It’s fascinating that most of the people speculating about Sarah Palin’s decision to leave her job as governor of Alaska 18 months early are people in her own political party. Depending on who you read, watch, or listen to, she’s either a quitter, or she’s pursing a brilliant but risky political strategy. That would be if you think she’s going to run for president in 2012. As bad off as the GOP is right now, they can’t write her off completely.
Many things are astonishing about Palin’s decision. The first was her feeble attempt at a stream of consciousness in making the announcement itself. If you listen closely, her labored breaths between sentences sounded like she’d either just finished a marathon, or that she couldn’t wait to get this thing over with. Palin’s “I don’t want to be a lame duck” excuse was even worse. This is politics, pal. Lame ducks are a part of the game you chose. Besides, is she saying by quitting this early there’s nothing more she could do for her state?
Then there’s the alleged attacks on Palin and her family by the media. Aside from being the oldest trick in the book, Palin knows the worst thing media did to her was ask a number of questions she couldn’t answer during the presidential campaign. Besides, is she talking about her good friends from Fox News when she talks about media that “doesn’t understand, it’s about country”? Maybe she is in fact quitting so she can prepare for a presidential run in 2012.
It’s then fair to ask, why does she need so much preparation? We’re talking three years and change. If a governor can’t serve out an elected term because they need to get ready for higher office, how suitable are they for the office they seek? In the barren landscape that contains Republican presidential hopefuls, maybe Sarah Palin is still the Great Conservative Hope, no matter what she does.
It’s interesting that rumors she quit because of a pending embezzlement probe were strong enough to warrant a letter to the media from her, and an FBI statement to the effect she’s not the subject of a Bureau investigation. That’s not usual, but then neither was Palin’s decision to quit. It’s a given that someone who has risen to prominence so quickly will stay in the media spotlight for awhile. However, Palin’s gamble to me shows a losing hand. The term quitter is going to dog her every action, and if she does make a presidential run three years from now, it will be Republicans, not Democrats, that will pound her with it.
Yet maybe, just maybe, Sarah Palin knows something we don’t know. What do you think. Was it a smart move for Palin to resign as governor of Alaska?