Sarah Palin’s resignation: The morning after

Posted by: ST on July 4, 2009 at 10:57 am

Palin exitsIf we in the blogosphere thought this holiday weekend was going to be a slow news weekend, Sarah Palin sure threw a wrench into that, eh? The reax to her resignation are still piling up at Memeorandum as people continue to speculate on the reasons she did it and what it means for her political future.

After sleeping on this, the more I think about it the more I believe her resignation had nothing to do with her wanting “time to prepare” for a 2012 run. It just doesn’t make sense, for all the reasons mentioned by myself and others yesterday:

1) Leaving before you have completed your first term as governor leaves you with little more executive experience than you had when you were picked to be the vice presidential running mate of the Republican nominee, experience that was a bone of contention primarily with the opposition (we’ll just ignore for this post anyway the fact that their candidate had even less experience, but I digress).

2) The “political” thing to do would be to stay in office through your first term, and possibly run for a second term to have additional executive experience under your belt. Sarah didn’t strike me as the type who would run for a second term, as she would have had to immediately begin running for President since her 2nd term as governor (assuming she would have been reelected) would be starting at the beginning of 2011. These days, presidential candidates get started on the campaigning very early.

3) If you’ve got presidential aspirations in mind and you’ve just resigned a year and a half before your first term as governor ends – well before the next presidential race, that is some powerful ammunition for your opponents to use against you. Regardless of whether or not she is a ‘quitter’, that is the perception (as ST reader GWR noted here) and these days perception is reality in politics (remember how Obama was – and still is – perceived as being “capable” of being President without a shred of evidence to back it up?) Not only that, but it looks like you were willing to abandon the post you were elected to out of sheer personal ambition for something bigger. It just doesn’t look good.

I know the left is hoping and salivating over the possibility that there is a “secret, emerging scandal” behind all this but I really don’t believe that’s what has happened here. Barring some as-yet undisclosed serious health issue with either her or a member of her family (which I pray is not the case), I really do think the routine attacks on her from a spiteful, hateful segment of the left, the ethics complaints, and the scapegoating of her by former McCain higher-ups all contributed to her deciding that “enough was enough.” The Vanity Fair hit piece which quoted mostly unnamed former McCain staffers was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back. It became too much.

Yes, all political candidates, especially those with their eyes on the WH, go through unrelenting scrutiny while running, but the viciousness against not only Palin but her family as well went beyond that and crossed a line. As Jim Geraghty reminds us, those types of attacks can get to even the strongest among us:

There was a lot in Palin’s meandering speech announcing her resignation that didn’t quite make sense, but one brief part that did was her mentioning of the ridicule of her infant son, Trig. Also note that in the past month or so, we’ve seen David Letterman joke about Alex Rodriguez knocking up one of her daughters. [...]

It’s one thing to step into the public spotlight and know that people are going to ridicule your intelligence, your appearance, your judgment, your voice and accent, etc. But it’s another to know that your loved ones will get that scrutiny, too, and in particular your children. Kids don’t pick their parents. I wrote about this here.

That spurred this terrifying thought: The lesson that the ruthless corners of the political world will take from the rise, fall, and departure of Sarah Palin that if you attack a politician’s children nastily enough and relentlessly enough, you can get anybody to quit.

Mark Steyn weighed in with a similar, even more depressing thought (via ST reader MD):

So Occam’s Razor leaves us with: Who needs this?

In states far from the national spotlight, politics still attracts normal people. You’re a mayor or a state senator or even the governor, but you lead a normal life. The local media are tough on you, but they know you, they live where you live, they’re tough on the real you, not on some caricature cooked up by a malign alliance of late-night comics who’d never heard of you a week earlier and media grandees supposedly on your own side who pronounce you a “cancer”.

Then suddenly you get the call from Washington. You know it’ll mean Secret Service, and speechwriters, and minders vetting your wardrobe. But nobody said it would mean a mainstream network comedy host doing statutory rape gags about your 14-year old daughter. You’ve got a special-needs kid and a son in Iraq and a daughter who’s given you your first grandchild in less than ideal circumstances. That would be enough for most of us. But the special-needs kid and the daughter and most everyone else you love are a national joke, and the PC enforcers are entirely cool with it.

