But as far as the little stuff goes -- that apparently wasn't Palin's forte.
"The little stuff is what kills you in this business," Bitney said.
The little stuff is what Bitney pays attention to, something lawmakers appreciated -- and missed when Palin fired him.
Bitney says it was because he had an affair with a woman who was married to a friend of the Palins, a woman he later married.
"As such, I don't like to talk about it in a lot of detail," he said.
Lawmakers eventually learned the details and weren't happy that Bitney's colleague, Christopher Clark had also been let go.
"It was sad," Clark said. "And it was stunning and shocking. We had a good session and thought we had done good work for her."
Lawmakers were fond of Clark as well as Bitney and thought their teamwork helped to compensate for some of Palin's shortcomings.
"I don't think that in many ways she had a true understanding of the Legislature's role," House Minority Leader Beth Kertula, D-Juneau, said.
When Palin's chief of staff Mike Tibbles departed, legislative leaders like Sen. Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage, lost confidence in Palin.
"Those were big losses, because those were the people who were the most competent in dealing with government, with the Legislature, with the various branches of government," said Ellis, the Senate majority leader. "They were the ones that spoke the language and were fluent in governance."
Some lawmakers tied the loss of Tibbles to Troopergate. They suspected he might have tried to stop Palin from firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, which was handled by his replacement.
"People need to be let go with dignity," Bitney said. "It wasn't well explained so it left a lot conjecture as to what's going on."
Some of the conjecture was that the firing was all about personal business.
When lawmakers investigated Monegan's removal, some were disturbed to hear Monegan say that Todd Palin pressured him to fire his brother in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten.
"So it did teach people about the governor maybe not having the line between the personal politics and the professionalism that might have served her better," Ellis said.
"Troopergate preceded her national run, and it cost her a great deal of credibility with the Legislature," Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, said.
Hawker says no one questioned the Palins' argument that Wooten's actions were questionable, but the Palins' handling of the matter raised serious doubts.
"We clearly had members of her staff making strong public statements and denials, then discovering there's a 20-minute recording that proved them to be not speaking with the whole truth," Hawker said, referring to a taped phone conversation between Frank Bailey, the director of Boards and Commissions, and Lt. Rodney Dial, an Alaska State Trooper.
The Troopergate drama intensified when Palin was tapped as Sen. John McCain's running mate. The campaign responded with a so-called "truth squad and accused Monegan of "egregious insubordination."
It didn't help that the rhetoric of the campaign clashed with the Palin that lawmakers knew. Until she ran for vice president, Palin was a moderate who reached out to Democrats who in turn helped her win key victories.
Kerttula worked closely with Palin early in her administration, but that changed when Kerttula told the national news media Palin wasn't ready to be president.
"I think instead of rolling with the politics, because it's just politics, things became much more personal," Kerttula said. "We were unable to continue to work like we did in the past. That's too bad. That's not good for Alaska. That's a shame."
During the last session it was clear the relationship had reached a dead end when Sen. Kim Elton resigned and Juneau Democrats asked Palin to appoint Kerttula to fill the seat.
Palin angered both Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature when she continued to nominate Democrats unacceptable to the party.