Juneau Anything I Don’t Know?

It’s Monday afternoon, and every single possible analysis that could have been made about Sarah Palin’s stunning announcement on Friday has already been made. And if I said that I’ve read them all, I’d be lying.

Truth be told, I’ve been as curious as the rest of ‘em. I’ve gone from thinking that there’s another shoe left to drop (hopefully not an Argentinian loafer), to wondering whether she was looking at a possible Senate run (turns out that neither of the seats in Alaska are up for re-election in 2010), to believing that this was a likely sign that she’ll definitely be running for president (and that she knows of the significant ground, in terms of policy, that she must cover), to feeling as though she may actually be done, completely, with regard to political office.

As it is, however, I am no prognosticator. But I have had a weekend to think about it.

Barring any sort of unforeseen disclosures–”I’m going hiking in the Yukons, I swear”–I do believe it likely that she has stepped down so as to avoid the kind of absent leadership seen when Barack Obama left his Senate seat, or when John McCain missed nearly a record number of votes, or when George W. Bush essentially turned Texas over to his lieutenant governor in pursuit of the presidency. Unfortunately, unlike Texas or Arizona or Illinois, Alaska’s geographical location does not allow for the same sort of commuting governance that Palin would have liked. Whether or not this was a good move, politically, is the question of the day.

On one hand, being free of her everyday duties as Alaska’s governor–regardless of how well she could prosecute them considering the increased scrutiny and distraction following last year’s candidacy for VP–would permit Palin to use her on private, personal time much in the way another prominent governor, Ronald Reagan, used his in 1977 and 1978: traveling the country, speaking about core conservative values, and being free to criticize and praise as necessary. Undoubtedly, Palin has taken notice of how former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been free to curry favor among GOP candidates, raise money, boost his own political profile, sharpen his questionable conservative bona fides, and become an outspoken, informed critic of the Obama administration — and she feels as though she can do the same thing.

On the other hand, given her age, Palin could have stuck around for the end of her term and then dealt with the political realities at that time. Yes, it would have made a presidential run in 2012 darned near impossible, but it could have afforded her some time afterward–AFTER she fulfilled her obligation–to focus on the briefings and the policy and the intricasies with which she needs to become more and more familiar, to do then what Reagan did in 1977 and 1978. Doing so would have avoided the liberal stigma of “quitter,” and would have left her poised to tout her experience as Alaska’s chief executive as she lobbied America for a larger, more oval, office; because she has left her office ahead of schedule, however, when in the future she cites her many accomplishments in Alaska, such experience could always be received with an asterisk — much like baseball historians look at the records set by Barry Bonds and question the purity with which he obtained them, many could look at her experience in dealing with energy and fiscal issues and never be able to part with the nagging reality that she stepped down before her term was done.

Furthermore, it could be argued that, by stepping down as she has and criticizing the mainstream press as she continues to do, Sarah Palin is emboldening the left’s pattern and tactic of using the Politics of Personal Destruction to eliminate or undermine desirable candidates on the right or their candidacies before the first vote is even cast. Right now, knowing full well that Palin may have capitulated and broken under the intense scrutiny, it’s fair to say that every move, speech, and association made and held by people like Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan aren’t being examined with a microscope by operatives on the left, and that those operatives have a new sense of purpose. It’s also enough to make people like myself, considering a future in politics, think again despite having led a relatively clean and scandal-free life.

Regardless, I continue to like Sarah Palin. I’m not sold on this particular move, but the world of politics, like Monty Python’s Camelot, ’tis certainly a silly place. As we move closer and closer to the midterm elections in 2010 and the presidential election two years later, I’ll be interested in seeing how she handles her new-found freedom, and if the gamble pays off. Too many times, like in Rudy Giuliani’s Sunshine State gamble in 2008, we find that traditional discourse is certainly the best course — in the case of this Den Mother on Steroids, however, I hope I’m wrong.

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Comments

  1. Robert Wallace says:

    I watched about a 7 minute excerpt from her press conference, and came away wondering why people think this is such a big deal.

    Her reasoning seemed pretty clear: she thinks she can do more for the country outside of office rather than in office.