Most of those who sneer at Sarah Palin have no desire to live her life. But why not try to – what’s the word? – “empathize”? If you like Wasilla and hunting and snowmachining and moose stew and politics, is the last worth giving up everything else in the hopes that one day David Letterman and Maureen Dowd might decide Trig and Bristol and the rest are sufficiently non-risible to enable you to prosper in their world? And, putting aside the odds, would you really like to be the person you’d have to turn into under that scenario?

National office will dwindle down to the unhealthily singleminded (Clinton, Obama), the timeserving emirs of Incumbistan (Biden, McCain) and dynastic heirs (Bush). Our loss.

Indeed.

Had McCain/Palin won, she wouldn’t be having to deal with the backstabbing McCain campaign officials because they wouldn’t be having to try and make excuses for why their candidate lost. Had they won, the “ethics complaints” filed against Governor Palin wouldn’t have happened, because she would no longer be Governor. Had they won, I believe you would have seen less scrutiny on Palin’s children, because the WH press corp has an unwritten rule about the children of presidents and vice presidents: hands off.

But they didn’t win, so it became open season part 2 not on McCain, but on Sarah Palin and her family from mostly the same crowd who would go ballistic if the types of attacks waged against both her and her children were made on Michelle Obama or any other female Democrat.

Her resigning stinks, but then again, so does the hypocrisy surrounding the jerks who took personal pleasure out of tearing her family down to the point where she decided that enough was enough.

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  • 39 Responses to “Sarah Palin’s resignation: The morning after”

    Comments

    1. Like you, I tend to think there was a gradual “breaking of the camel’s back” that finally happened with the Vanity Fair piece. Whatever her reasons for doing it (at my blog I link to an interesting speculation about Alaska politics and the pipeline deal), it’s a sad day and apparently a real loss for us. :(

    2. Lee says:

      I voted the McCain-Palin ticket but not for McCain..In her speech yesterday she said,”Stand up for what you believe in”. I would stand back and listen to people around me bash Palin(I work at an elementary school)and I never said a word. Well that’s over and I will be VERY VOCAL from now on. I am on my way to a Tea Party in Temecula, CA.

    3. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      I know what you mean, Lee, although I did not vote for anyone for President last year (for the first time in my life). I used to work at a private school, and many in the faculty had a weird hatred of Sarah Palin and her her son Trig.

    4. Jerry says:

      Perhaps I’m being idealistic, but I believe she’s regrouping, not retreating: LINK

    5. Agreed, Sister, I don’t see Palin running in 2012. Until we hear otherwise, I take her at her word as to why she resigned. She’s never been anything but honest and we have no reason to doubt her now.

      Jim Geraghty is right, too, in what he says. The way the left went after her went beyond all boundaries of decency, and I haven’t seen anything like it since what they did to Robert Bork.

      God bless her, she’s quite a woman and someone we’ll never forget.

    6. Tom Syron says:

      Gov. Palin is the only one unafraid to be our voice at this time.
      I believe Gov. Palin will take this “voice” down to the lower 48 states to recruit and campaign for up and coming conservatives to effectively challenge the Radical Left in Congress in 2010 and 2012.

      Additionally she will need to mobilize an internet movement much the same way that Dr. Ron Paul did in the 2008 primary GOP run.

      If she will be “OUR VOICE” we have a chance to keep our democracy and our Constitution as it was intended to be.

      …………Tom Syron

    7. Independent Patriot says:

      So Hillary never had to deal with personal jokes from Republicans? After all it was not a Democrat who broke up the crowd at a political dinner with: “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her mother is Hillary and her father is Janet Reno.” No wonder Hillary quit politics. Abusive, beyond the pall personal attacks have been a staple of American politics since the Revolution. Jefferson was greeted with a lovely song about how he’d rather be back at Montecello in the arms of Sally, his slave mistress. Grover Cleveland was attacked over an illegal child – “Ma, Ma where’s my paw…” Successful politicians, especially ones who dish it out boldly (who said Obama “pals around with terrorists”?), had better have thick skins.

    8. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      Barack Hussein Obama was Bill Ayers pal. Bill Ayers is a terrorist who conspired to kill America soldiers because of his hatred of the American government. Had not the Weather Underground high command accidently blown itself up building a bomb they would have succeeded.

