When Sarah Palin was announced as John McCain’s running mate, President Bush said that she “had the executive appearance and that’s what it takes to be a capable person…in the executive branch.” But like Bush’s own vice president, it’s not clear that Palin would consider herself to be part of the executive branch.
The Hill reports that it inquired with both Joseph Biden and Sarah Palin about whether they would consider themselves to be part of the executive branch in the next administration. The Hill’s Kevin Bogardus reports, “Sen. Biden (Del.) believes the office he is seeking is solely in the executive branch, according to his staff. But aides to Alaska Gov. Palin did not answer the question”:
[A] spokesman for the Republican presidential campaign did not answer the question. Instead, he e-mailed remarks Palin gave at a campaign rally in Golden, Colo., on Monday.
Palin did not say what branch of government she believes the vice president’s office is part of in those remarks. Instead, Palin said she and Republican presidential nominee John McCain had discussed what responsibilities she would take on as his second-in-command.
Dick Cheney, and his chief aide David Addington, have repeatedly tried to argue that the vice president is not part of the executive branch. Cheney, who has referred to his office as “a unique creature,” has tried to exempt himself from a presidential executive order designed to safeguard classified national security information.
Already, Palin’s handling the “Troopergate” probe has demonstrated a striking resemblance to Cheney’s penchant for secrecy. Palin is thwarting both a state legislature probe and a state Personnel Board investigation into the ethics scandal. Like the Bush White House, she is claiming “executive privilege” on e-mails from personal accounts. And just yesterday, her husband Todd Palin — following in the footsteps of Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten — said thanks but no thanks to a subpoena demanding he appear before the state Senate Judiciary Committee.