Palin: Obama shouldn't have spent political capital to rename McKinley

Palin: Obama shouldn't have spent political capital to rename McKinley
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Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) on Sunday criticized President Obama for taking time out of his schedule to change the name of Mount McKinley to Denali.

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“I think a lot of the criticism is just that Obama would spend the time, the effort, the political capital even on such a thing when the Middle East is a tinderbox, our economy still sucks,” Palin said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“So many things are going wrong right now under his purview, and yet he would make it a big, darn deal to come up here and rename a mountain.”

Palin said she preferred the name of North America’s highest peak remain unchanged, but acknowledged that Alaskans are divided on the issue.

“I have one niece named McKinley, another niece named Denali -- that’s indicative of kind of the split of Alaskans of whether it should be referred to as McKinley or Denali,” Palin said.

“I thought that was good enough, McKinley, the highest peak in North America,” she said. “I thought we could keep that name McKinley.”

The 20,310-foot peak was first named Mount McKinley in 1896, after President William McKinley of Ohio. But local Alaskans have always referred to it as Denali, and had sought a name change for decades.