Sarah Palin’s Nanny State

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 11 2011 @ 5:12pm

by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

I noticed that in Palin's quote about the initial Newsweek cover, she says that "The Runner's World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness – a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation." (Italics mine.) Not that this should be surprising, but how laughable is this quote in light of her attacks on Michelle Obama's health and fitness initiatives and fierce defense of children's right to eat junk food? Sarah would never put her own politics above the good of the United States – especially on a subject that is "critically important" – would she?

(Her jabs at the First Lady aren't the only examples. Remember Palin's grandstanding with a plate of cookies in response to a false report that the Pennsylvania Board of Education was banning sweets from schoolchildren? She deemed Pennsylvania a "nanny state run amok.")

To be fair to Palin, she isn't calling for a government program to fight obesity, so her soft-power promotion of fitness through a TV show and magazine profiles, rather than taxpayer dollars, is consistent with her anti-nannyism. But that's simply because she's not in power anymore; check out this press release she sent out seven months before leaving office:

Governor Sarah Palin today announced her goals to improve Alaska’s health and education through fiscal year 2010 budget requests, the formation of a health care commission, support for legislation and an informational campaign to help Alaskans take better care of their own health.

Governor Palin put a priority on children’s health and development. “Children are the most valuable resource in Alaska,” she said. “We have to do more to support health coverage and health care, because it plays such a big role in a child’s success in school, and in life. Our state agencies are partnering to better equip Alaskans to lead healthier lives and to meet health care needs across the state.” Governor Palin called for increased coverage of Alaska’s children under Denali KidCare, state funding to reverse childhood obesity […] and a statewide initiative called Live Well Alaska. The interactive web-based campaign will provide the best recommendations for eating healthier, being more physically active and quitting tobacco use.

Sounds mighty similar to this press release.