      Ayers never apologized. Instead, he regretted that he did not do more.

      And the last time that I checked Hilly the Hun was still in politics (unless you are dumb enough to believe that Secretary of State is somehow not involved in politics) and still scheming to become President.

    9. Baklava says:

      IP, You didn’t read her speech. You are lazy.

      I read it and saw it.

      This has NOTHING to do with jokes.

      What she is doing is noble.

      She’s holding up the mirror to you freaks. You cost the state too much time and money. The STATE doesn’t deserve that.

    10. Lorica says:

      Amen Baklava, and I think she has only just begun. – Lorica

    11. Baklava says:

      What she did was good for Alaska.

      The idiots cost the state millions. The only thing the idiots spent is hot air.

      For the idiots nothing changed.

      For Alaska so much has changed.

      The woman is amazing and noble.

    12. Lorica says:

      MAUREEN DOWD TRASHES ‘NUTTY’ PALIN

      Sat Jul 04 2009 14:40:36 ET

      NY TIMES Op-Ed Queen Maureen Dowd runs out of adjectives and insults while ripping away at Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in an upcoming Sunday column.

      Palin is “one nutty puppy”, in the mind of Dowd, newsroom sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT, with “erratic and egoistic behavior”.

      Dowd spits her holiday barbecue in 800 words, designed for fireworks.

      “Exquisite battiness… solipsistic meltdown so strange… incoherent, breathless and prickly… Sarah’s country-music melodramas… girlish burbling.”

      Developing…

      This is all I need to know that Sarah did the right thing. When you start standing in agreement with the lunitic left, you are putting yourself are in jeopardy. – Lorica

    13. JimmyZ says:

      Does this mean we patriots can now launch attacks on Obama’s kids? I’m sure there’s some juicy stories some fellow students would love to create divulge about the Obama spawn and their activities behind the bike sheds. Or would Obama’s fascist tool of oppression the mainstream press suddenly develop a moral backbone and consider that un-American?

      Palin was the last hope for this country, and not the evil One’s minions have removed her. There is NO FUTURE for the USA. This is yet another tolling of the bell that marks the fall of the greatest nation on earth, and I do not think it will rest in piece, but rather in pieces.

    14. forest hunter says:

      Hopefully none of us will EVER feel the moronic and even evil personal attacks on her and her entire family, by what I can only consider to be sub-human worthless bags of protoplasm!

      As always most of you make the type of intelligent and thoughtful comments, that continue to be a draw for me and source of wisdom.

      Only time will reveal the whats and whys…..defining the distance between East and West is not our task.

      Thank you Sarah Palin for what you have done…..hunting is a patient venture, in deed.

    15. alchemist says:

      I’ve always felt that family should not be part of a political argument. Unfortunately, some have decided that destroying a politician is worth running their family through the muck. Even though I disagree with her politics, I truly am sorry that her family was subjected to ‘pregnancy’ jokes when her children should be insulated from her political career.

      That being said, I’m totally baffled by this weekends events. I don’t really understand her reasons for leaving, and thought a continuing governorship would either prove (or disprove) her worth in the future.

      I’m not sure what else she could do of equal value.

    16. On the other hand, we shouldn’t discount the possibility that she is taking a longer view than the 2012 presidential election. After all, she is still a young woman, and will not yet have reached her 60th birthday in 2020.

    17. Carlos says:

      First, Alchemist, her departure will save “her” state (actually, it’s the peoples’, but that fine point is usually lost on politicians and dregs) millions of dollars because they will no longer have to waste untold thousands of hours fighting unproductive “society protectors” looking for conservative ghouls under every bed.

      Second, now she will be free to go across this great nation of ours and root for, campaign for those people and candidates who stand for clear, responsible policies and practices that can dig us out of the “business worse than usual” hole our present glorious leader is digging us into.

      And finally, it makes sense from a purely pragmatic, economic point of view, because now she’ll be free to pick up speaking fees that will be more than sufficient to pay for her own legal defense instead of relying on the socialists who run the Republican party now to get her good speaking opportunities, and she won’t have to ignore her duties as governor to do it.

