Juneau, Alaska – When Sarah Palin returned to her job as Governor of Alaska earlier this month, following her star turn as Republican Vice Presidential candidate, many in the political world expected she might find a changed landscape. She had been the tough-talking spokeswoman for the far right of her party and had upset several people with whom she had a respectful working relationship prior to the election.
Two groups in particular have apparently turned on Palin since she ran on the Republican ticket with John McCain: wolves and moose. Palin’s approval rating among the two groups has dropped some 52%, from 71% before the election season to just 19% this week. Many wolves and moose say they respected Palin early on, but after the way they were treated during the campaign, everything changed.
“I’m just not happy with the way we were thrown about — used, if you will, in the campaign,” said Harvey Moose, who voted for Palin for governor. “I used to love her. I really did. But making a point of hunting us, making stew out of us. ‘Oh, I love moose stew.’ I mean, come on. That’s my cousin you’re talking about. He was probably in that stew. You know. Just disrespectful. It really turned me off.”
Allan Wolf, a younger Alaska native, said that Palin’s treatment of wolves was even worse than that of moose. “I have to say, I didn’t know she supported such a thing as hunting us from airplanes,” Allan said. “Now that I know that, how could I possibly support her? She wants to shoot me. From a plane. From the ground. She doesn’t care. From anywhere. You know, it’s tough to vote for someone who uses you as target practice. It just is.”
Insiders say it will be tough for Palin to regain the support of the two groups, even if she were to make large gestures to court their approval. “It’s going to be very, very tough,” said an aide to Palin, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly. “I mean, you say you kill and eat a certain constituency, it’s likely to be tough to get that constituency back. That’s a rule of politics. I think Nixon said, back when he lost to Kennedy, ‘I never should have said I would eat the Italians.’ And he lost that whole vote. So it goes to show you.”