I was in Traverse City Friday when I got a call from my friend CJ asking what I thought of Palin's announcement. Since I hadn't seen the TV I had no idea what he was talking about and I was shocked when he told me she was resigning. Her actions have created quite a buzz in Republican circles ranging from criticism to praise. Here is my take:
Sarah Palin is most concerned about Sarah Palin. In her speech she talked about Alaska and how her resigning was good for the state. The reality is that she is no longer having fun being governor and therefore moving on. Granted she has received a lot of bad publicity but unfortunately, like her resignation, she mostly brought it on herself. She was the one who agreed to run for VP while knowing that her teenage daughter was pregnant. Did she not think that the media would care about that? She is the one who reportedly refused to prepare for her interview with Katie Couric which ended in a disaster. And now this.
Did she really think she would get positive coverage for quitting in the middle of her term? And the way she framed her announcement was preposterous and pretentious. If she was intent on resigning, the least she could have done is make the announcement with dignity and class. Most people would give her some slack if she simply said I am tired of the spotlight and being dragged through the mud and I want some time away to rebuild my family. Instead she turned her resignation into a badge of honor and noted how she was inspired by her visit with the troops. I am sorry but those troops don't quit when the going gets tough. They don't go home halfway through their deployment. If anything, her visit with them should have inspired her to stay the course. After all, wasn't her claim to fame that she was tough minded and could take on the establishment? Apparently not.
If she was really interested in helping Alaska, she should have dropped the pretense of running for president and focus on accomplishing reforms before she left office. Instead with dropping poll numbers and a tumbling economy to contend with she somehow decides it's in the best interest of Alaskans for their leader to give up and go home. It doesn't make any sense. As for her presidential aspirations, as my New York friends would say "forget about it".
One of the criticisms of her last year was that she was untested and not ready to be President. Quitting the one job that will give her the necessary experience and skills to become President is not the right plan. If she can't take the heat of Alaskan politics how is she going to handle being the leader of the free world? Leaving the Governor's office early does little to inspire confidence or build her already thin resume. She could have used her time in office to learn the issues and sharpen her ability to govern. She could have demonstrated the type of leader she would be for the country by her actions in Alaska. Well maybe she just did that.
Now what is she going to do? Write a book or join the talk radio/Cable TV circuit. Yes they pay more but they don't help prepare someone for the presidency. In the end her demise is hardly a disappointment. Less than a year ago most people in the lower 48 states had never heard of her. And outside of the first few weeks of the campaign her performance was less than impressive. With Sanford's trouble and now this, somewhere Mitt Romney is smiling.