Will a Loss Sic 'Pit Bull' Palin on Critics?

From the campaign trail, Palin also hurt her relationship with the some legislators over the "Troopergate" scandal, surrounding her firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Her handling of the investigation became perhaps one of the more damaging chapters in her short run for vice president.

In July, Palin pledged cooperation with the legislature's bipartisan probe into her office, but she did an about-face after joining the GOP ticket, launching legal and public relations assaults on the probe, and attacking Democratic legislators she had previously worked with to pass legislation.

That report concluded she had violated state ethics law; Palin said it "vindicated" her. Either way, there's a lot of rebuilding for her to do, say legislative sources.

And Troopergate isn't over for Palin, either. Later this year, she can expect to be hit with the findings of a second investigation – a probe she herself ordered up, after attempting to discredit the legislature's inquiry. If the probe, by the state Personnel Board, reaches conclusions similar to the earlier probe, it could bring further tarnish to the governor's reputation.

The Man at the Center of Troopergate

One thorn in Palin's side who isn't worried about retaliation: Walt Monegan, the man at the center of the Troopergate brouhaha. "No," he said when asked recently if he was concerned Palin might seek revenge for his public comments about the governor. Monegan's suggestion that his firing may have been personally motivated set off the chain of events which led to the Troopergate probes; he has repeatedly contradicted Palin's version of events leading up to his firing in press accounts.

"If she had gotten elected to vice president -- I was kidding around that I could end up on the no-fly list," Monegan said. "But maybe she comes back with a little more broader view of what it takes to be a leader."

"A lot of successful leaders, it's necessary to fail before you can win," Monegan explained. "Perhaps that will broaden her understanding and compassion a little more."

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