I've waited to write about Sarah Palin's resignation as Governor of Alaska intentionally. I thought maybe I was just missing something. Turns out, I don't think I did.
Her announcement to the Alaskan press, which seemed to be quite at-the-last-minute, was rambling and now well crafted at all. It was, frankly, one hot mess.
I like Sarah Palin as a human being, a strong professional woman, a feisty politician, a committed wife and mom. She loves her family, her extended family and her country. All of that is perfectly clear to those of us who do not know her personally, only from reading about her and her press appearances. I blogged about Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska and rising Republican star, last summer before she was picked as John McCain's running mate. I thought she would be a long shot choice but a good one because she is an expert on energy policy and has executive experience in office - something none of the three men in the last campaign possessed. She was wildly popular in Alaska and she had this close family, including a newborn baby son with Down Syndrome. All very impressive.
And, her husband the First Dude? He rocks.
The expected reaction happened. She had more elected office experience than the candidate offered up by the Democrats but that didn't matter. She was a real person that voters could relate to and that simply would not stand. The mainstream media made it their mission to present her in the worst light possible. They brought gotcha politics to a new low. And the McCain campaign was so horribly inept in managing her on the trail.
Liberals hate Palin with a passion and that makes her even more attractive.
Then, when she lost in her bid to be the Vice President, the war against Sarah Palin continued as though the campaign continued. Her critics in Alaska filed ethical complaint after ethical complaint against her, causing her to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal debt. All of the charges have been tossed out but she still has the legal bills to cover. She mentioned in her speech or statement or whatever it was Friday, that her legal bills are in the $500,000 range now.
Her resignation makes no sense. Her whole reasoning about being a lame duck and not able to do as much as she could as a private citizen is nonsense. 'Lame duck' politicians do good work every year. Ronald Reagan did, for example. So, ok, it was for selfish reasons.
Maybe she simply wants to devote her time to writing the book she has a deal to produce and make speeches to retire her debts. That would be understandable. She is a woman who bragged that she and her husband were not in the habit of living above their means and were not living in debt before she hit the trail as the VP candidate. Maybe she is just freaked out at the level of debt that has incurred and wants to take care of that.
Maybe there is a more personal reason and none of our business. A health problem, something along those lines that must be dealt with and she will focus on that.
Whatever it is, I just don't need to know. I'm not into the whole game of 'stay tuned' and more announcements will appear on Twitter or Facebook. Please. Knock it off. That is not the way to be taken seriously.
Some die hard supporters are insisting this is a brilliant move. A big risky gamble that will reap benefits in the future as she runs for President, maybe in 2016. She's young yet and has plenty of time. The fact is, though, she won't be taken any more seriously then either. Maybe even less so. She quit her day job. The job she asked for and the voters gave her. She had the honor of running the state of Alaska, the position that brought her onto the national stage and she just walked away. Not risky. Not brilliant. She said she wasn't a quitter and then she quit.
I think she would have made a good vice president. I wasn't voting for her to be president. I wanted John McCain for that. She certainly would have been better than Joe Biden. And, Barack Obama, for that matter, as it turns out. I don't see her on the ticket again, though. She didn't do what was needed for that. Go back to Alaska, be the best Governor she could be, move her agenda forward and bone up on foreign policy issues. She went back to Alaska instead and allowed herself to be dragged into the news whenever she was being attacked and played into the hands of the media. I completely understand defending her daughters and her sweet baby son as they were viciously attacked by people old enough to know better yet attacked the kids anyway. Liberals are a classless bunch.
Conservatives will be outraged at any criticism or honesty about Sarah Palin. That, too, is part of Palin's problem. That enables her to cry victim. Politics is tough stuff. Her skin is not tough enough. For mere mortals, skin not so tough is not a problem. For a politician it is the end.
I wish her well.