The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Palin’s Geography Lesson

In her interview with Katie Couric, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin again points to her state’s proximity to Russia as evidence of her national security cred. She

Elisa Mueller
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Sep 26, 2008

In her interview with Katie Couric, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin again points to her state’s proximity to Russia as evidence of her national security cred. She offers, “As Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.”

But a glance at a globe shows how misdirected this claim is. No flight from Moscow to Washington would go anywhere near Alaska — they fly over the Atlantic. Take a look at Delta’s flight routes to Moscow. Even flights from San Francisco go over the Atlantic:

To confirm, I plugged some numbers into MapCrow. Sure enough, the transatlantic route from Washington to Moscow is just 4,857 miles. A flight from Washington to Provideniya, Siberia (the closest Russian city to Alaska) is 4,007 miles — and then it’s an additional 3,973 miles to Moscow.

So the Palin route is nearly twice as long as the logical route.

And Palin’s claim that you can see Russia from Alaska is dubious. On a clear day, you can see one sparsely populated Russian island from one sparsely populated Alaskan island.

But it’s OK if her geography’s a little weak — Laura Bush says the GOP’s vice-presidential nominee is a quick study.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.


Pentagon Shooter Exploited Gun-Show Loophole

John Patrick Bedell, who shot and wounded two police officers near the Pentagon earlier this month, bought at least one of his 9 mm guns at a Nevada gun show,

MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals

BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks

MA-Sen: Brown Wins

BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie

MA-Sen: 66 to 19

BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary

MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown

BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to

MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown

BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,

MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’

Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of

Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of

Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket

Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.

No Experience Necessary

Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |