On Friday, I was off from work and didn't do much (but sleep and read). In the evening, I went to check my email and got a cryptic one from a friend who sent me a link with a question if I somehow "caused" this. Caused what? So, I clicked on the link and voila, another political shocker in a summer of political shockers (what the heck is going on in our world?): The hottest governor of the coldest state had a press conference on the Friday before a holiday weekend that she would not seek reelection in 2012 with the addendum that she would also abort her term as governor since "lame ducks" abuse the last year or two of their term to pad their coffers or enhance their profile for new career options, or go on boondoggle foreign travel.
Yikes! I know its flattering to think that bloggers drove her to this decision, but one thing we should always know and understand about politics...nothing (and I mean NOTHING) is ever what it seems. There's more to this story than even Palin is letting on. For now, we'll just have to wait until "the other Manolo Blahnik drops." After the 2008 election, Palin did complain about "liberal bloggers" who write from their parents basement in pajamas about every little mishap or facet of her life. If only we had so much power. Oh, and for the record Ms. Palin...I am liberal and I do have a blog, but I'm also employed and live in my own apartment. I blog fully dressed. And I know more about international politics than you do, yet I have the self awareness to know that I would not be ready to serve as president or vice president or even as Senator.
In the speech, she complained about how the ethics complaints were costing the Alaskan taxpayers a lot of money (two million dollars, which is untrue according to journalists). So, in an effort to appear more noble than she really is, she is spinning her tale of cutting and running to be this grand gesture of saving taxpayer money by avoiding the investigation of ethics violations. Rumour has it, something big is about to hit the newswires and a panicky Palin decided now was the best time to bail (and hide?) before the scandal embarrasses her. What could it be? An affair with a Russian commie in Siberia? Undisclosed money, bribery, or other such financial malfeasance?
In some articles I read, writers have pinpointed something that did not receive a lot of traction last fall during the presidential race. That would be the story of a construction firm that built her house around the same time that they were building the new sports complex for the tiny town of Wasilly. It's possible that promises were made for statewide contracts on condition if they built the house for her family. Or it could be a new bombshell that surpasses any we've heard about this lady thus far. Whatever it is, I hope it truly is of the magnitude that explains this inexplicable resignation, rather than something lame like she's pregnant again.
With the photo above, we can breathe a sigh of relief that Palin's resignation will mean no possibility of higher office for this queen of ignorance. If she still harbours the belief that she can become president after serving only half a term as governor of a low-population state on the margins of American culture and political life, she truly is more delusional than I previously gave credit for. 2012 is safe from the likes of Palin.
Not that I gave Palin much chance of winning even the Republican nomination in 2012. It would have been an exciting contest, as I believe that Mitt Romney will rip her to shreds. He's hungry to be president and has the backing of the financial elite and the neo-conservatives within the party. His only problem is that the evangelical Christian and redneck trailer trash factions of the Republican party hate his Mormon religion. Mike Huckabee continues to be his main competitor for this faction of the party. But, as we know all too well about how the Republicans operate, the financial backers simply will not allow an uncontrollable or unpredictable person like Palin to have the presidency. She may be as incurious and ignorant as Bush, but Bush (like Reagan) proved himself the true puppet he was capable of being. Palin's too brash and flaky.
Her entire resume shows an inability to stick with a career for very long. Hell, she couldn't even stick with a college (five colleges to attain one degree?). Her major was broadcast journalism, so I suspect that she has an offer from the Fox News Propaganda Channel that she couldn't refuse. Since Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican Party, it would be simply standard operating procedure to get Palin out of the way in 2012 with a lucrative and high paying offer she could not refuse. She's telegenic and her whacked out views fit in with the rest of the channel's personalities.
Anyone who is hoping that she will still run for president in 2012 simply don't understand the magnitude of this decision. In 2008, McCain made experience the central theme of his campaign. Even after picking neophyte Palin as a running mate, he still questioned Obama's experience to lead our country. Palin, showing a lack of self-awareness, was all too eager to pick up on this theme and run with it. She mocked Obama's early career as a community organizer. She claimed her years as mayor and two years as governor as executive experience that qualified her to assume the presidency in case McCain did not live to see the end of his first term.
So, assuming that Palin did manage to get the GOP nomination and face President Obama in the general election, how would that look? She quit two and a half years into her first term as governor while Obama had four years in office as president. A president's reelection is more a referendum on them rather than a choice between two candidates. A challenger has a tough case to make for replacing the sitting president. A poor economy, national disaster, major scandal, or foreign policy fiasco are generally the biggest reasons why a president doesn't win reelection. If the economy hasn't recovered by 2012, Mitt Romney's reputation as an experienced executive who turns around failing companies (not to mention the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics in the wake of the bribery scandal) will look like a very good alternative to President Obama.
Palin, on the other hand, would be seen as a quitter. Its difficult for quitters to win because Americans need to be certain that the leader is tough enough to withstand adversity. Its the reason why Abraham Lincoln remains our most admired presidents. Some might want to give a lady candidate some leeway for quitting, but even then, it only hurts her candidacy. She would especially pale in comparison to Hillary Clinton, who never quit no matter how heated the criticism in the press got. Hillary is plenty tough and if things go well for her as Secretary of State (and a possible V.P. slot in 2012), she could still become president in 2016 if she wanted another run. By contrast, can people really trust that Palin wouldn't bail on the American people if the going got too tough for her in the White House?
My first impression of Sarah Palin after she was announced as John McCains VP pick last August was that she knew she wasn't ready for the job but accepted it anyway because she wanted to become famous and possibly go down in history as the first female Vice President. Articles I've read on her paint a picture of a petty girl who people didn't take seriously in high school because she was a beauty queen. She spent the rest of her life trying to prove people wrong and fame was her dream. The whole, "look at me now! I showed you!" You can hear it in her tone during speeches. She harbours a disdain for "elite" intellectuals who look down on her. In many ways, she resembles Eva Peron of Argentina (a woman who sought revenge against the middle and upper classes for excluding her from her father's funeral because her mother was his mistress and she grew up in poverty). That's not a good reason for political office. Personal vendettas aren't what you seek power for.
She has a history of quitting. Not only from college after college until she finally got her degree at the University of Idaho. She was appointed to a post in Alaska for oil and gas, but ended up resigning because she apparently didn't like the corruption she saw. Now, she won't even serve a full term as governor. If she doesn't want to run for reelection, that's fine. Between 2010 and 2012, she can raise money, give speeches, and build her support network. But what about the next year and a half? She claims that lame ducks are ineffective, but she could still accomplish quite a bit in the time she would have left. Bailing out now only raises skepticism and cynicism among people that something big is about to hit the news regarding Sarah Palin. News alert: Palin is really a Fembot manufactured in a Chinese lab to destroy our government once and for all! Couldn't be as outlandish as that, could it? Maybe she, too, has a Latin lover somewhere. Or maybe Bush and Palin had an affair.
Her resignation speech was odd. Besides talking about the costs of the investigations into possible ethical violations, she mentioned that her kids did not like seeing Trig made fun of in the media. She then said: "Um, by the way, sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we all could learn so much from someone like Trig -- I know he needs me, but I need him even more... what a child can offer to set priorities right -- that time is precious... the world needs more 'Trigs', not fewer."
A few things about that. Trig was only a few months old when McCain made the VP offer to Palin. She didn't let his infancy and dependence on her keep her from joining a highly stressful and time consuming presidential campaign. She's not being honest here. It only proves to me that she was hungry for the fame that the national campaign offered. Once she got what she wanted, the real work of elective office was boring compared to the adrenaline rush of a national campaign. Ever wonder why we don't hear much about politicians who lose a presidential race? Since the 2004 election, how often does John Kerry's name come up in the press? He's practically invisible. Even John McCain doesn't get the press he used to get, even by mid-1990s standards.
Secondly, "the world needs more Trigs"?!? Is she for real? I don't mean to knock people with Downs Syndrome. They are special and do have much to teach us about humanity, not judging, and having patience. But let's be real, too. Life is hard for them and for their parents. They have learning disabilities and does anyone really believe that a world populated with more of them would change things? Would Sarah Palin have married a man with Downs Syndrome? I have a brother with a disability (not Downs Syndrome). Though he is more functional than most people with Downs Syndrome, he does endure a lot of prejudice, cruelty, and general difficulties with our superficial society. Whatever complaints I have about life and my current place of employment, all of it pales in comparison to the tough life my brother has lived. I've been far more blessed than him and if anything, he wishes to be a normal human being without disabilities.
I'm not advocating that people abort their pregnancies if they learn about the fetus' impending disability. I'm just simply stating the fact that Palin can't be serious when she wishes the world had more Trigs. If anything, we should fund scientific studies to cure Down Syndrome in the fetal developmental stage. I've read articles where a parent first experiences shock and grief when they learn that their unborn baby will have Downs Syndrome. Most come to accept the challenges, a few might have an abortion. But I have yet to meet anyone who says that they hope to have a Downs Syndrome baby. It is a difficult life for both child and parents, made even more difficult by the cruelty of others. Sarah Palin strikes me as the kind of person who probably made fun of "retards" in high school. If I know anything about beautiful people in high school, they were snobby about anyone who didn't look as beautiful as them. Perhaps Trig was a gift from God to teach Palin that beauty isn't everything. It might take a soul like Trig to bring depth to the flaky, petty beauty queen.
If she is leaving political office to devote time to being a mother, I applaud her. Its what she should have done last year, by declining McCain's offer of the Vice Presidency. On the other hand, she helped contribute to the amazing political season that was the 2008 elections. I doubt that we will ever see an election cycle more exciting and diverse than that one. Now that she has national fame, it'll be interesting to see what she does with it. Political office is not her calling. Since she got her degree in broadcast journalism, it looks like she might finally get her shot if she ends up as a political commentator on Fox. She owes it to her looks that she got as far as she did in life. If she had Downs Syndrome, we would've never heard of her.
I love this seal because it reflects what the Republican Party has become...a bunch of crybabies. They can't handle criticism from bloggers and the media, but they can sure give it to liberals in their speeches, rallies, and radio talkshows. People who can dish but can't stand the heat don't get my respect. Maybe Obama can give them a one way ticket to Crybabystan. Wahhhhhhhhh!!!