      As a side note, I wonder how long Sens. Dodd, Reid, Kennedy, Kerry etc., or Reps. Pelosi, Feinstein, Frank, etc., would last under the withering blast of scrutiny Palin has gotten in the last year? Palin has had nothing to hide of serious consequence. None of the donks mentioned above can say that (especially Frank).

      The press and leftists defined outrageous behavior when they went after Robert Bork. They’ve perfected it in their villainous behavior toward Palin.

    18. Brontefan says:

      Today’s mainstream media ["drive-by"] with journalists who moonlight as the OBAMA public relations team—mounted the most unconscionable attacks on Sarah Palin and her children that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The release of a Kennedy album [33 & 1/3] with outrageous jokes about the Kennedy family, his wife’s breathless voice, and Catholicism pales by comparison. David Letterman epitomized the level of poor taste these Liberals are willing to go to trash her and her family. And no one wrote a scathing commentary on Michelle Obama’s red/black dress on election night—although, it was truly dreadful. And if one more person tells me that the reason Liberals are so vehement about the 2000 election, I may scream. No one can honestly believe that was stolen unless they know nothing about the laws concerning voting, our Constitution, and the US Supreme Court. I realize it is a possibility, of course, because when I taught high school most my students had no concept of the Electoral College. Most adolescents are more interested in American Idol and Matt Damon’s latest picture than they are in our Constitution and how our government works. I have friends in the UK who are amazed that many American’s take their political views from Hollywood celebrities, most of whom have never attended college—some never finished high school. I still recall Damon’s comments about wanting to know if Palin thought dinosaurs were here four million years ago—-as if that really had anything to do with the office of Vice Presidency. No, instead we wanted a full time court jester who announced to the world where the VP bunker is located. – - – Frankly, I can’t blame Palin for bowing out; she is probably tired of paying lawyers to fend off frivolous lawsuits, legal harassments, etc. Does anyone see the irony of electing Al Franken to the US Senate? Marxists, buffoons, jesters, and czars!

    19. edt says:

      somehow it’s the media’s fault, and the liberals fault, and barack obama’s fault that Palin quit?

      I think republicans are much more comfortable not being in office, because if you are governing, then you have to take the credit and the blame for when things go right or wrong.

      Look, it’s Palin’s idea that she quit, blame her for quitting, don’t blame the media, or obama, or the liberals or whatever, blame Palin.

      If it’s turns out to be a good idea, then give her credit, if it turns out it’s a mistake that’s all hers too.

      but quit trying to evade responsibility by putting it all on the liberals. Politics is a nasty business, maybe she had no business in it, that’s her fault too for going into it.

    20. I think that we have to look at this a couple of ways. First, Gov. Palin needs to make a lot of money in a hurry. To pay the legal bills and sock money away for the family. Why? Because she IS running for president. I also point out a great way for Gov. Palin to do both is to get her own talk radio show. She would have a lot of time to better articulate what SHE thinks. After all, as second bananna to Sen. “F— You” McCain, she had to parrot what he said. Also, our current president made running for the office a full-time job. He did nothing to speak of as a senator-state or federal. I think you will be surprised. A lot of the pundit class will be surprised.

    21. Baklava says:

      Alchemist,

      It doesn’t take much to understand.

      The fact that you don’t shows you are weak.

    22. Great White Rat says:

      Bak,

      It’s doesn’t show that alchemist is weak – it shows that he’s a leftist (shocker there, huh?).

      Conservatives tend to view public service, and especially elective office, as a means of doing something positive for their constituency. Conservatives hate wasting the taxpayers’ money and will champion programs that cannot possibly benefit them personally (school choice for inner city students, for example) because they are better for the public. To us, it’s all about the people.

      The leftists’ first concern is power over as many people and as many things as possible. They could not care less about being good stewards of tax dollars because they see that money as a way to maintain control over us and pay off voting blocs. They will oppose programs that are better for the public if they’re opposed by their big donors (again, think of school choice in the cities). To the left, it’s all about them.

      That’s why alchemist can’t grasp the idea of anyone putting the good of the taxpayers of her state (see Carlos’ excellent first point above) ahead of personal ambition. It’s a concept totally foreign to the leftist mind.

    23. Lorica says:

      Marxists, buffoons, jesters, and czars!

