Why would Sarah Palin resign?

Sarah Palin is considered one of the front-runners for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election.  There seemed to be no reason why she wouldn’t cruise to a re-election victory for governor of Alaska.  As a 2-term governor and a former vice presidential nominee, Palin was in a position of strength going into the primary campaign that was around the corner.

Then came her shocking announcement on July 3rd that she is resigning as governor of Alaska on July 26th and will not seek re-election.  No explanation was given which only added to the speculation.

Questions of health and scandal inevitably entered into people’s mind, especially with the suddenness and vagueness of the press conference.

Political experts are stunned.  Republicans don’t know what to make of it yet and some have been trying to put a positive spin on the decision.  Democrats are dancing in the street.

What's next for Palin?

What's next for Palin?

On the surface, this appears to be a horrible political move.  Politicians do not resign from office and expect a gallant return in a higher office later – not unless a health concern is the reason.  Since I heard Palin’s announcement yesterday, I have been trying to figure out another politician who resigned from their current job to focus on a different political position more than 2 years BEFORE the race was expected to begin.

I came up with numerous names of those who stepped aside – Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Eliot Spitzer, Bob Ney and Mark Foley.  There have been others but I can not recall one that stepped aside to run for higher office.

In reading her speech from the press conference – and reading deeply between the lines – it looks like a new scandal’s abrewin’. 

Here is something I found interesting:

“Some say things changed for me on August 29th last year – the day John McCain tapped me to be his running-mate – I say others changed.

“Let me speak to that for a minute.

“Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions.

“Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn’t been cheap – the State has wasted thousands of hours of your time and shelled out some two million of your dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money not going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the “politics of personal destruction” … Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other peoples’ money in their game.

“It’s pretty insane – my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with this instead of progressing our state now. I know I promised no more “politics as usual,” but this isn’t what anyone had in mind for Alaska.”

She mentioned that she didn’t change – others did.  It’s still always everybody else. 

“Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions.”

It wasn’t holding a fish that was a problem for people.  It was aerial hunting that set people off.  That and seeing Russia from your house.  And I love the ‘wearing a jacket with a logo’ and ‘answering reporters’ questions’ – like which papers do you read?

You betcha!

You betcha!

But what got me was the mention that they ‘shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to “opposition research”.’  Taxpayer money was used to fight her cases? 

Isn’t that an ethics concern?  Maybe this is the next scandal?  There are rumors floating around that an investigation is in the works yet the FBI has denied that any investigation is occurring.  Now, of course, would the FBI really be forthcoming with that information if they were in fact investigating? 

Her concern for Alaskans is just – well, moving.  She doesn’t want to ‘milk it’ or travel around the ‘lower 48’, hitting ‘the road’.  She really needs to add the word ‘AGAIN’ to the sentence.  What does she think she did from August 29th through – whenever she stopped prancing around for cameras.

Here are her words:

“And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn’t run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks… travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe), overseas on international trade – as so many politicians do. And then I thought – that’s what’s wrong – many just accept that lame duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck, and “milk it”. I’m not putting Alaska through that – I promised efficiencies and effectiveness!  That’s not how I am wired. I am not wired to operate under the same old “politics as usual.” I promised that four years ago – and I meant it.

It’s not what is best for Alaska. “

From Time.com – Why Sarah Quit

“Some are going to question the timing of this and let me just say that this decision has been in the works for a while. In fact this decision comes after much consideration,” Palin said, holding up her left index finger as she amended her thought, “Much prayer and consideration. And finally, I polled the most important people in my life, my kids. And the count was unanimous. While in response to asking, ‘Hey, do you want me to be a positive influence and fight for all our children’s futures from outside the governor’s office?’ it was four yeses and one ‘Hell, yeah.’ The ‘Hell, yeah’ sold it.”

Palin and her Witch Doctor

Palin and her Witch Doctor

She is still pandering to the far right base and even included a classic for the far right religious base by crediting her decision as a calling.  So through prayer, she was directed to quit.  {Note:  During her press conference, she did not mention prayer – just consideration.  ‘Prayer’ was added later.}

If she decides to run in 2012 – which is kind of obvious – she will be attacked for quitting her job as governor.  One of her criticisms in 2008 was her lack of experience.  So when the going got tough, she quit.  Can we expect that from our chief executive?  

Her supporters will have a tough time defending that.  Romney, Huckabee and Jindal must be partying like its 1999.  Ensign, Sanford and Palin all have shot themselves in the foot within a 1 month span and it isn’t even Christmas.

She’ll push the God thing as her determining factor but that will not win over 70+% of the voters.  A health concern is the only thing that will fly here.  And I sincerely hope that isn’t the reason.