    There are a few other things:
    1. She's not willing to hold onto the office just to have the title.
    2. Her family want her to step down, especially after the way the press has gone after them.

    Everyone keeps looking at this through the lens of politics and only politics. And yeah – if the *only* thing you consider is the politics it's weird. Nonconformist.

    But when politicians attempt to live life as only politicians rather than as human beings who have a job in politics you get Mark Sanford. Seen in the context of Sarah Palin's life as governor, wife, mother, and citizen the decision makes sense to me.

    FWIW – I do agree that there's the danger of emboldening the leftist media destruction machine, but I wouldn't have felt right asking Palin to be the pinata for the rest of the Right, which is what she's been doing since the GOP convention.

  2. Lilly says:

    I agree with Robert completely. She was totally honest in her reasons and they are good old common sense, which is always been what she's been about. I am dying to figure out the what's the next step that she is going to take but I'm not over analyzing any thing she said. Just waiting to be able to support her in whatever she chooses to do, even if that's fishing, hunting and spending time with her family!

  3. SWM LOOKING FOR SANE PRESIDENT says:

    I am sooooo ready for a woman president. And one with common sense makes me giddy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I listened to Sarah Palin's statement. She explained that multiple political attacks via spurious lawsuits were being lodged against the state and that Alaska's taxpayers were having to pay millions to fight the political party that is at war against American taxpayers. I think she made a very smart move, as Americans are quickly discerning that hatred of American taxpayers is the game that fuels the Obama&Bernanke&BigBank party.

    Soon all Americans will realize that Cap&Trade is the new bubble that will serve as another commodities-market casino for the banks, which make loads and loads and loads of money off of these bubbles. Obviously, Obama thinks it's more important for Goldman's 250,000 or so employees to maintain their average $600,000 yearly salary than for lowly paid American taxpayers who make under $500,000 a year to stay out of debt.

  5. tm says:

    Did anybody ever read "The Art of War"?
    Moving targets are hard to hit!
    Check her $$$ over at sarah pac.

    Go Sarah……….

  6. sharon says:

    My cousin lives in Anchorage, is a nurse there. I called her to get the scoop and she likes Sarah real well. My cousin has lived there six years and saw an incredible change for the good after she took office. She calls her the peoples governor. She told me the general consensus is that she did the right thing. The people are tired of the hits against their gov. 24/7, she said there are a great number of citizens that look forward to her defending herself.

  7. SARAH STOP THIS NONSENSE says:

    The U.S. Senate is lurching onward with Cap-and-Trade legislation – a massive energy tax that will dramatically raise the cost of just about everything you produce or consume, (according to some figures by as much as 3,000 per year for the average household) all to reduce "global warming," which Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) labels "a hoax."

    The U.S. House – on a day that shall live in infamy – passed this so-called Cap-and-Trade legislation by the narrow margin of 219-212, with the help of eight Republican-in-Name-Only turncoats.

    And now, only the Senate can stop this massive tax increase that goes under the deceptive name of Cap-and-Trade.

    And here's an "inconvenient truth." The rationale behind so-called Cap-and-Trade is based solely on a myth called Global Warming. Cap-and-Trade is being sold as the solution to a problem that does not even exist.

    "Global temperatures have not risen for a decade, and have been falling since . . . late 2001. Perhaps real-world climate sensitivity [to human causes] is much below [U.N.] estimates. Perhaps, therefore, there is no 'climate crisis' at all." (Climate expert Viscount Christopher Moncton]

    Senators need to wake up and consider Christopher Moncton's common sense solution for the global warming fantasy that he identifies as a non-problem. It is, he says, "To have the courage to . . . do nothing."

    To state this "inconvenient truth" another way; Barack Hussein Obama, Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, and Harry Reid are using the discredited, unscientific global warming myth to justify their mindless drive to wreck the American economy and eradicate our personal freedoms.

    We must stop them. We can do so by barraging the president and Senate leadership with blast faxes showing that we're onto their global warming scam – their tax-and-spend power grab – and that the American people won't tolerate legislatively induced economic suicide.

