They’re calling it the Rumble in the Tundra. Two weeks ago the Palins, Alaska’s former first family, waded into a brawl at a party in Anchorage. Now, self-described “Mama Grizzly Bear” Sarah Palin has referred to the incident on Facebook, writing that she is “proud” of her eldest daughter Bristol, who is said to have punched the party’s host in the face during the fracas.
“I love Bristol,” wrote the erstwhile Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate. “My straight-shooter is one of the strongest young women you’ll ever meet. I have to say this as a proud mama: right up there with their work ethic and heart for those less fortunate, my kids’ defence of family makes my heart soar.”
Ms Palin and her husband Todd, both 50, and two of their five children – Bristol, 23, and Track, 25 – attended the birthday party on 6 September at the home of Chris Olds, a local celebrity and winner of the 2010 Iron Dog Snowmobile Race, an annual contest billed as “The World’s Longest, Toughest Snowmobile Race.”
Alaska blogger Amanda Coyne wrote that the fight broke out shortly after Track Palin turned up at the event in a “stretch Hummer”. Track, an Iraq War veteran, spotted an ex-boyfriend of his sister Willow, 20, among the guests, and made known his distaste for the young man. Police said “alcohol was believed to have been a factor” in the “verbal and physical altercation” that followed.
As many as 20 people are thought to have been involved in the fracas at its height, including Todd, who was reportedly left with a bloody nose, and Bristol, who is alleged to have slugged Mr Olds in the face. Ms Palin, for her part, yelled “Do you know who I am?!” when her family was asked to leave, according to witnesses.
Ms Coyne wrote: “The owner of the house gets involved, and he probably wished he hadn’t. At this point, he’s up against nearly the whole Palin tribe: Palin women screaming. Palin men thumping their chests. Word is that Bristol has a particularly strong right hook, which she employed repeatedly.” She went on, “As people were leaving in a cab, Track was seen on the street, shirtless, flipping people off, with Sarah right behind him, and Todd... tending to his bloody nose.”
Ms Palin, who hosts the show Amazing America with Sarah Palin on the Sportsman Channel, recently launched her own subscription internet service, The Sarah Palin Channel, on which she promised to tackle the “important issues facing the nation”, and to share with viewers some of the “fun” of the Palin household. A recent survey by Public Policy Polling found that more than half of Alaska voters have a negative opinion of their former Governor.
No one was arrested following the brawl, and no charges were filed against any participants. Nor were there any news reporters present, though Ms Palin criticised the “liberal” media for its coverage, writing in her Facebook post, “my extended family have experienced so many things (liberal media-driven) that may have crushed others without a strong foundation of faith, and I’m thankful for our friends’ prayer shield that surrounds them, allowing faith to remain their anchor.”Reuse content