Inside the Beltway: Sarah Palin’s 49 challengers

Inside the Beltway: Sarah Palin’s 49 challengers

Sarah Palin has declared she will run for Congress to fill the seat now empty following the death of the late Rep. Don Young, Alaska Republican. The election will take place Aug. 16.

The former vice presidential hopeful will have much company, however.

“Fifty candidates are running in the special election to fill Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat — a field that includes former Gov. Sarah Palin, Santa Claus, current and former officeholders, and dozens of others,” the Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday.

“The number of candidates is more than twice the number seen in any other primary in Alaska history, and greater than the number of mushers who ran this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race,” the newspaper said.

Mrs. Palin’s decision has provided some buzzy buzz for the news media; here’s a few sample headlines from the last 48 hours:

“Palin’s unexpected bid jolts Alaska” (Politico); “Palin’s House bid comes after meeting with Donald Trump” (Fox News); “Social media buzz: Sarah Palin, Will Smith, March Madness” (Bloomberg News); “Sarah Palin wants to move to D.C.” (The Washingtonian); “Sarah Palin announces congressional run after decade-long break” (The Daily Beast); and “Sarah Palin seeks return to national politics by launching bid for House seat” (NBC News).


The Democratic Party faces considerable pushback from the Republicans, but progressives are confronting the Democratic Party as well, however — this according to Our Revolution.

The grassroots-funded progressive political organizing group was founded by Sen. Bernie Sanders when the Vermont independent and self-described democratic socialist made a bid for the White House in the 2016 Democratic primaries.

“Our Revolution and other grassroots leaders within the Democratic National Committee are launching a push to make a more inclusive, transparent, and democratic party,” the organization said in a lengthy, detailed overview of future plans.

“Ultimately, a democratic party requires a reversal of the Democratic National Committee’s top-down power structure — driven by a greedy consultant class and corporate elites intent on undermining the progress we’ve made to empower the grassroots,” the organization said.

A “reform group” is already in the making.

“People think of the Democratic National Committee as something for party elites, insiders, and consultants. But it is and should be made up of people who get elected up from the grassroots,” said Jane Kleeb — chairwoman of the Nebraska Democratic Party and an Our Revolution board member — during a national organizing call last week.

“It can’t all be consultants trading contracts,” she said.

These dynamics are constantly unfolding, so stay tuned.


This is not likely to please the White House. The Republican National Committee is monitoring how many times President Biden visits his Delaware homes in Greenville or Rehoboth Beach on weekends, rather than remaining at the White House. The two homes are 111 miles and 121 miles, respectively from the nation’s capital.

Indeed, Mr. Biden was in Wilmington on Saturday and stopped by the Port of Wilmington to commission the USS Delaware in the process.

“Inflation is at a 40-year high, the southern border is out of control, and families can’t afford to put gas in their cars, yet Joe Biden left for the 31st vacation of his presidency. If President Biden wants to vacation this much, he should consider retirement,” Republican National Committee spokesperson Nathan Brand said in a written statement.

“He has spent all or part of 110 days in Delaware during his presidency,” Mr. Brand noted.

But wait. What about Camp David — a 200-acre presidential retreat located 62 miles from the nation’s capital. A recent Newsweek analysis said Mr. Biden had visited the spot a dozen times during his first year in office.

“Known formally as the Naval Support Facility Thurmont, Camp David is the President’s country residence. Located in Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland, Camp David has offered every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt an opportunity for solitude and tranquility, as well as an ideal place to work and host foreign leaders,” notes a formal description of the site from the White House itself.

There’s a substantial “presidential cabin,” along with a dozen guest cottages and “Laurel Lodge,” which includes three conference rooms, a dining room, and a small presidential office, according to the White House Historical Association.

Activities to be had include hiking, horseback riding, jogging, tennis, basketball, horseshoes, skeet shooting and mountain biking. There is a helicopter pad, movie theater, game room, pool table, bowling alley, fitness center, and library — plus a fleet of golf carts for low-key touring.


House Republican Whip Steve Scalise joined Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo to discuss President Biden’s decision to release millions of barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to counter an emerging energy crisis that includes burdensome prices for the nation’s drivers.

Mr. Scalise is not happy.

“Here we go again. President Biden is raiding our nation’s security blanket for disasters and using it to just try to bail out his failed policies,” the Louisiana Republican told Ms. Bartiromo on Saturday.

“It’s no surprise that prices keep going up because it’s President Biden, not Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has shut down production in America,” Mr. Scalise said, noting that Mr. Biden has not approved a new permit for any kind of oil and gas pipeline in the U.S. or new leases to export liquid natural gas to “our friends” around the world.

“Do you wonder why prices keep going up?” Mr. Scalise asked.


• 41% of U.S. adults blame “the Biden administration’s economic policies” for the rise in gas prices;

• 24% overall blame the war in Ukraine and the resulting sanctions on Russia;

• 14% overall blame oil companies ‘charging more”;

• 5% overall cite the rise in demand for gas results from “the pandemic ease”;

• 6% overall don’t know or have no opinion about the issue.

SOURCE: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,462 U.S. adults conducted March 24-28.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.