I realize that the topic of Sarah Palin's latest zany move -- quitting her job as Governor of Alaska -- has been covered almost as much as Michael Jackson's death, but I just have to put my spin on it (not that I have anything unique to add), of course. After all, despite my belief that she would pale out after the election, she has continued to live on -- in infamy, to the delight of her friends & foes alike. If nothing else, Sarah has staying power & excels at the Supreme Surprise!
For me personally, summer continues to be a whirlwind of social activity, so I had just finished Todd Purdum's devastating piece in Vanity Fair on Palin on Friday, It Came from Wasilla, and was out & about when I received a shocking AP News Alert on my iPhone, announcing that her Paleness had decided to start the 4th of July celebrations early, with the fireworks created by the news of her impending departure. I immediately called my Sarah Be Gone Wager pal to dish about the news.
As soon as arrived back home, I had to watch the video of her resignation. It was everything (and more) that I hoped it would be. A definite performance for the ages. She will forever be guided by the Rule: "only dead fish go with the flow." She may be vexing and perplexing, but one thing's for sure -- she's gone from Sassy Sarah to Sarah the Sad Sack.
All you need to know of her rambling, breathless, shaky, Sarah Be Gone Speech from Nowhere is:
Gov. Sarah Palin stunned Alaska and the nation Friday by abruptly announcing her resignation from office. Palin, the governor of Alaska for two and a half years, said she will step down in three weeks and hand power over to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell. Palin made the announcement at a hastily called press conference held at her Wasilla home as the holiday weekend began. She complained about ethics complaints lodged against her, said the media isn't reporting her accomplishments, and struck conservative political themes like smaller government, resource development and national security.In other words, woe is me so, so long suckers!!
As the shock sunk in, the opinions began to spew forth. As the NYT Caucus Blog notes, The Saturday Word: Palin Chatter:
All should have been quiet on the political front the Friday before the Fourth of July. But, then there was Sarah Palin — Alaska’s governor, who announced she was quitting her job after just two years.The Alaska blogger who was there from the beginning, AKMuckraker of Mudflats, again asked the question: What Is Sarah Palin Thinking? One Alaskan's Perspective:* * * *But what it all means is still a bit curious. Though her sometimes rambling address sounded much like a farewell-cruel-politics speech, the announcement stirred more speculation that she would use her newfound freedom from governing responsibility to try to position herself for a presidential bid in 2012. She has a book contract, and has demonstrated again this summer that she remains popular among voters.
Palin's long, rambling, fretful speech had all the visible tension and clenched jaw muscles of her appearance when she returned back home to little old Alaska after her failed VP bid. She was interviewed by the press in her Anchorage office and said how glad she was to be back, and how much fun it was to run the state of Alaska. Nobody believed her. It's become more and more apparent that what she likes is the crowds, the attention, and the advocacy for her beliefs. But the day to day running of the state doesn't seem to have much appeal anymore. A common complaint among legislators and top state officials since Palin's return from the campaign trail is that nobody ever sees her. Getting face time with the governor is not an easy thing. Palin has discovered, through her travels, that you don't have to be a politician to get attention.Like everyone else, Josh Marshall of TPM, wondered what was behind the stunning move (timed for the bad news Friday cycle, on a holiday week-end, no less), in Surreality Only Beginning:
Today she stood by the shores of Lake Lucille and told us how she was leaving her position for our own good. It's for the best interest of the state, she said. There are too many distractions, too much being picked on, too little time to focus on the matters of state, too many jokes about her kids, and too much money fighting those ethics complaints against her.* * * *
Speculation is rampant about a soon to be declared run for the presidency in 2012. If Palin listens to her core group of supporters, she has reason to believe this run at the White House would land her in the Oval Office. Her resignation speech was full of imagery about Alaska's resources helping the country, about how much we owe our military, about the economy; a wistful retrospective of all her administration had accomplished. . . . And while the rhetoric sounded national, the mood of the event was anything but celebratory. And Palin continues to stick with the talking points that those who are paying attention have debunked.
The time in front of the cameras was also used, many felt, to "play the victim card." Palin spent a considerable amount of time castigating the very media that was there covering the event, for being too critical. But the principle objects of Palin's venom were private citizens who had filed ethics complaints against her. . . . She seems unable, even when delivering a speech that is destined for national coverage, to rise above the fray, and refrain from sounding petty.
Either Palin is resigning ahead of some titanic scandal (which should emerge in short order if it exists) or her resignation was triggered by an even more extreme mental instability than we'd previously suspected.Then there's Greg Sargent's take (from which I cribbed my caption), Bailin’ Barracuda, Or The Quitah From Wasilla:
First, my quickie prediction: Though she probably does envision a role in national public life of some kind, I don’t believe she intends to run in 2012. She may end up doing that, but my bet is that’s not what is driving the resignation.Booman agrees. See It's Not Goodbye for Sarah.
This is a woman who appears to crave dominance, and gets visibly frustrated and deeply rattled when it eludes her or when her self-mastery wavers. She can’t dominate or control the national media or her national image. This was borne out again with the flap over the Vanity Fair article. She quit in a huff, and doesn’t have any intention of coming back.
