I fail to see how anybody could be shocked by Sarah Palin’s announcement that she is quitting her job as governor of Alaska 18 months before her term is completed.
She didn’t quit her job because of all the ethics probes, or because she wanted to spend more time with Trig. She didn’t quit because she’s tired of all the media attention she’s been getting since last August, either. She quit her job as governor of Alaska, because she’s incapable of conducting a national campaign for the presidency and fulfilling her duties to the state at the same time. She has a hard enough time focusing on one task at a time. She also can’t continue to attack the administration’s policies while continuing to ask for government hand-outs. Also, as a governor, she is accountable to the citizens of her state. As a private person, she’s accountable to no one. Finally, as the governor of a state with a smaller population than most major cities, she could never be perceived as a candidate with broad enough experience. Balancing the budget in Alaska is probably twice as easy as balancing the budget for the city of San Francisco.
This decision was driven by two things: naked political ambition and the ongoing influence of William Kristol and other ultra-conservative Republicans who think she is the cat’s meow. Who hasn’t noticed Palin’s inexplicably high opinion of herself and her ongoing attempts to climb up onto the national stage?
Her impromptu “news conference” on Friday was a cynical political ploy. These are the kinds of announcements one makes right before a long holiday weekend, when voters are busy with family outings and barbecues. Also, the Michael Jackson fiasco gives Palin additional, serendipitous cover for her abandonment of her office and its responsibilities. Clearly, Palin’s statement was hastily thrown together and unrehearsed. Her remarks meandered all over the map, jumping from one subject to the next without segues or logical connections. She just needed to get the statement out quickly and avoid any embarrassing questions from the media. It was a grotesque display of media manipulation.
What was most insulting about Palin’s announcement was the breath-takingly idiotic logic she used in justifying her decision. She chose to make herself a “lame duck” governor when she decided not to seek re-election. And, now, she expects us to believe her suggestion that all lame duck governors do is go on junkets and use tax-payer money to enjoy their last days in office. It sounded as if she was saying that no lame duck governor could resist this behavior, and that she was going to save the people of her state from that kind of abuse by walking away from the office to which they had elected her. The fact is, the excuse Palin gave for resigning was probably an insult to the +20 Republican governors of other states who are also lame ducks.
Sarah Palin has been convinced by her sycophantic group of supporters that she has a shot at being elected President of the United States. All she has to do is spend millions of dollars traveling the world and campaigning throughout the lower 48 states for the next 3 years. Nobody told her that quitting her job might make her look impulsive, irrational, untrustworthy and irresponsible. Nobody told her that being a quitter was a huge negative. And, nobody told her that using totally illogical reasons for abandoning her office would come back to haunt her. Unfortunately (or fortunately), she’s too dim to figure these things out for herself.