Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 21, 2011

The Washingtyon Post awards a "Worst Week in Washington" award every Sunday. This past week it went to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Why? Well, the paper mentioned that she's slid in the polls lately. It cited a Post-ABC News poll that shows her approval rating among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents below 60% for the first time ever.

That's a slide, all right. The Post also cites a growing willingness among GOP activists to say out loud what they have long felt privately-- that she can't win in 2012. I don't know. Palin burst on the national scene in 2008 as John McCain's running-mate. That's a couple of years after I retired as a reporter, but I always felt that for those still in the news business she was the gift that keeps on giving--you never knew what she'd say next, but it would probably make pretty good copy.

Now a story about somebody who won something. Amtrak has renamed its Wilmington, Delaware, station after former Delaware senator Joe Biden, now, of course, Vice President. There's a reason. Biden served in the Senate for 36 years. Shortly after his election in 1972, his wife and baby daughter were killed in a car accident. He decided he wanted his two sons to grow up in Delaware, not Washington.

So, for thirty-six years he rode the train to Washington every morning and back to Wilmington every night. I rode with him once years ago when we were doing a profile. He was on first-name terms with every brakeman, every conductor, every Amtrak employee on the train. Why wouldn't he be?

So Biden and Palin are in the news this week as a winner and a loser. It's kind of like 2008, I guess.

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