed as he builds upon his family business empire with his democrat family, democrat dad and democrat uncle, and now after losing his last election for Anchorage assembly in 2016 sets his eyes on the legislative branch in D.C. to no doubt, further his own financial interests.

    The Begich is a pack of democrat career politicians. Period!

    There, fixed it for you 🙂

    If you really want to know about ACES https://lba.akleg.gov/alaska-aces/

  12. Really well done. Sarah doesn’t belong in Alaska; shoot she doesn’t even live currently and would HAVE to move here if elected. How woeful!

  13. I don’t think Sarah is a bad person and I also believe she is smart. I won’t be voting for her though, based on her history and her actions. She is far too interested in the spotlight and that has seemed to often to drive her choices. I have sensed ‘opportunist’ for years and in a few cases this has worked well for her politically such as when she stepped off of the oil and gas commission. Her actions over all ‘speak louder than words’ in my book, and although she is lovely, witty and engaging and likely does care for Alaska, I do not believe at all that she is the best person to send to DC.

  14. Palin proved herself as Governor. Sarah has my entire families vote. The more I hear Begich talk the less I trust him. Begich will say anything, make all kinds of promises, and then do the opposite; I’m convinced of it. Everybody knows Palin will stick to her guns. I’m just surprised how many repubs are still corrupt.

    • After being privileged to have a two-hour one-on-one conversation with Nick Begich, then at Convention watching Sarah Palin make a Hollywood-idiot of herself, it’s a no-brainer… Nick has both my vote and my donations.

  15. Wow, what’s with one hit piece after another on Palin? And a big fat red-white-and-blue ad on every page for Murkowski, paid for by Dark Money out-of-state sources. That turncoat mouthpiece Murkowski, a RINO politician who could turn a sub-par law school performance failing the Alaska Bar exam FOUR times and a family name into a career only after her nepotistic appointment by her father. If she used her married name nobody would even recognize her. At every opportunity Murky has betrayed our conservative values.
    Spare me the arguments against Palin. Walker lied to all of us. That’s why we elected that SOB along with the creepy Lt. Governor. Who do you think would own Alaska now if we’d let him sell our energy sector to China?
    Palin’s self-promotion and knowing how to work a crowd are not criminal acts. Neither is taking necessary steps to protect one’s family from the unflagging onslaught of a hostile media that then promoted the grossest misrepresentation of a movie, going on to attack her children, her spouse, even her elderly parents. Now that her name has come up again in Alaska, the Cancel Culture of mass marketing media is in full force attacking her again. I know and trust Sarah more than any of the other candidates. If it turns out we don’t like her performance, we’ll have the opportunity to choose a new Congressman at the end of Young’s term. If she does the job well, we’ll have a solid representative already at work to back our next Republican President.

    • “……..Wow, what’s with one hit piece after another on Palin?……”
      Democrats tend to use bullets and plane crashes to silence their internal problem cases. Republicans prefer incessant character assassination. Palin and Trump got similar treatment, and for the same reason. You can expect this to continue, whether or not either wins, loses, or merely breathes.

  16. Ryan, this is so well-written! You accurately articulated why Sarah Palin representing Alaska in Congress would be a disaster for Alaska. She is a narcissist, addicted to the adoration of her fans – who are mostly outside of Alaska. As you pointed out, they don’t know about her policy disasters, her treacherous and vindictive back-stabbing of Gov. Parnell and Sen. Stevens — all while professing to be a Christian — and the way she threw Alaska aside like yesterday’s newspaper so she could chase more attention on the national stage.

    But, some of her other embarrassing moments not mentioned are more indicative of her unfitness for any office. Her nonsensical sound bites are dangerously close to Biden’s gibberish. But, he clearly has dementia. She just isn’t that smart. In 2011, Sarah tried to school Bostonians about Paul Revere: “He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free.”

    Putting aside her incoherence, she was flat-out WRONG on so many levels. She made these ridiculous remarks right outside of Paul Revere’s house and after she took a tour. Revere’s ride was in April of 1775. The colonists WERE British. Paul Revere rode to Lexington (about 12 miles west of Boston) to warn the Sons of Liberty John Hancock and Samuel Adams — not the British – that they were going to be arrested. If you’re going to go to Paul Revere’s home, at least do your homework. But, knowing American history should be a requirement before becoming an adult — let alone running for Congress.

    Worse, when the media called Sarah out on it, she wouldn’t admit she didn’t know what she was talking about. She dug in her heels. Therein lies Sarah’s biggest problem. From her laughable sound bites to her policies that stifled oil production in Alaska, Sarah Palin is so self-absorbed that she cannot see or admit when she is wrong. Her ridiculous sound bites, which were many, are only upstaged by her lack of character and substance. Who could trust her?

    Alaskans do not need a RINO AOC representing them in Congress. She would do more than F$%* everything up. She would render Alaska as ridiculous as she is. I love President Trump and I hope someone schools him quickly about Sarah Palin before he rallies for her. He might rescind his endorsement if he knew the Sarah Palin Alaska knows.

  17. Wow! Sarah Palin supporters are out in force judging from the comments above. Despite the facts listed so convincingly in the story these loyal fans are standing by their girl. She’s a victim they lament. The MSM and Establishment are out to get her. Poor poor Sarah!

    What is pitiful is that so many believe Sarah’s incoherent babbling and limited attention span will somehow effectively represent them in Congress.

    Republicans say Government doesn’t work and when we elect Sarah Palins we prove that point!

  18. “………Some might even defend her even if she shot someone in front of Anchorage’s 4th Avenue Theater………”
    Depends on who she shoots. My bet is that she picks the perfect “victim”.

  19. this collection of comments on both side is quite helpful and revealing. Jogged our memories a bit didnt it? I simply cannot endorse Nick after watching what Berkowitz is presently doing to alaska’s biggest city- why in the world would he support such a destructive corrupt lawyer and his team of legal experts ? I will expect to see all of you in the library chambers this month as we watch in horror as the nasty nine CHANGE THE CODE of anchorage. They believe its their job to ” purge conservatism ” . Lets give THEM A run for their money !!! keep tuesday nights open and report back if the security guards say to YOU… ” If you make a peep, I will trespass YOU ! ” . BOTH Mr DeLarm and Mr RUBEY have so many interesting points here. Dont forget to watch 2000 mules movie and share with every one you can find.

  20. My dog is smarter than Palin. She was a bad governor, spent like like a drunk sailor, gave us Parnell another big time spender and we haven’t stopped with every bad governor since. We need to send to her to retirement land and make sure we are not know as the state with mentally Challenged people that represent Alaska. It time to vote for people that care about our state not their egos or are trying to get another great PENSION.

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