Saturday, July 04, 2009

I don't know why Sarah Palin resigned.

I've generally avoided politics in this blog, because my family embraces a wide spectrum of strongly-held views, from my dad's devotion to Rush Limbaugh to my son's work as a field organizer for Barack Obama. Political discussions in this family never change anyone's mind, and inevitably end with all sides 1) agreeing to disagree and 2) baffled by how we wound up in the same family with such hopelessly unenlightened/unrealistic/gullible/cynical people.

That said, I gasped aloud when I walked into my credit union branch yesterday afternoon and saw the headline announcing Sarah Palin's resignation on a TV screen. Regardless of one's political affiliation, this is a true "What the hell?" moment.

Two and a half years, and she's done? Not running for reelection, so doesn't see the point of serving out her term? What about all the people who voted her in for a four-year term in 2006? If I were an Alaska voter, I'd be enraged.

Governor Palin said she didn't see the point of serving as a lame duck. I'd argue that lame ducks, especially at the state and local level, are ideally positioned to push their agendas through, because they don't have to worry about hedging their bets or burning their bridges. The commonwealth of Virginia doesn't let Governors run for reelection to consecutive terms, for this very reason. Tim Kaine's term is going to be up at the end of this year; is he just wasting his time, going into the office for the next five months?

Like her or not -- and I admit that I don't -- you can't deny that Sarah Palin has been one of the most unusual, most polarizing political figures in modern American history. Yesterday's announcement multiplies that by a factor of ten.


Larry said...

How does this server her "run" for President?

Oh gee, this world crisis is not going my way, so I quit!

Anna said...

I feel like Dorothy in Jerry Maguire - I like her for the politician she wants to be. I like her for the the politician she almost is.

I just see her as an opportunity lost.

Bea said...

read vanity fair article.

Ed Lamb said...

I'm with Larry on this. If Palin couldn't handle the responsibilities and public/political scrutiny of being the governor of an underpopulated, off-the-national radar and generally wealthy state, she is no way prepared to assume the role of either U.S. vice president or (God forbid) president.

And here's the other thing that has been bothering me the past 24 hours. Why would Palin make such a point of having asked her kids to vote on whether she should resign her governorship when she went equally far out of her way last year to not consult -- or even tell -- her kids about her decision to accept the vice presidential nomination? That strikes me as all-too-altogether situational family values to me.

Karen Olson said...

I think she's a whacko.

Why wasn't her top spokesman with her yesterday? Why was this so spur of the moment? It's just suspect.

Here in CT, we had Lowell Weicker for one term. During that term, he gave us an income tax. And then he left. Despite everyone still moaning about that income tax, it was the best thing any governor could've done. But he knew because it would be unpopular, he couldn't run for another term. So he didn't.

Claire said...

May I just point out, first, that I am much more comfortable now that Rush Limbaugh looks like the crazy-eyed ranting old man he has always been inside? Bad idea to webcast your radio show, Rush.

The quote I heard from Palin was essentially that she wanted to "effect change from outside of the system", to which I say...what? Did she need to hone her maverick credentials?

I do wonder, though, if her resignation wasn't a political deal she cut with her own party. After that Vanity Fair piece, Republicans were coming out in force to defend her. Maybe they knew something we didn't.