Monday, July 06, 2009

Coming back from an absence with Sarah Palin's resignation as Alaska's governor

Coming back from an absence with Sarah Palin's resignation as Alaska's governor

My apologies for the lack of posting. I've stepped away from my blog for a while since I felt that either a) The content I was writing was becoming more of the same stuff day after day, or b) The political BS that was taking place over the past year was the same ole BS day after day--how am I suppose to write something analytical with the same crap coming down the pipe?

But then, I learned on Friday that Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin resigned from office. From The Washington Post:

Sarah Palin, the Republican Alaska governor who captivated the nation with a combative brand of folksy politics, announced her resignation yesterday in characteristic fashion: She stood on her back lawn in Wasilla, speaking into a single microphone, accompanied by friends and neighbors in baseball hats and polo shirts.

The announcement that she will step down by the end of July stunned the political establishment, fueling speculation about why she is leaving office with 18 months left in her first term and whether her future will include a run for the presidency.

Palin offered few clues about her ambitions but said she arrived at her decision in part to protect her family, which has faced withering criticism and occasional mockery, and to escape ethics probes that have drained her family's finances and hampered her ability to govern. She said leaving office is in the best interest of the state and will allow her to more effectively advocate for issues of importance to her, including energy independence and national security.

"I love my job and I love Alaska, and it hurts to make this choice, but I'm doing what's best for them," Palin said, the sun glinting off a seaplane on Lake Lucille behind her.

And you can watch the video of Sarah Palin's resignation speech here:

Part One;

Part Two;

I'll be honest, I'm just as surprised that Palin would quit the governor's post. And I'm not sure why she decided to quit. Her transcript of the resignation speech is rambling and disjointed--she claims that she wants to fight for Alaska's best interests, but that the media and "political operatives" had forced her to resign so that Alaskan taxpayer dollars would not be wasted on investigations against her office. Maybe there is some truth, in Sarah Palin's view, to that reason.

But in another sense, that is politics. There are always "political operatives" digging up dirt against enemies, and investigations taking place against politicians every day. It is the dirty side of politics. What we have here is a political neophyte, who was thrust into the national scene when she was obviously Not Ready for Prime Time. Sarah Palin was obviously not qualified to be the Republican vice presidential candidate, and that was clearly shown in both her inability to answer tough policy questions from the media (Remember Charlie Gibson's question to Palin about the Bush Doctrine?), and from the McCain campaign's heavy-handed attempt to shield Palin from media scrutiny with orchestrated campaign rallies and rah-rah speeches. There were also Sarah Palin's own skeletons in her closet, such as the Troopergate scandal, or the Bridge to Nowhere, Hockeygate, Palin and her husband's ties to the Alaskan Independence Party, and there is a few other Palin scandals that you can find here. Most of this is old news. But it is something politicians will have to endure, if they want to get into a higher office--and what political office is higher than the U.S. presidency? Did Sarah Palin finally crack under all the skeleton investigation pressures, and called it quits? I can't say.

What I can say here is that I believe Sarah Palin's political career may just be over now. She quit in the middle of her first term as governor--that is as much of a political suicide as you can get. She may still be popular with the hard-lined conservatives in the Republican Party, but if Sarah Palin is going to run for another national office, then she's going to have to seriously explain why she quit in the middle of her governorship to moderate and independent voters. Her resignation speech never gave a good reason why she quit, other than she buckled under serious political pressure. Who is to say that Sarah Palin will quit another political office--say the U.S. presidency--under political pressure that could be a hundred times worst? No one will elect a quitter into political office. That is what Sarah Palin will have to answer for, if she wants to continue a career in politics. And so far, Sarah Palin has yet answered that question.

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