Friday, July 3, 2009

Suburban Mom's Political Fix: Palin Stuns, Resigns

If any American governor were to announce a resignation the day before Independence Day, I would've bet you a bundle that it would've been South Carolina's head honcho who would've quit so he could spend more time in Argentina snogging with his gal pal.

I certainly didn't expect, in the 3 o'clock hour on the Friday before a holiday weekend when many people were already on vacation, to learn that Sarah Palin was quitting her gubernatorial post.

After watching the nationally televised speech made in her backyard -- intermittently disrupted by the sounds of a baby and various birds chirping in the background -- here's what I gathered: Palin's angry that she's been the subject of 15+ ethics investigations in Alaska that she said have cost the state in excess of $2 million and have cost her and her husband Todd personally $500,000 in legal fees to fight. (She pointed out that the charges were all dropped.)

"It's pretty insane," Palin said. "My staff and I spend most of our day dealing with this stuff."

Saying that she wanted to spare Alaskans the money and the distractions caused by the multitude of negative attacks aimed at her, Palin said she was removing herself from the ring. "I chose not to tear down and waste precious time," she said. ". . . Life is too short to compromise time and resources."

Palin also mentioned the emotional cost borne by her family -- she specifically mentioned folks recently "mocked and ridiculed" her baby Trig -- as yet another reason to resign and not spend time on "superficial, wasteful political blood sport."

"It hurts to make this choice," Palin added. It did not appear as though there were any members of the media present during her speech to pose questions.

When her speech ended, cable talking heads and political pundits were slack-jawed. Many called her decision "erratic," stunningly short-sighted and "political suicide" to appear to knuckle under to the pressure. Others said it was the first chess move for the 2012 presidential race that would enable her to concentrate on building political support "in the lower 48 states." Over on MSNBC, they've been quoting NBC vet Andrea Mitchell as saying that Palin is "out of politics for good."

Palin's Twitter account said, "We'll soon attach info on decision to not seek re-election . . . this is in Alaska's best interest, my family's happy . . . it is good. Stay tuned." I heard Palin's brother and spokeswoman on various TV interviews and neither would say exactly what Palin's plans are once she leaves the governor's office.

Palin has been in the news as of late following her highly publicized feud with David Letterman where she defended her daughters against some of his crude jokes, as well as for being the subject of a harsh Vanity Fair piece snarkily entitled, "It Came From Wasilla."

I'm stunned and will be interested and intrigued to see what comes next.

Image credit: The Drudge Report.

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