March 23rd, 2011

Salmon’s Palin Moment: Seeking Stability At The Auditor’s Office By Vacating Same

by Philip Baruth

Lord knows we try here at VDB to be a sober and cautious observer of the political scene, measured, magisterial even in our detachment. Far be it from us either to jump, or to prematurely fire, a gun of any sort. And yet, what to do when faced with noteworthy gun-jumping by prominent politicians? Should we avoid comment and allow the comic moment to pass, thus rendering ourselves inert at best, comedically impotent at worst?

Perish the thought. What the hell are we talking about? Auditor Tom Salmon, folks, now in the process of baiting Bernie Sanders about a run for the US Senate.

As you know, Salmon waited only weeks after re-election to announce that he would not seek re-election. And having announced an exploratory committee, he’s now publicly demanding a spending cap from Bernie’s camp, which is odd coming from someone merely exploring a run. Should a sitting US Senator negotiate a spending cap with a guy who won’t say he’s running and who tells national media that such a run might, in fact, be “a waste of his talents”? In two words, probably not.

An odd non-roll-out, to say the least, the oddest part of which is the interview Salmon gave to WCAX about his non-intentions. Give it a listen, because like most Salmon dialogues, it’s strangely disconnected, full of unpredictable pauses and orphaned phrases.

But the very oddest moment of that odd interview? Salmon’s up-is-down answer to a question about leaving the Auditor’s office. We rush to quote, because it’s a thing of beauty:

WCAX Anchor: You’re not running for Auditor, you’ve said you’re considering a run for higher office . . . Mr. Salmon, are you running for US Senate or Vermont Governor?

Salmon: Well, as I had said before, the first thing was that I was not running for re-election, and that was mainly for the stabilization of the office — the Auditor’s office is very important to me . . .

Correct VDB if in fact VDB is wrong, but it sounds as though the Auditor is seeking to stabilize the Auditor’s office primarily by removing himself from the top of the organizational chart. A novel strategy, but not unprecedented: you’ll remember Sarah Palin “progressed Alaska” by trading in her Governor’s chair for a gig at Fox News.

To each his or her own. Far be it from VDB to raise an eyebrow. Wicked far.