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Cutting to the Core

Palin one step closer to becoming President

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Cartoon by Wright

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin moved closer to realizing her dreams of ascending to the nation's highest office this past weekend when Maurice Clemmons murdered four police officers in Tacoma.

I say she moves closer to the White House because it was former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee that commuted Clemons' sentence back in 2000. That action eventually led to Clemmons being released on parole.

For those who haven't watched television or read any news websites, this is what has happened.

Apparently, Clemmons committed robbery and theft in 1989 when the guy was just 17-years-old. For his crimes Clemmons received a 108-year prison sentence. Wow! That's a huge sentence. It now turns out that he deserved every single one of those 108 years but who could possibly have known that?

When Huckabee was governor of Arkansas he commuted Clemmons' sentence from 108 years to 57 years. Now that doesn't seem unreasonable, does it? Fifty-seven years is still a long prison sentence for robbery and theft charges. But apparently the commutation was enough for the parole board in Arkansas to release Clemmons after he had served 15 years.

It should have been a wonderful day for Clemmons. Here he was, a man sentenced to life in prison one minute, free the next. He could have done great things with his life. Instead, he chose to follow a life path that saw him returned to prison in Arkansas, charged with child rape in Washington and eventually the murder of four police officers this past Sunday.

He was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer yesterday.

Huckabee's political career is now over. This past weekend's events has even opened up more scrutiny on his more than 1,000 commutations he allowed in his 10-years in office as governor.

But should this ruin his political career? I know that all the harm Clemmons has done since 2004 can be traced back to his sentence being commuted but should old Huck be blamed for that?

I don't know the answer to that, but I do know he will be blamed. Already people are calling this incident Huck's Willie Horton. He will bear this albatross for the rest of his life, deserving or not. He's done!

So, how does this help Palin?

Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Palin are the top three names being thrown around for the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. Since Huck is out, that leaves Romney and Palin.

Romney is my man. I like the guy. Heck, I probably would have voted for him if he would have been given the nod in 2008. I would have had to let his support of the Iraq War go, but I might have been able to do that. Probably not, but you never know.

But Romney wasn't made the Republican nominee in 2008 for one reason and one reason only. And it's not even a good reason. The conservative Republicans, the GOP's base, wouldn't give Romney the nod because of his Mormon faith.

Conservative Republicans still hold an unhealthy prejudice against members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And as long as a majority of the GOP's base believes Mormons are a threat to Christianity, no Mormon will ever hold the top spot in the White House.

This leaves us with Sarah Palin, the former Wasilla mayor who served two years as Alaska's governor before quitting.

I'm calling it now! December 2, 2009, I made the call that Palin will be the Republican nominee for President of the United States in 2012.

God help us all.

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