I suspect it is to protect a scandal that was about to break.  Either that or she’s so stupid that she thinks this is a good tactical move. 

Though I’d love to sing the Steam song here (Nah, nah, nah,nah.  Hey, hey, hey.  Goodbye), I don’t think she’s going away.

If you listen to Karl Rove – who called Palin’s decision a ‘risky strategy’ – one can tell that even Bush’s brain doesn’t know what to make of this.

George Will said that Palin declared herself ‘a quitter.’

Then there are others in the party who are working hard to rationalize this decision.  Bill Kristol had this to say. {h/t to Huffington Post and Nicholas Graham}

“After all, she’s freeing herself from the duties of the governorship. Now she can do her book, give speeches, travel the country and the world, campaign for others, meet people, get more educated on the issues – and without being criticized for neglecting her duties in Alaska. I suppose she’ll take a hit for leaving the governorship early – but how much of one? She’s probably accomplished most of what she was going to get done as governor, and is leaving a sympatico [sic] lieutenant governor in charge.”

What planet does Kristol live on?  Does he really believe that she won’t take much of a hit for quitting?  And does he really think that she will be able to speak intelligently to the issues?  And I’m sure that people will not forget that she really has mostly ignored her state since August 29, 2008 anyway.

Alaska Lt. Governor Sean Parnell (who will ascend to governor after Palin’s resignation) indicated on Fox News Sunday, that her decision to resign stemmed from personal legal costs from the 15 ethics investigations against her.

“I think what I heard from the governor really had to do with the weight on her, the concern she had for the cost of all the ethics investigations and the like — the way that that weighed on her with respect to her inability to just move forward Alaska’s agenda on behalf of Alaskans in the current context of the environment. So that’s what I saw.” – Parnell

Former Cheney advisor and current CNN political hack contributor, Mary Matalin offered her own particular brand of spin expertise.

Matalin thinks Palins move is ‘brilliant.’  Really, because even Rove disagrees with her.

First of all, the spin doctors seem to believe that Palin has accomplished so much in her 31 months as governor.  Yes, I am including the last 10 months even though the bulk of the time has been wasted with the presidential campaign followed by endless interviews. 

It’s like that whole ‘bridge to nowhere’ crap all over again.

I do agree that by not holding a political position allows her to campaign without a job to slow her down.  But then again, both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee served their 2 full terms as governor so they can run legitimately on their record. 

“So — and her delivery was incredible — a charis — a less charismatic person probably couldn’t pull it off. But as — as already referenced, she will be freed up and liberated in the way Mitt Romney is here to run around and raise money and get political chips by spending it and get political capital. And she is still raising the kinds of crowds and money that she always did.” – Matalin

That’s the scary part.  Those far right religious loons still think she is the greatest.  Even if they are 30% of the population there are still enough logical people that will vote against her.  I don’t believe that 30% of the religious far right still support her – even if she used the ‘God told me to quit’ line.

On the surface, she could be tough to beat with 30% of the vote coming in which amounts to about half of the Republican voters.  But the Republican primaries are a winner take all affair and she will not win the delegates in California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon and many others.  And as people start dropping out of the race and handing their delegates to the competitors, I can not think of one potential Republican candidate today that would give their delegates to Palin.  Wasn’t she snubbed at the RGA convention? 

Seriously, who’s going to back Palin?  Jindal, Romney, Huckabee, Pawlenty, Crist?  Even Sanford or Ensign wouldn’t if they decided to run through their scandals. 

Bottom line is that Palin needs some semblance of moderate voters to support her and the way to do that would have been to do a great job for the rest of her term and to win re-election in Alaska. 

Even the Republicans can back me with their war time tag lines:

Red, White and Blue.  These colors never run.

colors dont run

The one thing that is certain is:  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, she’s REALLY dragging out these 15 minutes.

Where did I put that Steam record?

My 2 Buck$

 

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5 responses to “Why would Sarah Palin resign?

  1. Been there, done that, got her T-shirt!

  2. It’s like a train wreck. I promise myself that I’ll stop reading about her and posting about her and then she has to go and do something like this.

  3. trish in SW FL

    She is the gift that keeps on giving! I don’t think she’s going away anytime soon, and we will continue to read about her, and see her antics on TV.
    Like a train wreck–we just have to keep looking!

  4. And here she is again today providing me with more material. I’m sure The Daily Show and Colbert will be hilarious this week.

  5. To think we are going to have to put up with this crap for 3 years if they don’t find some kind of charges to stick against her. She really makes me ill, and scares me.. I mean literally scares me.. if this country was stupid enough to elect Bush two times it could elect her… that is what scares me..