  8. Chuck in San Diego says:

    To follow "Sarah stop this nonsense" please take a look at this article in a local Oklahoma newspaper. Please support Sen. Inhofe in his fight for the truth..

    http://www.adaeveningnews.com/local/local_story_187130119.html
    WASHINGTON — An Oklahoma Senator has called for an investigation into a suppressed Environmental Protection Agency report that questioned the relationship between greenhouse gases and increased global temperatures.

    Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. and ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said he is disappointed in the EPA’s lack of “transparency and openness” regarding a report written by Alan Carlin, a 38-year EPA employee.

    “Making scientific decisions while ignoring key data politicizes the scientific process and shows that important policy decisions are being made in a black box,” Inhofe said.

    Inhofe, along with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., authored a letter dated June 30 addressed to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. It stated that “the director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics refused to consider the report, and rejected a request to forward the report to agency officials tasked with analyzing the science behind the endangerment (report) finding.”

    …..

    Inhofe and Barrasso asks in the letter for Jackson to respond to these questions by Friday, July 10. The public may provide their view of this matter by phoning Sen. Jim Inhofe at 202-224-4721 or Sen. John Barrasso at 202-224-6441. The public may also phone EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at 202-564-4700.

  9. Gail B says:

    Sarah Palin draws attention, I think, because of her being picked as the GOP VP candidate but more so because the contemporary liberal are AFRAID of her! Why else would they go to so much trouble to tear her apart?

    Early on, she came across to me like someone greatly talented in her politics but who lacked the smooth oral delivery of a "statesman." She has additional time to do her homework for her own campaign.

    It's just my gut feeling, but Palin is now free to go wherever she's needed, to speak out for the GOP, to instill confidence in the GOP by conservative America, and to make her bid for POTUS. Sarah Palin is no quitter by any stretch of the imagination. Don't sell her short!

    Don't forget–she has her PAC in place. Look out, contemporary liberal Democrats! Here comes Palin in 2012!

  10. Anonymous says:

    C.Edmund Wright wrote a good article at American Thinker – Palin v. Pundits. The very fact that Sarah Palin does not think or act like the typical bimboes in DC makes me ecstatic. They just don't get her and that makes me like her more. I am enjoying these so-called experts scratching their heads and trying to come up with something profound like "if she can't stand the heat…". She and her family have been subjected to the most vicious and cruel hatred..more than any of the career politicians have faced. The lies and cruelty against a little boy with Down's Syndrome is unforgiveable and unAmerican and it will come back to bite them. Sarah will be fine…even the so-called Republican conservatives can't give her credit for knowing what she is doing. I love it…I hope she knocks all of them on their arses!! I will support her in anyway I can. She may NOT be interested in running for President….maybe she has something else in mind and I wish her well.

  11. THINK ABOUT IT says:

    How best to word this argument?

    Those that say Palin is a quitter?, Alaska being left in the lurch? This would mean that indeed her intelligence and methods were of importance to Alaska. Yet, there is a Lt.Governor to take charge.

    To reverse this: Did not Obama in effect 'quit' his Senate seat to run? And did he not have NO executive experience? Yet he takes on the ultimate executive position in the world?

    Surely a Lt. Governor can 'pretend' to take good care of Alaska, if a community organizer can pretend to be leader of the free world.

    And surely a person with council member, mayor and governor experience can live her to life to where she can have the most impact?

    I am hoping the very best for her, her family, for my country, and thus for me.

  12. Rix says:

    I have immense respect for Sarah Palin as a person, a politician and an executive official (not to mention slobbering admiration for her looks) but she is not yet ready to run a national campaign.

    First, as I mentioned in one of my previous comments, the stench of defeat takes significant time to rub off. John McCain might have earned our gratitude by catapulting Sarah Palin into the national spotlight but she is now forced to carry the stinging legacy of his '2008 loss.

    Second, the despicable campaign of smearing and mudslinging that the MSM conducted against Sarah Palin has, unfortunately, been extremely successful. In the eyes of many an independent voter, she is painted a political lightweight, a pretty airhead and a backwater hick who "can see Russia from her window". It will take a lot of time, educational efforts and hard work to change that misguided perception.

