Palin Resigning as Alaska Governor

Sarah Palin

There was speculation that Alaska Governor (and right-wing darling) Sarah Palin would not run for re-election in 2010, both to give time to run for President in 2012, and to avoid a potentially embarrassing upset defeat which could derail her political career altogether (see Allen, George). But in a stunning announcement, Gov. Palin is in fact planning to resign the governorship, effective at the end of the month. Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell (R) will take over.

I have to say, I consider this a grave, grave misstep by Governor Palin. I am not a hound on “experience” — I think there are many ways by which a person can show themselves to be a qualified presidential contender, and we should let candidates prove themselves on their own merits rather than relying on proxies. Nevertheless, the simple truth is that Palin’s political resume now stands at Mayor of Wasilla and a half a term as governor of one of America’s smallest states — and she hasn’t demonstrated the sort of independent policy wonkery or political intelligence that would counsel us to overlook that fact.

Her resignation indicates that Palin wants to double down on the qualities which launched her to stardom in the first place — those which appeal to the populist, hard-right, anti-credentialist wing of the GOP. But she already has that group locked down. What Governor Palin needed to do was show that she isn’t merely a creature of the far-right — that she has the chops to play at the pro-level. Doubts about Palin’s basic capabilities linger in all but the staunchest Republican partisans, and there is no way for her to quell them now. I suspect that the Palin we’re going to see from this day forward will be, if anything, more partisan, more nasty, less substantive, less deliberative, and (yes I’ll say it) more narcissistic than what we’ve seen so far. These are not the qualities anybody wants to see in a Presidential contender. I think Palin has underestimated even the rump Republican base that will vote in the 2012 primary, let alone the full American electorate.

Other reactions:

Steve Benen also thinks “Palin is making a terrible mistake,” and notes that her move comes precisely as even solid Republicans like Charles Krauthammer and Reihan Salam were beginning to question her viability as a serious contender.

Outside the Beltway: The idea that Palin leaving office now will aid her come 2012 “is, to say the least, unconventional.”

The Lonely Conservative carries on that theme, calling her decision “Bizarre to say the least. Quitting her job mid-term doesn’t seem to be the way to further her political career.”

Gateway Pundit seems pleased, and quotes a Fox report saying that Palin was spending too much time defending herself from local press attacks and ethics complaints to accomplish anything as Governor. I guess that is one way to stop the bleeding….

Little Green Footballs questions the Friday announcement, classically the day selected for stories pols want to bury. If that was the thought process, I can’t believe it will work, but I’m skeptical that even Palin’s brain trust thought they’d be able to keep this one under wraps.

The Riehl World View asks if Palin may be walking away for good — though even he doesn’t seem convinced. On the other hand, Wizbang’s gut tells him that Palin will not run for POTUS in 2012.

Writing at The Corner, K-Lo wonders if Palin may just have been overwhelmed with the many roles she has to play — mother, governor, GOP superstar.

DougJ, on the other hand, thinks that there is a new scandal that was about to break and that Palin is trying to suck the wind out of.

Three conservative heavies in the blogosphere, Allah Pundit, Ace of Spades, and Jim Geraghty all agree — whether she wants to be or not, Palin is finished as a national player. Quoting Allah Pundit:

Placing your ambition over your commitment to the state looks shady, especially for someone who won’t have a single full term as governor under her belt for the primaries.

And finally, for those of you who are less interested in three year distant Presidential speculation, and now want to know how this affects that actual seat in question (Alaska Governor), Swing State Project has got you covered.

         

7 Comments

  1. I think what she's looking for is her own show on FOX and the dollars it will bring in. The Hannity and Beck fans just love her.

  2. List of possible reasons for Sarah's decision–you have mentioned several of them:

    To avoid a potentially embarrassing upset defeat in 2010

    To hog the long fourth of July news cycle

    To take the limelight away from Mark Sanford

    She is walking away for good

    She is “overwhelmed with the many roles she has to play — mother, governor, GOP superstar”

    More ethics shoes are about to drop

    To cash in on her celebrity status: speaking fees, etc., etc.

    To make millions writing books and reporting for FOX

    To jog for “Runner's World” wrapped in the US flag, and wearing nylon stockings.

    To run with Rush Limbaugh in 2012–who is on top of the ticket to be decided

    To have more time for bone up for her upcoming appearance on “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”

    I am sure there will be a hundred more–all fun to read and watch, especially on the late night comedy shows

  3. Yikes! Limbaugh/Palin. Scary.

  4. I doubt that clash of egos would hang together more than a few weeks. ;-) Like her or not though, she commands far too much interest to not strike while the iron is hot. How she is going to strike is the question.

    I suspect that the Palin we’re going to see from this day forward will be, if anything, more partisan, more nasty, less substantive, less deliberative, and (yes I’ll say it) more narcissistic than what we’ve seen so far. ~ DS

    Unfortunately I suspect you are right – although I hope not. That whole divisive, demonizing dynamic has brought nothing good to our country, regardless of which side it comes from.

  5. Or could it be that she's about to be indicted by the Feds?
    Seems that her manse in Wasilla was built at the same time, with the same materials, by the same contractors hired (when she was mayor of Wasilla) to build the multi million dollar sports complex in Wasilla.
    Coincidence?
    or more ambition than brains?

  6. HALPERIN'S TAKE at Time.com, (http://thepage.time.com/halperins-take-10-possi…) has just published the “10 Possible Reasons for Palin's Decision”

    1. Her political standing has slipped enough that she could have lost a re-election bid if she tried to retain her current office.

    2. Her political standing has slipped enough that even if she had run and won, she would have likely been bloodied in the race, maybe even in a primary.

    3. Even more ethics complaints (many frivolous) would have been filed against her.

    4. She's got a book to write.

    5. She's got a special needs baby to raise.

    6. It is logistically impossible to run for president as the sitting governor of Alaska — because of flight times. (Not hard: *impossible*)

    7. She couldn't truly explore her money-making potential as an incumbent governor.

    8. She couldn't truly explore her media potential as an incumbent governor.

    9. The legislature has turned so much against her that the job wasn't much fun any more.

    10. If she wants to be the Republican Party's presidential nominee in 2012, she needs to spend more time raising money, establishing her international and national expertise, and traveling the Lower 48. And she needs to start now.

    We weren't too far off…

  7. I'm glad she's going. Now, she has more time to watch Russia from her porch. The only reason I regret she's going is because now she will have more time to shoot wolves from planes (poor animals).

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