Palin for VA She seems eager

first_imgFormer Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. File photo by Gage Skidmore – WikimediaThe Donald Trump transition team hasn’t named a Veterans Affairs secretary yet, but news broke today that ex-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is vying for the job.Listen NowSeveral news outlets, including ABC, NBC and the New York Times, report Palin is interested in running the Department of Veterans Affairs and is under consideration. The news accounts cite unnamed aides close to Palin and the Trump team.Palin acknowledged the reports on Facebook and Twitter. She posted a link to the ABC story, and reposted a video of her speaking about veterans. It begins with accolades from her son-in-law, Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer.“The amazing woman that I’m introducing knows what veterans have been through,” he says on the video. “She knows because she’s lived it.”Palin’s son Track is an Army veteran who served in Iraq in 2008. At campaign rallies for Trump, and at national conservative conferences, she has repeatedly spoken about vets’ issues. In one, Palin criticizes VA bureaucracy, which she says is killing vets, and she offers a three-point plan to help.“First, with healthcare: Give vouchers for treatment outside the VA,” she says in a 2015 speech, which she used as the foundation for a video to promote SarahPAC, her political action committee.That seems to be the approach Congress took with the VA Choice card. But vets, particularly in Alaska, complain the program adds more layers of bureaucracy.Palin’s second suggestion was to make it easier for skilled vets to get civilian jobs.“Let them use the skills they learned in the military,” she says on the video. “Let them test out, and their military certification can transfer over. Common sense.”That common sense has occurred to others, too. It’s the aim of multiple laws and government programs, stretching back years. Palin’s third point was that Congress should secure veterans benefits and not cut them.Last year, Palin told CNN she wanted to be Trump’s Energy secretary.“Because energy is my baby. Oil and gas and minerals – those things that God has dumped on this part of the Earth for mankind’s use,” she said in that interview.Palin’s name has also been floated as a possible secretary of the Interior, the department that manages most federal lands and regulates oil and gas development. But another governor is said to be on the short list for Interior – Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.Sen. Dan Sullivan, who sits on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, served as Alaska Attorney General under Palin. Sullivan spokesman Mike Anderson says in Alaska, with the highest number of vets per capita, the VA job is critical.“Sen. Sullivan has much respect for Gov. Palin and believes our state would be well-served with an Alaskan serving in President-elect Trump’s cabinet,” Anderson said.Palin may have a champion in Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist. In 2011, Bannon made a two-hour movie lauding the former Alaska governor for her guts in taking on the establishment.But it’s not clear Palin is the favorite for the job. Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts has been spotted in the lobby at Trump Tower, and he told reporters he thinks he’s the best candidate for VA secretary.last_img

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