What Do Sarah Palin and Ruth McClung Have in Common?
by Sandi Behrns
One could argue that it’s nothing more than political opportunism on Sarah Palin’s part: quite late in the game, just as polls started to show the race getting close, Palin swooped in to endorse newbie GOP candidate Ruth McClung in Arizona’s 7th. It’s a natural endorsement on its face. McClung is a Tea Party darling, just like Palin. The hesitation comes from those who would accuse Palin of attempting to protect her win-loss record by only endorsing viable candidates. Whatever the case, it remains to be seen whether Mrs. Palin’s endorsement will prove to be a blessing or a curse. While it brings national attention, it also brings a degree of skepticism.
The truth of the matter is that Ruth McClung has much more important allies than Sarah Palin. Oddly, though, she seems not to know who they are. For instance, she had an interview with The Arizona Daily Star editorial board during which she professed to not be familiar with the group Americans For Tax Reform or even know founder Grover Norquist’s name. Of course, being charitable, one could forgive a 28-year-old first time candidate for that ignorance. How about when I tell you that Americans For Tax Reform has spent over $230,000 on ad buys targeting her opponent, incumbent Raúl Grijalva?
Still plausible deniability that she could be completely unaware of an outside group running ads on her behalf? How about when I tell you that Ms. McClung signed the Americans For Tax Reform pledge just as they prepared to make the ad buys? What could possibly explain this inconsistency? Seems the answer is either one of two things. Either McClung is cynically attempting to distance herself from attack ads being run by a group to whom she sold her political soul; or she is hopelessly, ridiculously ignorant and can’t even recall which pledges she has signed.
I’ll allow you to parse that question and decide what parallels she may have with Sarah Palin. But one has to wonder what other back-room deals Ruth McClung has cut with Washington insiders and extremist groups. Just to whom would a “Representative McClung” be beholden?