Quotes of the day

“Her growing cast of advisers and support system could be working in the service of any number of goals: a presidential run, a de facto role as the leader of the Tea Party movement, a lucrative career as a roving media entity — or all of the above. Ms. Palin represents a new breed of unelected public figure operating in an environment in which politics, news media and celebrity are fused as never before. Whether she ever runs for anything else, Ms. Palin has already achieved a status that has become an end in itself: access to an electronic bully pulpit, a staff to guide her, an enormous income and none of the bother or accountability of having to govern or campaign for office…

“‘She used to be a moderate Republican in Alaska, but I think all of these attacks have hardened her and made her absolutely more conservative,’ said John Coale, a Washington lawyer and longtime Democratic fund-raiser who helped Ms. Palin set up her political action committee…

“As she jumps more into the national political swamp, Ms. Palin is proving as divisive in Republican circles as she was within the fractious McCain campaign…

“‘I’m disappointed by her endorsement of Paul,’ said William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard and one of the conservatives credited with ‘discovering’ Ms. Palin in 2007. ‘But they always disappoint you.'”

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“Nearly 3,000 pages of e-mails that Todd Palin exchanged with state officials, which were released to msnbc.com and NBC News by the state of Alaska under its public records law, draw a picture of a Palin administration where the governor’s husband got involved in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments and passed financial information marked ‘confidential’ from his oil company employer to a state attorney…

“The still-secret e-mails between Todd Palin and senior officials reach into countless areas of state government and politics: potential board appointees, constituent complaints, use of the state jet, oil and gas production, marine regulation, gas pipeline bids, postsecondary education, wildfires, native Alaskan issues, the state effort to save the Matanuska Maid dairy, budget planning, potential budget vetoes, oil shale leasing, ‘strategy for responding to media allegations,’ staffing at the mansion, pier diem payments to the governor for travel, ‘strategy for responding to questions about pregnancy,’ potential cuts to the governor’s staff, ‘confidentiality issues,’ Bureau of Land Management land transfers and trespass issues and requests to the U.S. transportation secretary…

“‘Like many married couples, including political ‘power couples,’ it is common for a spouse to play the role of key advisor to the other spouse,’ [Palin lawyer Thomas Van Flein] wrote. ‘The Palins were no different. Todd Palin had official and unofficial duties, but one thing was clear: he was a key advisor to Governor Palin and involved in her efforts to improve the State of Alaska.'”