Sarah Palin as Veteran Affairs Secretary in the upcoming Donald Trump administration? It may just happen, according to a close Palin aide and one of Donald Trump’s transition officials, as reported by ABC News.
Palin, a former vice-presidential candidate and one-time Alaska Governor, has scarcely been mentioned as a possible candidate for any of Trump’s cabinet positions, at least until Wednesday. Unlike most newly-announced cabinet members, Sarah Palin has not been spotted visiting Trump and his transition team at the Trump Tower, which is why the announcement that she’s being considered at all came as a shock to many.
What worries critics stems from the fact that the Department of Veteran Affairs is the largest government agency in the United States. If Palin becomes VA secretary, she’ll oversee over 300,000 federal employees and will have a budget of $182 billion for 2017.
Dakota Meyer, Sarah’s son-in-law and Medal of Honor recipient, posted a SarahPac video on his Facebook page earlier this week, putting in excerpts of Palin’s speech where she spoke about her work with veterans and her involvement in the community. Track Palin, her eldest son who served in Iraq in 2008, was mentioned as well. In her speech, Palin blamed the VA “bureaucracy” for “killing our vets.”
Sarah Palin also talked about her ideas for reforming the VA, which include improved health care, using military skills for work opportunities, and securing of benefits.
Sarah criticized President Barack Obama in her speech.
“Stop blaming the victim and wake up, Mr. President,” she said. “While Christians bow our heads to pray for you, radical Islamists want to cut off your head. The only thing standing between us and savages, it’s the red white and blue, it’s the United States military. And if you love freedom, thank a vet. Thank them. Honor them.”
Sarah Palin was named Senator John McCain’s running mate when he unsuccessfully ran for President under the Republican Party in 2008. Some members of the GOP blamed Palin for McCain’s loss to then-Senator Obama.
Palin, known for her brutal honesty and populist rhetoric, had the highest approval rating over other sitting governors when Senator McCain picked her in 2008, as previously reported by The Independent.
That’s not to say that Palin didn’t have her fair share of PR disasters. In an awkward prime-time TV interview with Katie Couric, Sarah Palin said that she was qualified in world affairs because Alaska is close to Russia. When Palin claimed that she “reads all the news,” she wasn’t able to name any newspapers when Katie asked her which ones she’d been reading to get her news.
That said, Palin earned some supporters from Republicans for her unwavering stance against abortion and for suggesting that the federal government’s powers be limited. Ms. Palin also had a short stint as a contributor on Fox News.
The Veteran Affairs Department has been involved in numerous scandals, including the shortfalls in care offered to Americans who served in wars overseas. Sarah Palin is undoubtedly popular among military voters, which can be attributed to the outdoor reality shows she took part in, but she has no real experience being involved with any conflict handled by the American military.
It bears noting that Sarah Palin was one of Donald Trump’s earliest endorsers during his Presidential campaign. Donald introduced her on stage at a rally in Indiana last April, back when the Republican nominee was struggling to win the state’s primary.
Palin was also mentioned a lot in talks for the position of energy secretary and secretary of interior. Earlier this month, she took to Facebook to talk about her “Drill, baby, drill” approach to managing energy resources.
“NOW is the time to shut off the Saudi oil cartel flow valve and develop our own God-given natural resources. The only excuse not to become energy independent is a political excuse,” Palin wrote.
[Featured Image by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]