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Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska, and a hugely popular one, with approval ratings hovering in the 90 percent range. She was even discussed as a potential VP pick for McCain.

Or, that used to be the case, as her administration is rocked by revelations that she and her family used the governor's office to carry out a vendetta against a policeman who was a former brother in-law, up to firing the public safety commissioner because he wouldn't fire the trooper. The top wingnut radio host in the state, a huge fan, has turned on the governor big-time, declaring her a one-term governor. The Republican-dominated state legislature is talking investigations. For a state party rocked by scandal, who had seen Palin as a savior -- clean and new, this abuse of power scandal has to be crushing.

Palin doesn't face the voters for another two years, but this scandal has more immediate aftershocks.

We all want Rep. Don Young in the general, as his years of corruption have caught up to him. Polls are showing that Alaskans want change, and Democrats are poised to pick up the seat. Threatening those plans are a competitive Republican primary, as the GOP desperately tries to oust Young and replace him with a less tarnished name.

Lucky for us, two Republicans entered the fray, splitting the anti-Young vote. But one of those two was a top contender -- Lt. Governor Sean Parnell. Can you see where this is going?

Parnell has tied his entire campaign thus far to Sarah Palin, using her popularity to boost his efforts. Today, word is that Parnell has pulled all ads with references to Palin. Her brand is mud.

Yet without her, Parnell isn't shit either. He's dead in the water. Young will win his primary in several weeks, and prove easy pickings for the Democratic nominee.

Meanwhile, Palin was considered the fallback candidate in case Stevens got indicted. She no longer looks so hot. Nor can she be an asset for Stevens, Young, or any other Republican up and down the ballot in her state. Alaska's most popular Republican has essentially been neutralized. The "popular Republican" is now extinct in Alaska.

This is an incredible turnaround. Maybe not as dramatic as Spitzer, but still shocking given her overwhelming popularity.

That must have been one hell of a bitter divorce.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05:15 PM PDT.

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