    Third, the people of America, especially the young, are dumbed down profoundly in the latest years. Way too many voters mistake characteristic Beltway pompousness and ability to smooth-talk for wisdom and political experience – otherwise, we wouldn't have to endure the Usurper-in-Chief.

    All things considered, Sarah Palin will likely be the ideal presidential material in 12 or 16 years – assuming the country is not destroyed and elections are not canceled prior to that time.

  13. Gail B says:

    Rix, I agree with your feeling about the stench of defeat, but THIS TIME will be different because of the very fact that it was not she who lost, but McCain.

    I don't think that McCain will run for anything again, unless he can keep his Senate seat. America was heartened by Palin's fresh, unadulterated style (and, as you say, slobbering good looks); and that is exactly what the CLDs (contemporary liberal Dems) are AFRAID of! –the wonderful impression she keeps making and the attention her very presence demands.

  14. Celia in TX says:

    there's smoke coming out of their ears….
    politician acting first on principles, responsibility, integrity

    "DOES NOT COMPUTE"

  15. Celia in TX says:

    @Think About It

    obviously, she could not justify that against her principles.

    Be a Governor in name only?
    Cost the state a fortune in warding off the vultures?
    Remain under scutiny, she and her family included?
    Have to turn down events that would further our cause?

    Obama gets SLAMMED by us for flitting around when he should have been active in the Senate, so none of us for one second should think that Sarah could live with herself if she did the same thing as governor.

    Maybe she should have waited, but if she's thinking what I'm thinking, there is no time! These are not normal conditions we're under in our country right now.

  16. Rix says:

    Gail B:

    The only thing John McCain can run for these days outside Arizona is his own potty chair.

    But even if you are right and Sarah Palin will successfully disassociate herself from her '08 run, there is one deadly obstacle to overcome. It is not the conservatives that she has to win over, they are mostly in her pocket already. It is independents who decide the elections – and those, considering what I said before, are harder to get in. In particular, she is quite unpopular with young female voters, partly because of her looks. Heck, even Hillary was too pretty for them!


    PS: Jeff, your blog desperately needs a forum. We are overgrowing AR's single-thread style that doesn't allow for deep discussion and places undue burden on your time. I don't have a Blogger account or I would already be looking into it. If there are any reasonable expenses involved I'll gladly share them.

  17. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    PS: Jeff, your blog desperately needs a forum. We are overgrowing AR's single-thread style that doesn't allow for deep discussion and places undue burden on your time. I don't have a Blogger account or I would already be looking into it. If there are any reasonable expenses involved I'll gladly share them.

    I've looked into it, and it does seem like the next probable leap. I am also cross-posting nearly everything onto my new Facebook public profile, which should help for now.

    A forum could be in the works, but it won't happen until the site is as it will be for a long time to come. There's an outside chance you will see some big changes here (for the better), and that will be one of the chief considerations.

    No details for now. Just please keep your fingers crossed (save prayers for those who need it).

  18. Gail B says:

    Rix —

    :-) )

    "…potty chair…" LMAO!

    Pray that the Independents are mostly male! Let's just say that (most) males have their brains located somewhere besides between their ears!

  19. Gail B says:

    Ooooooh, slowpoke me! I just got it!
    "Juneau Anything I Don't Know?"

    And, I didn't even have to have it EXPLAINED to me! "Juneau"

  20. Celia in TX says:

    Oh, Facebook! I am so there!!!

  21. Jennifer says:

    I understand why she resigned and agree that it is best for her family and the state of Alaska.

    That being said…she doesn't have a chance to win the Presidency. SHe will never get enough moderates and she attracts too much bad press. Go Mitt!

  22. SHALLOW WOMEN says:

    Kinda like those women voting for Obama.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I hope everyone watched Hannity going back and forth with his guests about Sarah Palin…Beckle is an arrogant jerk..typical liberal big mouth. but he gives everyone a perfect example of a liberal NUT!

  24. Carrie says:

    What makes people think she even wants to be president? She recognizes that one of the most precious resources we have right now is time, and so many are wasting it getting caught up in these distractions. I understand why she stepped down…she spoke rather plainly about her reasons in her speech.

