Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

Matt Cooper of The Atlantic offers up three possible theories on the thinking, if one can call it that, behind Governor Palin abrupt decision to resign her office 18 months before the end of her term.

1. She has more bad news to report. There's something going on with her family again. There's more to come with the state's finance. Whatever. There's no good reason for her to suddenly up and quit the governorship, her one claim on elective experience.

2. She wants the money. Palin is probably turning down tons of lucrative speaking offers, corporate boards and others ways of getting rich while she bides her time waiting for the presidency. Maybe she just can't say no to the money any longer?

3. She's totally impulsive. Assuming this wasn't a well calculated, move maybe she's just being utterly impulsive. She got sick of the job, sick of dealing with declining revenue, sick of having to stay close to Juneau and Wasilla when she really wants to be in Manchester and Des Moines.

It might be all of the above and then a few more. Her "I don't want to be a lame-duck Governor now that I've decided not to run for re-election" simply isn't credible. Had she run for re-election and won would she then have resigned her office whenever she determined she was a lame-duck? Personally, I find this will be held against her should she ever choose to run for office again. For this reason alone, I think Sarah Palin is unlikely to run for office certainly in the near term and perhaps here ever after. Talk of a Senate run or a Presidential run in 2012 is just that, talk and speculative at that.

To be fair, it is likely her family was the important driver in her decision to retire. She still has three young kids including one with special needs and has a unmarried teenage daughter who has an infant of her own.  There is little question that both the Letterman episode and the more recent Vanity Fair article that portrayed, accurately I think, a narcissistic and unpolished politician hurt her deeply. And there's little doubt that a Palin in the public limelight will remain fodder for late night jokes, in part because she is such an easy target.

But beyond wanting to spare her family, I do think that there are more ethical lapses that yet to come to light, perhaps over the building of her home in Wasilla during her tenure as Mayor or perhaps over the awarding of the contract to build the Wasilla Sport Complex to close family friends. Even if another scandal isn't looming, Governor Palin did note the mounting legal bills from her existing ones. And her star-power among a subset of conservatives who view her as the second coming of Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin is likely to earn millions on the circuit tour to raise millions more on behalf on conservative causes and for conservative candidates.

But Presidential aspirations were always far-fetched. The combination of Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric and Tina Fey tarnished the Palin image beyond repair, though to be frank, the damage was largely self-inflicted. If she is half as savvy a politician as some think she is, then she must clearly realize that her chances of winning the GOP nomination, let alone the Presidency, are slim and next to none. So instead, Sarah Palin is cashing out.

Tags: Alaska Politics, Governor Sarah Palin, US Politics (all tags)



Re: Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

I agree. Palin has no shot at electoral politics again. Like when McCain suspended his campaign, half of the pundits will try to spin this, but it really can't be spun. Palin quit her job.

by Lolis 2009-07-04 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

Look...we all know that she has no shot at being elected President, certainly not in 2012. But we're rational and you're assuming Palin and her followers are as well. I think, even with this, that if she runs for 2012, she'll get the Republican nomination. And she'll get it easily too...the base loves her. Of course the general would be another story.

by newms 2009-07-04 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

A subset of the GOP base loves her and if Huckabee runs well that then divides the subset especially in the South. Ditto if Barbour runs.

She could do well in IA, SC and NV but it get tricky elsewhere among the early primary/caucus states.

by Charles Lemos 2009-07-04 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

I dont know...I just dont see Huckabee and Barbour generating the kind of following Palin does. Have you seen the GOP base lately....look at the Pennsylvania GOP with what they did with Specter and Florida and what the GOP will do to Crist.

by newms 2009-07-04 09:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

She has her fans, no question about that. And they are certainly more rabid than those of other candidates with her stripes but my point is that Huckabee and Barbour would cut into that even if only marginally. Still, I think it's unlikely that she will run for President but then again she may just be that delusional and narcissistic. But do you think she could hold her own through the grueling debate schedule?

She did okay against Biden but I wouldn't characterize that performance as stellar either.

But you're right on the larger point, Palin does galvanize like no other. Still once you are outside that base, she has the oppositie effect. She's polarizing.

I don't foresee Crist losing to Rubio, do you? I'd be shocked.

by Charles Lemos 2009-07-04 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

No, she would not get the nomination.  A lot of Republicans are stupid, but a lot are not.  As a candidate, she's laughable.  

by RickD 2009-07-04 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

Why would anybody want Palin on a corporate board?

I can see her raking in money for speaking engagements, but don't people on corporate boards have actual responsibilities?

Why would anybody want to entrust her with more responsibilities?  

by RickD 2009-07-04 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

Political connections. It's not so much what she knows but who she knows.

by Charles Lemos 2009-07-04 09:27PM | 0 recs
Corporate Board Responsibilities

From what I can see the usual roll of an outside Director on a Corporate board is to rubber stamp the operational decisions of the CEO (all too often also the Chairman of the Board) and vote 'Yes' on the recommendations of the Compensation Committee. Oh and cash a juicy check after eating a really nice lunch.

I wish that was a joke.

by Bruce Webb 2009-07-05 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Palin: Family + Scandal + Cash = Retirement

Sooner or later, Mike Huckabee is going to have to give up his show on Fox Noise to run for President again.  If that turns out to be sooner, maybe Long John Rupert cut an as yet secret deal with Madame Youbetcha to take that slot in their propoganda lineup.

by CLLGADEM 2009-07-05 09:59AM | 0 recs


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