Sarah Palin's vacation irks Oregon congressman; Michele Bachmann's camp says Palin's not serious
Sarah Palin's "One Nation" tour has gotten under the skin of more than just junior high school history teachers. An Oregon Democrat is crying foul at the way the National Park Service appears to be bending over backward to provide special treatment for Palin and her family as they tour historic landmarks and visit state parks. He wants an investigation.
"I opened my paper this morning to hear about cutbacks in state parks around this country,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer told ABC News on Tuesday. "We have a serious backlog of maintenance in the National Park Service. And it looks like Sarah Palin’s little political cavalcade gets this amazing VIP treatment -- I’m scratching my head. If it’s a private family vacation, what in the world are we doing getting people in with preferential early admission and having an entourage of public employees? It looks like a political stunt, and Palin Inc. ought to pay for it."
A Park Service spokesman told the news organization that it recognizes that Palin is neither an elected official nor a candidate; they opened up the park early for her family and provided special tours just as they would "for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie."
"She got the vice presidential thing handed to her, she didn't go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance, she gave up her governorship," Bachmann's top consultant said.
When asked about the former Alaska governor in late May, Bachmann was more diplomatic than her adviser, saying the two conservatives were friends.
"I compare myself to Barack Obama. Not to any of the other Republican candidates," Bachman told ABC's George Stephanopoulos when he asked the Minnesota congresswoman what sets her apart from Palin.
"First of all, I want to say I like Sarah Palin a lot. We’re friends and I don’t consider her a competitor. I consider her a friend. But my comparison ultimately is to Barack Obama,” Bachmann said.
-- Tony Pierce
Photo: File photos show former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, left, in California on Feb. 4. and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in Washington March 31. They are two conservative political rock stars who can work a room and galvanize a crowd, and both are flirting with a run for the White House. Some pundits have noted that both Palin, 47, and Bachmann, 55, boast good looks, conservative family values and a strong Christian faith -- similarities suggesting they may cancel each other out in a showdown. Credit: AFP PHOTO / FILES / ROBYN BECK / MANDEL NGAN