    It is clear to me that she recognizes she is subject to a Higher Power (that is not the MSM, the political pundits and party establishments and Obama himself) unlike many others trying to position themselves for 2012 and/or push their personal agendas down our throats. All those critics can't stand her because they can't "control" her. She submits to a Higher Authority.

    See, that's where we've gotten so off base in this country. Those who have "political power" actually think they have Supreme Power, but they are sadly mistaken. And many of those who seek it are willing to sacrifice their principles to gain it.

    America has grown lazy, prideful and ignorant…we as a nation have not taken responsibility for our own lives, families & communities. We've either handed everything over to the government or lived to satisfy our own selfish appetites completely disregarding God's laws.

    Wake up America…our inalienable rights as laid out in our Declaration of Independence come from God and only He can take them away. Make no mistake about it, He will if He chooses to do so. Those of us who are called by His name, need to humble ourselves and pray, seek God's face and turn from our wicked ways. We cannot rely on the political system to correct what ails us. We cannot rely on those who are living apart from God to "see the light". It is our responsibility as children of God to do this…and God will hear our prayers from Heaven, He will forgive us and will heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

    It was through His Divine Providence that America came into being…we were blessed as a nation because we abided by God's principles (read "The 5000 Year Leap"), and it will only be through His Divine Providence that this country can be saved from impending ruin.

    I believe Sarah Palin recognizes this…she's putting the welfare of her family, constituents, and countrymen before her own selfish ambitions…something the "powers that be" here on earth simply can't fathom.

  25. Linda says:

    Chuck in San Diego (and all of you), please pass this information on Inhofe on to everyone you know. I have been following his report on cap & trade – he's been on it since 2007 when it was called something else. The people must wake up to this fraud that is being perpetrated among us. We must keep screaming loudly to our reps about this farce. Thanks again for bringing Inhofe to the fore.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I too watched Sarah Palin in her address to the Alaskan people. This may not be what a "politician" would have done, but then look where we are because of some politicians. I believe Sarah Palin is breaking away from that mold and protecting her beloved Alaska and her family. This may not be the norm, but she certainly will be able to pick and choose what she wants to do and where she wants to assist in the future. It also means anyone of these gossip mongers will be liable for slander as her personal attorney has already given notice. I think we will hear a lot more from Sarah Palin and I am glad for it.

  27. Katherine says:

    Palin is such an interesting character. People really either love her or hate her. Conservatives and liberals both sound like complete morons when they talk about her because they let their emotions take over (in this case, I'm not really referring to the original post, but I am referring to some of the comments.)

    Anyway, I comment because I wanted to direct Jeff to a news story I thought the blog readers could find interesting. The serial killer in SC was caught and killed, but he had a ridiculously long criminal record. What was he doing on the street? Usually that's liberals' faults, so I thought you'd find it interesting. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8137496.stm

    –Katherine, one of your liberal hippie friends.

  28. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Thanks for the link, Katherine. It was phenomenal seeing your husband and your brother-in-law this past weekend. It's a shame you weren't in town as well.

    The Palin phenomenon is amazing, and it's true with people on both sides of the aisle — even traditional feminists, clamoring for just this sort of woman, wanted to tear her down.

    It has something to do with her everyman persona. She's not a part of the beltway culture and likely doesn't want to be. I like that.

    She doesn't have the ethics problems of a Christopher Dodd, or the personal problems of a John Edwards or Teddy Kennedy, and I'd venture to say that she's brighter than Joe Biden, who simply cannot open his mouth without hoisting a loafer into it … yet she's absolutely vilified where the rest of these people get a free pass.

    I KNOW you agree with me, too. You don't even have to admit it. But that's why I love you and your husband — you may be left-of-center, but are always willing to embrace common sense.

  29. Jeff from Edwardsville, IL says:

    Something to consider: Who would be better equipped to lead a charge in 2010 to take on Reid and Pelosi. Palin can slam Pelosi without being labeled as a 'sexist'. If Reid attacks her, he goes down in flames with women. Most important of all, when she goes anywhere but in the most liberal parts of the country, she brings out a huge following. If played correctly, she could turn Obama into a 'lame duck' 2 years into his first term.

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