Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Campaign 08: New Pardon Standards for Palin

The Anchorage Daily News suggests that the following question be asked of Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin:
Sen. Ted Stevens' trial is still pending; he has declined to say whether he would accept a pardon from President Bush before he leaves office Jan. Do Alaska voters deserve an answer to that question before they cast their vote for or against Stevens in November? What is your position on a president pardoning a public official before a jury has ruled on guilt or innocence?
The logic, of course, is that we (the American people) need/deserve to know how Palin feels about these matters - even though she will not have the pardon power as vice-president. No, she is just one step away from the presidency, so we must see what kind of president she would be and how she would use the pardon power and for whom.

Which raises this obvious question: Where were all of the questions about the use of the pardon power for Al Gore, who was a vice-presidential candidate in 1992 and 1996 and a presidential candidate in 2000? Did anyone ever ask him about the Marc Rich pardon, or a dozen others, which were granted when he was vice-president, a mere heartbeat from the presidency? Did anyone ask him any specific questions about specific cases in the aftermath of one of the greatest pardon scandals in history? PardonPower certainly welcomes this new level of scrutiny/prurient interest in pardons. But we also hope that it is a consistent, rather than intermittent, feature of the press. See story here.

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