      Oh MY!!!

      You know this is the 1st time in human history that a communist and a czar are in agreement. This President has more czars than any President before him, and they are only answerable to him. We don’t even know how much they are getting paid. These positions are in no way constitutional, and this man is taking advantage over it. It is about power, and holding onto power. – Lorica

    24. alchemist says:

      _To the left, it’s all about them._

      I just think that in the long run, losing Palin may cost the state of Alaska more than the criminal bills alone. How will government adapt to the change in leadership? to an unelected official? Certainly there will be a power vacuum that hopefully can resolve itself quickly. But it’s certainly possible that it may not.

      Besides, I’m not convinced that all of these lawsuits will disappear when she leaves. Some certainly will, others won’t.

      So I see the net cost to Alaska being more negative than positive.

      On the contrary to being about me, If I were to run for office, it would be about solving problems, and doing the most complete job possible. (I don’t really care who gets credit for what). Leaving a job half-finished would drive me bonkers.

    25. Carlos says:

      And that’s the exact problem with politicians today, Alchemist. Governance is a continuing process, and so many of them (both Republican and Democrat) feel it is more important to the government (fed or state) that they stay in place until their “job is complete”.

      IT’S NOT THEIR JOB! And therein lies the rub. Too many consider it THEIR job, and the people lose out because of it.

      If the job is so large the prez has to be limited, so do the congress critters, guvners, state legislators, mayors and dogcatchers. Term limits, all the way down the line, top to bottom. It’s the only way in this modern world we’ll get anywhere close to citizen representation.

    26. Carlos says:

      edt, I notice our present admin is taking tons of credit for everything that continues to gather speed headed down the toilet.

      No. Wait! I forgot! All our glorious leader is taking credit for is living in a country that has stunk up history and every other non-European country in the world for 233 years. My bad.

    27. Severian says:

      Cincinnatus stepped down early, and instead of being lambasted for it became a legendary symbol of selfless service to the state. My how times have changed.

      But the people who had nothing good to say about anything Palin did in office are the ones who are most loudly and hysterically complaining about her leaving office. I think it’s because they don’t want to lose their chew toy. They remind me of the two old ladies coming out of a greasy spoon diner. One says, the food here is just terrible, it is just terrible. The other says, yeah, and the servings are so small!

    28. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      Interesting discussion over at Instapundit regarding Sarah Palin’s actions.

      One reader has suggested that Palin has decided to go “John Galt” and start an insurgency against the GOP establishment that was behind many of the smears directed at her and her family. In this view, Palin is not necessarily running for President herself, but instead she is planning a conservative rebellion against the Steeles and McCains of the GOP. She will support conservative challengers that take on the entrenched GOP leftist incumbents.

      Personally, I think that trying to reform the Republican Party (or the Democrat Party, for that matter) is a little like trying to reform the Communist or Nazi Parties. Both are completely under the thumb of the state-run media, making reform practically impossible. The basic premise of the GOP leadership – just like the Democrat leadership – is that taxpayers are ignorant, lazy, racist, homophobic God-and-guns-clinging serfs that need an omnipotent government to properly direct their miserable worthless little lives. You cannot reform such an attitude – you can only depose those who hold it and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law when possible.

      But I am for anything that topples crooked left-wing smear artist kleptocrats anywhere anytime – Republican or Democrat. America needs at least one political party that stands for liberty and freedom. That used to be the GOP, but not any more. I say: Go Sarah!!

    29. Great White Rat says:

      edt tosses up an electronic air ball:

      if you are governing, then you have to take the credit and the blame for when things go right or wrong.

      Really? Get back to us when Obama can get through more than two sentences without blaming everything and anything on Bush.

      somehow it’s the media’s fault, and the liberals fault, and barack obama’s fault that Palin quit?

      Didn’t say that at all. Nice delusion you have there. Get it treated, OK?

      What she DID say is that she’s quitting to spare the taxpayers of Alaska the expense of dealing with frivolous ethics complaints. In that sense, this harrassment by left-wing hate-mongers is responsible, since every one of the complaints has been dismissed, including such gems as this:

      Aug. 6, 2008: Complaint filed by outspoken Palin critic Andree McLeod of Anchorage contended Palin and some staff members used their influence to get a Palin supporter a job in state government.

