Sarah is making the most of what’s left of her remaining moments in the spotlight.
The previously unknown state governor is using her hockey mom hoopla VP candidate exposure to seemingly promote tourism in Alaska. Or is tourism all her huge direct mail campaign is about? My first thought was, “Why would Sarah Palin be sending an invite down here to the balmy South Mississippi gulf coast inviting me to Alaska less than two weeks after the election?” As I write this it is 12 degrees F. in Wasilla and will be 9 degrees tonight and winter is just getting underway up there. It is in the upper 60’s here and locals out on our golf courses are talking about how chilly it is.
The nice off white envelope with the Official State Seal comes directly from the “Office of the Governor of Alaska,” not from the Alaska Division of Tourism. Searching for the Alaska Division of Tourism’s web sent me to the Alaska Travel Industry Association’s website which has Sarah’s photo and her welcome. Sarah tells us that, Alaska is different from every other destination in the world. Sure is, Sarah. And every other destination in the world is different from every other destination in the world. Duh.
Inside the envelope from the Gov’s office is a tear-off return postage paid card for a FREE travel guide. Unforgettable Alaska memories include a dog sled ride and a mother moose and her calf. Personally, I have all the memories of a moose mom I will ever need. On the back of the mail-in card are, Questions to help you plan your Alaska vacation, and include, Do you have children at home? Highest level of education attained? and What is your age? While these questions may somehow help find you that perfect igloo with a nice view of Russia, such information, along with your email address and telephone number, would be awful handy to have to cross-check against voter rolls.
Again, why is Sarah Palin mass mailing my neighborhood in the deep South? At this point I started to wonder if these invites only went to Red States? Curiouser and curiouser is the fact that the return card with all your info on it is not sent to the Alaska Division of Tourism in Anchorage, but to “ALASKA, Vacation Information Distribution Center, Portland Oregon, 97208-9807. Portland, Oregon? Sarah seems to have outsourced Joe the Junketplanner’s job to the lower 48. But the ad copy on all the direct mail pieces was clearly written in Alaska, probably by Governor Sarah, or perhaps her husband? The tear apart card, below has more deathless copy offering a “virtual guarantee” you will get a travel guide before they are all snapped up:
I rushed to scan the envelope, card and letter for this article so I could get the card off for my FREE official Alaska travel guide because Sara’s note tells me that Previous editions have disappeared quickly. I bet they haven’t disappeared, Sarah, they are probably still all down in Portland, Oregon. But I am dying to get my copy because Sarah tells me that it is a really dandy thing to have, and starts off her letter to me:
Dear Neighbor, (Neighbor?)
As Governor of Alaska, I am pleased to tell you about a very special offer: now you can receive an official Alaska travel guide-absolutely FREE. This isn’t some skimpy brochure-this is a full-color publication, as bold and exciting as Alaska.
That sold me, because I hate skimpy. The letter continues with its pitch and invites me to Just Imagine: Watchable wildlife, (as opposed to unwatchable wildlife, I guess) Clamming, Eskimo blanket toss, and lots more really neat stuff. But her pitch really stretches my imagination asking me, To learn about our comfortable weather. Nothing like clamming in comfortable weather, Sarah. I might come up if could take that tour of the world famous Alaskan “Nowhere” but I understand the bridge is still out.
[Retired journalist Larry Ray is a Texas native and former Austin television news anchor. He also posts at The iHandbill.]