A few days ago, I frothed at the mouth over reports that Palin’s campaign had promoted her as Wasila’s “first christian mayor.” Thankfully, I now have to reduce the outrage level to hypothetical frothing at the mouth. While it’s still an incredibly nasty smear, it’s also unclear whether she ever made it. While the Times article that I originally linked to made it sound as if the claim was part of Palin’s campaign against incumbent mayor Stein, both the Seattle Times and the Anchorage Daily News make it sound as if the quotation came from a television program broadcast after Palin’s election. They also report that Stein responded in the Wasila paper after the election was over–circumstantial evidence that the claim wasn’t made until after her election.
None of this strictly contradicts the Times’ account being true, but both the sources that I mentioned seem more detailed, while neither repeats the Times’ version of events, so it would be unfair to assume that Palin or her surrogates made the “first christian mayor” claim as part of their campaign. That’s all for the best, because it’s a nasty campaign tactic.
Interestingly, I’m not sure if anyone has really picked up this story–all I can find are syndications of the original article, then these two followups. Not a lot of commentary, so I don’t know if we’ll find out whether and how the incident happened.