On Friday, July 3rd 2009 ex V-P candidate Sarah Palin quit her job as Governor of Alaska whilst still in her first term, despite any particular evidence of the type of fiscal or moral corruption that usually triggers such actions.
Sarah Palin quit four different colleges and universities before finally earning her bachelor’s degree in Communications-Journalism.
She quit her second term on the Wasilla County Council to run for Mayor of Wasilla.
Leaving Wasilla (population 3,000) $25 million in debt, she then ran for Lieutenant Governor of Alaska.
Though losing the Lt. Governor position to State representative Lisa Murkowski (appointed by her father, then Governor Frank Murkowski), Palin was appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and served as its Ethics Supervisor.
Winning the Governorship in 2006 on an ethics reform platform, she rejected a pay raise and an appointed chef, but on other hand claimed per-diem expenses whilst frequently at home.
In her 2008 State of the State Address she stated that “we cannot and must not rely so heavily on federal government [funding]” but she’d had no problem supporting Senator Ted Stevens’ infamous $442 million dollar “Bridge to Nowhere” and though that project was canceled, had no problem accepting the funds for general transportation purposes.
Eighteen months into her Governorship, Palin accepted the offer to run as John McCain’s Vice President during which she lied about her previous support of the “Bridge to Nowhere” and the acceptance of its original funding for other purposes.
Palin also claimed credit for what she described as an active “40 billion-dollar” gas pipeline project when in fact the project was estimated at the much lower figure of $26 billion, and in fact not only was it not active but she’d paid TransCanada Pipelines $500 million for what amounted to a feasibility study (of which there is as yet no obvious sign of being conducted).
As thus described her political resume is typical of most politicians---savvy expediency served political success.
But Palin wasn’t chosen as the GOP V-P candidate for her own political savvy or policy experience, but for the expedient requirements of Conservative “intellectuals” and machinators (like William Kristol) who faced an alarming “regime change” as their expected “permanent Republican majority” was shrinking so small that it was about to be “drowned in a bathtub”.
An old ‘White Elephant’ representing the past, who became the GOP front-runner by default, was losing in the polls to a young (semi-) black man and an established white woman, both of whom represented an enticing future.
Palin was desperately picked as an ‘affirmative action’ candidate to steal the Democrats’ dynamic thunder and Hillary’s nationwide support on the assumption that women can be persuaded to vote with their vaginas (and Republican men with their penises) and not with their brains. Palin was supposed to split the Democratic Party vote by virtue of both her sex and her youth.
But whilst sex sells product, it doesn’t necessarily sell policy and as stupid and easily manipulated as the larger American electorate appears to have been in the past, the majority in 2008 weren’t buying—not least because they simply couldn’t afford-to, either literally or figuratively.
When Palin was finally permitted by her GOP handlers to expose herself to primetime national media vetting, her most challenging inquisitors were Charlie Gibson (a 19-year veteran of fluffy morning TV ‘newstainment’ who’d embarrassed himself representing GOP talking points as valid questions during a presidential ‘debate’) and Katie Couric, another morning TV veteran best known for her incessant perkiness and general vapidity.
Perhaps because of the near universal criticism of Gibson’s pathetically biased debate mediation, Gibson took a tougher approach with Palin and ‘tut-tutted’ her for her clueless response when asked to articulate “The Bush Doctrine”---but he also came across (to me at least), despite the validity of the question, as a sanctimonious dick suddenly puffed-up with freshly minted gravitas.
Presumably the subsequent interview with Couric was supposed to provide a more even playing field; ex-cheerleader to ex-beauty pageant queen. But even the naturally friendly Katie Couric was visibly baffled and progressively amazed at Palin’s inability to name a single newspaper or magazine that she read, even though Couric gave her time and several opportunities to do so.
It is notable that the public’s estimation of Kate Couric’s qualifications as a primetime news anchor rose significantly after that interview (especially as she followed up in the press with some intelligent candid reflections of what Palin had revealed about herself as a prospective Vice-President).
When Palin dismayed even the ultra-accommodating and effervescent ‘Queen of Nice’, what chance would she have against her domestic political opponents, let alone foreign ones?
From that point on only the most fawning of the media establishment would be allowed one-on-one access to Palin---Greta von Susteren of FOX News proved to be the ideal, as there was a lull in missing-blond-female-teenager activity at the time and Greta’s hubby was functioning as a Palin consultant.
Twenty-four hours after her announced resignation as Governor of Alaska, for reasons she’s claimed to have explained but that no-one can fathom, the present prognosis is that Palin is essentially just “a quitter”, that she has no spine.
I’m not sure that’s really fair, at least in the sense in which the charge is being presented---she didn’t quit on her formal education, and for over 10 years she didn’t quit on her political ambitions either.
I think a fairer assessment is that she’s simply a self-absorbed congenital simpleton, perhaps most amply evidenced by the fact that in the one subject in which she can claim any kind of peer-reviewed (as opposed to vested interest-reviewed) qualification—“Communications-Journalism” she was and remarkably still is utterly clueless.
From the first to the last she has always found fault with the media pointing out her faults—the most significant being her inability to bullshit consistently even to the industries of politics, P.R. and journalism for whom bullshit is largely their stock-in-trade
Whatever the reason Palin has decided to quit her official job, I’ve no reason to believe it’s because of some personal epiphany that she just doesn’t have the skills to fulfill her ambitions and the ambitions of her deranged supporters. In her view she isn’t quitting, rather everyone around her is quitting her. One can’t help but abscond-with and manipulate Norma Desmond’s classic lines from Sunset Boulevard:
Joe (The Plumber): "I know you. You're Sarah Palin! You used to be in presidential politics. You used to be big!"
Sarah: "I am big! It's the politics that got small!"
Sarah: "We didn't need policy! We had outfits!"
Palin claimed in her rambling resignation speech that her quitting the Governorship job was her decision and a selfless act yet still falsely blamed the media for viciously kicking her in the shins---and to think she might have been elevated to the highest leadership positions in the world!