After stepping down on Sunday morning, Sarah Palin posted her final Twitter update to her @AKGovSarahPalin account, which had close to 125k followers. With Palin’s refusal to specifically address her post-gubernatorial plans, speculation has run rampant over what she intends to accomplish out of office. She is reportedly considering joining the ranks of the esteemed talk radio punditry.
An analysis of Palin’s Twitter activity in the weeks leading up to her final @AKGovSarahPalin update on Sunday may provide the best insight into what issue most concerns the former vice presidential nominee.
A comprehensive analysis of Palin’s last two months of Twitter updates (May 26-July 26) reveals that she mentioned energy 53 times out of 400 updates, far more than any other single issue. That is nearly 4 times as many mentions than the economy, and just short of 11 times the mentions of health care. A word cloud based on her Twitter activity reinforces the fact that Palin has been focusing her efforts on leading the GOP’s opposition to clean energy reform. Here’s a chart tracking Palin’s tweets:
Some of Palin’s energy policy insights:
Attacking Cap-and-Trade: “DC plan for Cap & Trade (huge tax) hurts AK’s potential to supply more than 20% of US energy incl nat gas pipeline, see WashPost OpEd today” 9:16 AM Jul 14th
Drill Baby Drill: “Alaska’s role is to provide domestic energy leading to less reliance on foreign sources…” 10:11 AM May 27th
Drill Baby Drill Pt. 2: “Disappointed Congress once again voted to keep Americans dependent on foreign energy by keeping ANWR closed.” 5:39 PM Jun 10th
Drill Baby Drill Pt. 3: “EIA estimates US energy consumption will INCREASE by 44% in next 20 yrs. We MUST utilize our local energy sources. http://tinyurl.com/lesekh” 3:17 PM Jun 12th
Drill Baby Drill Pt. 4: “Great comments re safe offshore drilling by Lt Gov Parnell published today, asks Interior Dept to use tools in hand to meet court’s concerns” 6:43 AM Jun 17th
As Think Progress noted recently, Newt Gingrich has been touting Palin as a conservative leader on energy issues. On July 13, Palin wrote an op-ed slamming the cap-and-trade measure as “an enormous threat to our economy,” in spite of her previous support for capping carbon emissions. And last week, MoveOn began airing ads calling Palin “the new face of Republican opposition to clean energy.” Palin continues along the same tired Republican trajectory on energy: continued dependence on fossil fuels combined with subsidies to the oil, coal, and nuclear industries.