Posted on | September 3, 2010 | 122 Comments
WASILLA, Alaska — No, not me. As much as I’d like you to think I’m The Man, I’m not The Man. I’m talking about this guy:
In case you don’t recognize the boy sitting on his father’s lap, perhaps my latest American Spectator article will help:
Rumor is that the Palins are out of town and hope of an interview seems doomed to disappointment. Then my cell phone rings. “This is Todd Palin,” says the man on the phone. We chat briefly about the recent GOP primary victory of Joe Miller. I explain that I’ve driven 50 miles from Anchorage to Wasilla just to get a sense of the town where Sarah began her political career as a city council member and mayor. Todd then tells me that although his wife is out town, he’s still in Wasilla and …
Half an hour later, I drive down an unpaved road past a large Miller-for-Senate campaign sign and turn into a driveway marked with multiple “No Trespassing” signs, past which no wise person would go uninvited. Here, nestled among birch trees on the shore of scenic Lake Lucille, is the home of the woman whom liberals love most to hate — and Todd, the man who got the nickname “First Dude” during his wife’s term as Alaska’s governor.
Todd opens the front door and his youngest son, two-year-old Trig, scampers across the living room to greet the guest with a “high five.” Rambunctiously energetic, Trig is the focus of his father’s attention — Todd bounces the toddler on his knee, reads him a book, and fixes him a bottle . . .
Please read the whole thing. The First Dude is nothing short of pure awesome. It’s past midnight here in Wasilla and I’m too tired right now to explain how all this happened. I’ll get some sleep and update in the morning.
The big question. Is Todd Palin or Trig now a member of the Axis of Fedora?
Alas, no, the First Dude turned down the opportunity to wear the fedora. However, he did offer to take a couple of photos of me, for example:
Those “impotent, limp and gutless” reporters couldn’t handle Todd’s Iron Dog racer. At one point during our conversation, we were talking about the Iron Dog (specifically the absurd “ethics” charge based on Sarah wearing a coat with a sponsor’s logo) and I asked, “Is that the kind of sport that you kind of age out of?” Todd grinned and said, “You trying to tell me something?”
Faux pas? Well, I explained that snow machine racing struck me as similar to motocross racing, where the average champion is in his early 20s. Todd said he has routinely competed against riders half his age.
It’s still only 6:40 a.m. here in Alaska. Seems like there was something I’ve forgotten to say.
Hmmm. Obviously, I need more sleep. Maybe I’ll think of it in an update later.
UPDATE II: Linked by Red at Ruby Slippers and now a Memeorandum thread. BTW, I notice Dan Riehl is doing a workout on Murkowski campaign director John Bitney, one of those disgruntled “former associate” types who finds it convenient to blame the Palins for his troubles.
And be careful, Dave Weigel — you wouldn’t want to be “limp, impotent and gutless.”
Sometimes the best stories are the ones you can’t report. Sometimes if you’ll just talk to people — put down the notebook, turn off the recorder — instead of interviewing them, you can get a much better idea of who they really are.
Something else: Try to have some regard for the humanity of your sources. It’s worth noting that, at least at this point, the Palins are private citizens and are not obligated to speak to the press at all. So if Todd Palin is kind enough to invite me out to the house — when he could just as easily have spent those two hours doing something he enjoyed — should I repay his hospitality by playing “gotcha”?
C’mon, Dave: Remember how you felt when all that JouroList stuff was hitting the fan? That’s how the Palins have felt every single day for the past two years.