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A new article in the New York Times outlines the path that Sarah Palin has taken from the 2008 election to her recent resignation. It is clear from their reporting that Palin lost interest in being governor after the 2008 election. Her family drama, the state’s economy and ethical accusations all hastened her decision to bail out of an increasingly unsatisfying job.  She waved off what appears to have been good advice about how to survive the situation and kept edging toward the door.  Having tasted celebrity and tiring of notoriety, she now seeks fame, fortune and respectability. As unimpressed as I am with Sarah Palin’s judgment and intellect, two areas in which she is seriously underpowered, she may be lurching uncontrollably into her best option.

Palin’s resignation is likely to result in a can’t-lose situation for her. First, of course, she’ll have to get past the bad taste that her gubernatorial performance and  resignation have left in many people’s mouth, not to mention the political and economic fallout she’s leaving behind. My prediction is that Alaska, being mostly out of the public eye except when Palin is in it, will be left to its own devices after she leaves office and its economic predicament will gradually fade from view, unless a smoking gun is found. Sarah has left the building.

Palin has made another career change and is now reinventing herself from politician to standard-bearer.   As she builds her constituency and fills her pockets she can become an influential power broker or even a candidate, although if she’s elected she would have to serve and display the kind of perseverance for which she’s not known. Soon it will be lucrative speeches and the release of her book, both of which will keep her firmly in the spotlight.  She will build her image as the maverick outsider who takes on Washington, Big Government, the Mainstream Media, and “politics as usual” without having to worry about her job performance or pointed questions at news conferences.  She will be the spokeperson for “traditional family values,” chatting up her fans on the right, thrilling them with her personal story.  The sound of cash will drown out those back home who are cleaning up her messes.

All of this creates a huge potential headache for the GOP. The moderates and pragmatists who want to build the party and regain its former influence will again find Palin a polarizing force who does little for the party as a whole. She will remain an easy target unless she uncharacteristically develops some intellectual curiousity and actually learns what others have tried to teach her.  She may have some influence on the mid-term elections, but I suspect that her star will begin to fade thereafter.

Those who see Palin as the future of the party seem blinded by her dazzling smile, unable to see her flaws, which in the context of politics outweigh her mostly superficial strengths.  She could be the Democrat’s new Best Friend Forever.

Just in case there was doubt in anyone’s mind, Sarah Palin announced the formation of her political action committee with accompanying web site. At the bottom of her web page is the following statement: “Paid for by SarahPAC. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.” The only explanation I can come up with is that she is completely unaware of the groundswell of interest in her political future. Right.

Palin PACThe web site goes on to say, “Your support of SarahPac will make it possible for Gov. Palin to continue to be a strong voice for energy independence and reform. By supporting SarahPac, you will allow Gov. Palin to help find and create solutions for America’s most pressing problems; priority number one is building a strong and prosperous economy that recognizes hard work, innovation and integrity by rewarding small businesses and hard working American families. SarahPac will support local and national candidates who share Gov. Palin’s ideas and goals for our country.” And to clear up any ambiguity, we are told that she is the “honorary chair” of SarahPAC.

In other news, she reportedly has an $11 million book deal in the works. I’m trying to understand what publisher believes they can make a profit on an $11 million book deal in this or any economy. I’m also trying to imagine the outline of this book being anything other than a whitewashed account of her performance during the presidential campaign in which she blames the McCain camp for keeping her under wraps.

Palin has always been entertaining. Her performance on SNL was better scripted than anything she did on the campaign trail. Now she’s working without a net, it’s just her and the media with no one else to blame when she does a face plant. Let’s see what she can do.

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina)

Some years ago the Admiral and I lived next to a family we referred to as “the Clampetts.” If ever there was a hapless collection of individuals, it was they. We loaned them our lawnmower, they put in the wrong kind of gas and ruined it. We loaned them a ladder, it mysteriously disappeared. Their 14 year old daughter got pregnant. He lost his job. She was too distractible and unstable to work. And yet, somehow they maintained their good humor, kept plugging away and all things considered, we liked them and admired their perseverance.
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Has anyone in Alaska seen Sarah Palin lately?

It would appear that the fortuitious timing of the Republican Governor’s Conference has delayed her return to Alaska, where rumor has it she is governor. Meanwhile, here in the Lower 48 Palin’s reception at the RPG has been chilly and she continues to atract negative attention from the media (i.e, Katie Couric.)

She has appointed God to be her political advisor, and will await His divine advice before pursuing future political goals, such as Senator in 2010. Meanwhile, in what can only be considered poetic justice, Mark Begich’s lead over loveable curmudgeon Ted Stevens continues to grow, giving my Alaska friends reason to hope that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train.

Stay tuned…

The chickens have come home to roost. The eagle has landed. A bird in the hand is worth–never mind.

no whiningAlthough Governor Palin has returned to Alaska, the criticism hasn’t stopped from the Lower 48 (49 if you count DC.)  Palin called her critics “cowards” and “jerks” for complaining about her expensive wardrobe. She also seethed because anonymous Republican campaign sources told Fox (oh, the irony!) that she did not know Africa was not a country but a continent and could not name the three countries in the North American Free Trade Agreement. “I consider it cowardly” that they did not allow their names to be used, she said. It’s easy to conclude that she has wasted no time becoming a whiner.

Frankly, she has a point. If the criticisms are factually-based, those who made them should own up to them. At the same time, the fact that she is on the receiving end of such attacks is not only poetic justice (remember “palling around with terrorists”?) but also reflective of how little respect she earned within the campaign. Therein lies a warning for those 64% of Republicans who want her to run for president in 2012.

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mccain-palin heartHe was a former fighter pilot and war hero married to a cold, aloof heiress. She was a frustrated housewife, yearning to leave small town life for the bright lights of the big city. Introduced by friends, after just one phone call, they knew it was right.

“Meet me in Minneapolis,” he said. “I’ll show you what you’ve been missing: fame, adoring fans, beautiful clothes…we have a great future together.”
“I can’t leave my family,” she replied. “But I deserve so much more than I have here. Do you have any idea how badly hockey players smell after a game?”
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Who was it that cautioned, “be careful what you ask for, you might get it”?

cow copyThe Republicans wanted someone who would complement McCain’s maverick image, the free thinker, the independent, the rugged Westerner. What he got looked good in the showroom but turned out to be a bad deal, you betcha.

Governor Palin has gone from being all mavericky to being All About Sarah. Originally, her maverickosity was one of the qualities the campaign touted for her. However, what was once seen as a virtue is now turning into a thorn in the side of the campaign.
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mary-kayJust when you think you’ve witnessed the last possible foolishness from McCain-Palin, along comes Lipstick Gate.

What are we to make of a campaign that, with a straight face mind you, declares itself the party of “Joe Sixpack” while snatching up $150,000 worth of clothes and almost $23,000 worth of makeup consultation? Why would a former beauty contestant even need makeup consultation?

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