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.

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Sarah Palin: 'The Life is about choices!' Speech

Washington's Farewell Address it's not. The speech is rambling and incoherent, full of meaningless platitudes. Count the number of times she mentions "no more politics as usual." Here's Sarah Palin in her own words:

Hi Alaska, I appreciate speaking directly TO you, the people I serve, as your Governor.

People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska. Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine.

I want Alaskans to grasp what can be in store for our state. We were purchased as a territory because a member of President Abe Lincoln's cabinet, William Seward, providentially saw in this great land, vast riches, beauty, strategic placement on the globe, and opportunity. He boldly looked "North to the Future". But he endured such ridicule and mocking for his vision for Alaska, remember the adversaries scoffed, calling this "Seward's Folly". Seward withstood such disdain as he chose the uncomfortable, unconventional, but RIGHT path to secure Alaska, so Alaska could help secure the United States.

Alaska's mission - to contribute to America. We're strategic IN the world as the air crossroads OF the world, as a gatekeeper of the continent. Bold visionaries knew this - Alaska would be part of America's great destiny.

Our destiny to be reached by responsibly developing our natural resources. This land, blessed with clean air, water, wildlife, minerals, AND oil and gas. It's energy! God gave us energy.

So to serve the state is a humbling responsibility, because I know in my soul that Alaska is of such import, for America's security, in our very volatile world. And you know me by now, I promised even four years ago to show MY independence... no more conventional "politics as usual".

And we are doing well! My administration's accomplishments speak for themselves. We work tirelessly for Alaskans.

We aggressively and responsibly develop our resources because they were created to be used to better our world... to HELP people... and we protect the environment and Alaskans (the resource owners) foremost with our policies.

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Northern Overexposure

If you haven't read it yet, it is all the rage. Todd Purdum has written a masterful and entertaining article in Vanity Fair about the Governor of Alaska, that conservative pin up girl, Sarah Palin. While there are a number of new interesting tidbits, the general gist we already knew. Sarah Palin was a disaster. Even if she got the rabid conservative base to foam at the mouth to the rest of us she was clearly unqualified to be one wink away from the Presidency. He writes:

Palin is unlike any other national figure in modern American life--neither Anna Nicole Smith nor Margaret Chase Smith but a phenomenon all her own. The clouds of tabloid conflict and controversy that swirl around her and her extended clan--the surprise pregnancies, the two-bit blood feuds, the tawdry in-laws and common-law kin caught selling drugs or poaching game--give her family a singular status in the rogues' gallery of political relatives. By comparison, Billy Carter, Donald Nixon, and Roger Clinton seem like avatars of circumspection. Palin's life has sometimes played out like an unholy amalgam of Desperate Housewives and Northern Exposure.

More like at Northern Overexposure at this point. Sarah Palin may drive the conservative base into a frenzy who view her as some sort of female Ronald Reagan but to the politically astute, not to mention the just plain awake, she's just not all there. She's erratic, uncertain of facts and simply just not sufficiently prepared to play a leading role on the national stage. And if she's the last of the red hot conservatives, then truly the conservative brand is in trouble. If the GOP were to nominate her again even as Vice President, I am not sure the Republican Party would live to see another day. In the end, Sarah Palin will be a footnote in American history, the first female Vice Presidential candidate on a Republican ticket and the second overall on a major party ticket. She is as much trivia as trivial.

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Haley Barbour Tests the Waters

Ed Gillespie, the former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, calls Haley Barbour a "happy warrior who stands up for conservative principles" while Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal finds the current Governor of Mississippi "a political-turnaround artist -- the Lee Iacocca of party rebuilding" in crediting Mr. Barbour, also a former RNC chair, as "one of the unsung masterminds of the 1994 Republican revolution." Mr. Moore adds that "if Newt Gingrich was the four-star general, Mr. Barbour was the field marshal." Well, apparently, Mr. Barbour is thinking of adding Commander-in-Chief to his résumé.

Governor Barbour is raising whispers about a potential 2012 run at the Presidency with back-to-back trips to the early presidential voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire to headline fundraisers. The visits are ostensibly part of his duties as incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Both Iowa and New Hampshire also have Governor's races in 2010.

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If You Read Eric Alterman's Piece, Drink Heavily

Eric Alterman has a tour de force piece in The Nation entitled Kabuki Democracy: Why a Progressive Presidency is Impossible, For Now. It's a long piece and I've already read it twice and will likely read it a few more times. I'd advise that it may help to drink heavily for no matter how much you imbibe, you're likely be sober after reading it. It's a frighteningly powerful piece. While I can't say that I agree with every single assertion, the overall thesis is inescapable - we are a broken country, a failed state in the making.






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