      Oh. My. God!! A supporter actually getting a government job?? How about if some conservative legal foundation goes through every appointment Obama’s made to make sure none of those people supported him….and make him pay for the defense out of his own pocket. Think edt would be cheering for that? Or whining about “moving on” and “we won”?

      Nov. 14, 2008: Accused Palin of partisan “post-election damage control” for talking to reporters about the campaign in her state office.

      Again, this had no point except to waste taxpayer dollars (but since when do libs care about that) and make her spend her own money in defense.

      And this one’s the best of the lot:

      Jan. 12: Complaint alleging interference in a job hiring was filed under the name of Edna Birch, a busybody character on the British soap opera Emmerdale. Palin’s attorney, Thomas Van Flein, said no one by that name could be found living in Alaska and the filer refused to use a real name, so the complaint was dismissed Feb. 20.

      Get the point, edt…alchemist?? These are nothing but harrassment tactics by left-wing groups and people that have nothing in their twisted little souls but irrational hatred.

      Alaska should think about changing its ethics laws to provide that anyone who files a baseless ethics complaint should be forced to reimburse the taxpayers AND the defendant for the costs incurred. Now, I’m sure George Soros and the like would do it anyway, but it might reduce the number.

      The Anchorage Daily News, by the way, is the source for the details on the ethics complaints.

    30. Severian says:

      filed under the name of Edna Birch, a busybody character on the British soap opera Emmerdale.

      Undoubtedly filed by a liberal PBS Brit-com rerun watching whiner…:d

    31. Great White Rat says:

      Oh, and there’s also this from the ADN: FBI says Palin not under investigation

      Looks like the bottom-feeders on the left will have to come up with a different lie in their endless attempts to smear her.

    32. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      Won’t make a difference, GWR. Have the 911 Truthers stopped pushing their wacko conspiracy theories? Have the Global Warming cultists abandoned second-rate science fiction stories for real science? The state-run media is too heavily vested in their current lies to develop a fresh set.

      Remember always: You can lead a liberal to knowledge, but you cannot make him think.

    33. alchemist says:

      GWR: I’m not disagreeing with you about the ridiculousness of some of these cases. There are lots of ridiculous court cases out there. So politicians should quit every time ridiculous lawsuits get out of hand? Isn’t that giving these lawsuits exactly what they want?

      If she stayed, maybe she could have helped to reform the system…. and already her governorship is more valuable.

    34. Great White Rat says:

      MD: point well taken, especially the last sentence, since those people operate on emotions, not on thought.

      alchemist, I don’t completely disagree with your point. I said in a previous post that I’d have preferred she stay and fight the nonsense. However, I do understand her reasoning. If she stayed on, your associates would have continued the nonsense and prevented her from doing her job as it should be done. She opted to give her state a full-time governor instead.

      As for reforming the system, yes, that needs to be done. Any time the governor’s staff is spending 80% of their time swatting away harrassment and meritless ethics complaints from these left-wing mosquitos, a new can of insecticide is definitely needed. But she could not have led that battle – if she had, you’d predictably be here hinting darkly that she’s only doing it to hide something, and your friends would claim that leading the fight for reform is itself an ethics violation.

      What she has done is undercut the liberals’ strategy. She can continue to speak out on issues, and I hope she does. But as a private citizen, she will not be open to these complaints. Your side will have to go to a different page in your playbook of the politics of personal destruction.

    35. Lorica says:

      Politics is a nasty business,

      Ahhhh the mantra of the left whenever they want to justify there own nastiness. When Clinton actually broke the law it was treated as if everyone does it…blah blah blah, he really didn’t do anything wrong…blah blah blah. Whatever, this is the reason you cannot take these people seriously. They are the people who turned the Wellstone Memorial into a carnival celebration.

    36. Lorica says:

      As far as I am concerned she did the right thing for everyone involved. For the state of Alaska, for her Lt. Gov., for her family, and for her future. These attacks were not going to stop. The people of Alaska deserve better, not that the left would care about such things. Also, with both of the entrenched political machines firing shots at her what chance did she have?? This is a good way to assess what her options are, just prior to running for President against the commie. – Lorica