Hillary Clinton's former strategist, Mark Penn believes that the mainstream media is ashcanning its credibility. This morning's piece in the Sunday New York Times certainly supports his thesis. Here's the headline. "Throughout her career, Ms. Palin has pursued vendettas, fired officials who crossed her and blurred the line between government and personal grievance."
Here are the problems. First, the article doesn't deliver what it promises. Jen Rubin at Commentary deconstructs it. Having scoured Alaska, they have found some peole who don't like here, including a number that she fired. Executives who are trying to cut costs sometimes have to fire people. Executives who are trying to challenge an entrenched system too focused on the interests of politicians and their cronies will clear out the old team and bring in a new one. Those on the outs won't be happy. Much of what is reported is either the opinion of Palin opponents or hearsay.
This is not to say that nothing in the article is true or that there exists nothing that might reflect poorly on Sarah Palin. If we look exhaustively into the background of anyone, we can find enough to write a damning article. None of us are perfect. None of us always behaves in the way that we would want to.
But there is nothing in the article - even if everything in it can be taken at face value - that establishes that personal vendettas or an improper form of secrecy are characteristic of the Palin administrations.
And it can't be taken at face value because, quite frankly, the New York Times has no credibility when it comes to this election. Correct me if I am wrong, but it has not written an article headlined "Obama's career characterized by cooperation with the Chicago machine, association with the far left and the failure to take a stand on difficult issues." There is enough of all of that in Obama's record to write such a piece. There was no article captioned "Biden's career characterized by plagarism, polemical attacks on judicial nominees and cozy relationship with credit card companies." There is sufficient grist for that mill as well.
All in all, I think that Palin's claim about her record hold up well. Obviously, her efforts to put it in the best possible light sometimes result in exaggeration. I am not sure I know of a politician about whom that claim can be made. But she did kill the Bridge to Nowhere even if she once supported it. She did substantially reduce earmark requests even if she did not eliminate them entirely. She did cut state spending and she did take on both the oil industry and the Republican establishment.
Obama and the Democrats say that they have a better set of policy proposals than the McCain/Palin. If they really believe this and really want to move beyond what they call "Karl Rove" politics (by which, I take it, they mean unfair negative campaigning), it might be time to run on those ideas rather than contempt for the GOP nominee for Vice President.