The Kenosha Kid's Blog sums things up perfectly, Why is Sarah Palin resigning?:
1. Willow is pregnantNot surprisingly, whenever a politician resigns "to spend more time with the family," the euphemism usually means that trouble (i.e., most often, legal problems) will soon be announced. As expected, the speculation began shortly after the announcement. Palin's Move Raises Big Questions. As AKMuckraker put it:
2. 'Crossed the line' with Governor Sanford
3. Devastating Vanity Fair article
4. Putting good of nation over her own petty ambitions
In Alaska it's become known as "the iceberg." The iceberg is rumored to be a piece of news that's so damaging, and so big, it will sink the S.S. Palin. The rumors also exist that it's coming soon. Speculation about IRS problems, issues with other three-letter organizations, more ethics complaints, and embezzlement abound. Questions have been raised about the construction of Palin's house by a bunch of Todd's buddies, at the same time that a giant sports complex was being built just down the road in Wasilla, and right after building codes had been abolished by the then mayor of Wasilla, one Sarah Palin. Do we know anything for sure? No. But the recent claim that the breaking of this scandal is imminent seems coincidental to say the least. Alaskans hesitate to get too excited about rumored indictments, though. Despite the indictment and conviction of several state legislators, and the indictment-conviction and now un-conviction of former Senator Ted Stevens, the slow process has taught us patience. We still await rumored indictments of Congressman Don Young, and former State Senate President Ben Stevens (son of Ted Stevens.) You can't make this stuff up.Like Leave It To Beaver, leave it to Sarah had to react to the gossip in her usual way -- whine, moan, groan, followed by stupendous attack. So Palin has threatened legal action against those writers and reporters who dared to suggest that there may be more to her resignation beyond the muddled words muttered by Sarah. Huffington Post Blogger in Palin's Cross Hairs. Claiming defamation isn't protected under the Alaska Constitution, her lawyer conveniently omits that other legal document -- the US Constitution, which just might contain a 1st Amendment free speech right that may be applicable here. Palin's Lawyer Threatens Bloggers, Media.
As we get into the dog days of summer, Sarah's antics will insure that the bad news of the economy and war won't get us down. We always have her to snicker over.
There are times that snarkiness is just what's called for & Maureen Dowd delivers, in Now, Sarah’s Folly:
We may be befuddled about what motivated Palin at the moment, but as Paul Begala notes, we shall soon find out, but one thing about her will not change -- her intellectual capacity. What you see is what you get. As he explains, Sarah Palin Turns Pro:
As Alaskans settled in to enjoy holiday salmon bakes and the post-solstice thaw, their governor had a solipsistic meltdown so strange it made Sparky Sanford look like a model of stability.
On the shore of Lake Lucille, with wild fowl honking and the First Dude smiling, with Piper in the foreground and their Piper Cub in the background, the woman who took the Republican Party by storm only 10 months ago gave an incoherent, breathless and prickly stream of consciousness to a small group in her Wasilla yard. Gobsmacked Alaska politicians, Republican big shots, the national press, her brother, the D.C. lawyer who helped create her political action committee and yes, even Fox News, played catch-up.
What looked like a secret wedding turned out to be a public unraveling as the G.O.P. implosion continued: Sarah wanted everyone to know that she’s not having fun and people are being mean to her and she doesn’t feel like finishing her first term as governor.
She can hunt wolves from the air and field-dress a moose, but she fears being a lame duck? Some brickbats over her ethics and diva turns as John McCain’s running mate, and that dewy skin turns awfully thin.Maybe there’s another red Naughty Monkey high heel to drop — there’s often a hidden twist in Sarah’s country-music melodramas. Or is this a reckless high-speed escape from small-pond Alaska, where her popularity is dropping, to the big time Below?
As I listened to the news on the radio, hearing that Sarah Palin held her press conference alongside Lake Lucille, the thought struck me that it was only fitting, since she's the Lucille Ball of our time. Wacky, zany Lucy -- always good for a laugh. And, she never disappoints.
I'm no latter-day Strunk & White, just a guy who was struck by Palin's spectacularly rambling and infantile prose. It bespeaks a rambling and infantile mind. But perhaps not. Perhaps this is all a ruse. Perhaps Gov. Palin wants us to believe she's an intellectual featherweight who is slightly shallower than an actor on High School Musical. Maybe she's trying to throw us off the trail.
Naah. A lot of people thought that about George W. Bush. He couldn't be so block-headed, they said. He couldn't be as childish and churlish as he came off. Oh yes he could. And so, too, might Ms. Palin be as vapid and puerile as her inane statement suggests.
We will know. In the fullness of time (and I predict, not much time) we will know. Again and again in her statement, Gov. Palin returned to the nettlesome ethics inquiries that have been visited upon her since she signed on to be John McCain's running mate. No doubt they are annoying. But does anyone believe that's why she's resigning? No, there's more to this story. And Ms. Palin's resignation only increases the chances that we will all know the rest of the story soon. Or, as she might put it:
We will all KNOW the "rest of the Story" *((SOON!))*
(Word Cloud via Wordle - Sarah Palin's Resignation Speech)