The campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., likes to herald the independence of its new running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which, since the 1970s, has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.

And while McCain’s motto — as seen in a new TV ad — is “Country First,” the AIP’s motto is the exact opposite — “Alaska First — Alaska Always.”

Here’s the video of an address she gave (taped) for the AIP convention this year.

While I’m sure our friends over at The Ohio Republic undoubtedly find this interesting, I’m not sure this is the kind of association that plays well when you’re running for national office.

McCain really stepped in it on this one. There was obviously zero vetting done before announcing this pick. If McCain is this reckless when it comes to perhaps the single most important hiring decision he’ll ever make, why would anyone ever feel comfortable with him as CiC?