Sarah and Scoop - Unpresidential History

pali.jpg But she's no Scoop Jackson

Not that the Left side of the state will be as excited about it as the Right side. But Idaho-born, Alaska-reared Sarah Palin is the first presidential-ticket aspirant with Washington roots since Scoop Jackson.

Palin’s father and mother are from the Tri-Cities – mom Sally is scheduled to attend her 50th Richland (nee Columbia) High School class reunion this week – while Palin’s aunt and other relatives still live in the shadow of the Hanford atomic works, where Palin’s grandfather Clem was employed in the 1940s.

(Palin's family is still expanding said the mother of five in announcing, on Labor Day, that her 17-year-old unwed daughter is five months pregnant; daughter clearly didn't listen to mom, who advocates sex abstinence rather than sex ed for teens).

The Tri-City Herald says that Chuck Heath, the GOP veep pick’s father, attended Columbia Basin College in Pasco before he and his wife moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, where Palin was born in 1964 (the Heaths then went off to Alaska where dad was a teacher). A Palin uncle was also a Tri-Cities district court judge.

Yes, a pathetic attempt at bragging rights for Washingtonians with an anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-evolutionary bent. But it is at least a footnote to modern White House campaign history short on Evergreen mentions. Legendary politicians we’ve had – in particular Senators Warren G. Magnuson and Henry M. Jackson (Maggie and Scoop). But only conservative Dem Jackson made a serious run for the White House, unsuccessfully, in 1972 (George McGovern got the party nod, then was crushed by Richard Nixon) and 1976 (Scoop, whose opponents included Frank Church of Idaho, won the New York and other primaries but Jimmy Carter won the nomination and the election, then, poof, was gone in four).

Ex-Gov. Dan Evans was seriously considered in 1976 as the veep to Republican loser Gerald Ford but Bob Dole got that thankless job. Still, at least two Washingtonians have had a memorable impact in the White House – or have you forgotten John Ehrlichman – one half of Nixon’s “Berlin Wall” - and Egil Krogh, he of the White House Plumbers.

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