Wasilla: why scale matters

I’m watching an absurd discussion on Newhour with Jim Lehrer. A supposedly serious question is posed to an Alaskan writer: “What can you tell us about her achievements on the city council and then as mayor?” There was no real answer to that, as might be expected. Sarah Palin was mayor of a small town, and more recently governor of a physically vast state, with very few people and an extremely simple economy based on oil extraction.

When I was involved with Davos some of the invited public figures were presidents or prime ministers of small countries. It rapidly became apparent that rising to the top of the political establishment in, say, Bermuda, is not equivalent to rising to the top of the political establishment in a country of more than 66,000 people (Bermuda’s population). There were highly targeted issues where the Bermudan prime minister might have heft — the re-insurance industry, for example — but outside that it was like meeting the mayor of a smallish town.

Scale counts.

One thought on “Wasilla: why scale matters

  1. Art Schankler

    As noted, she comes from a state with a simple economy. I understand that she recently raised extraction taxes on the oil companies and used the money to give more relief to Alaskans so that they could afford higher fuel costs. Nice idea – think McCain will endorse the idea nationally? I don’t think so. Or will the impact simply be higher fuel costs for the rest of the country?

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