Palin's Move - Fatigue Or Genius?

To say the reaction to Sarah Palin's announcement that she's stepping down as governor of Alaska covers a broad spectrum would be an understatement. It's run from the Left saying “Good riddance to the Right Wing lightweight!” to the Right saying“This is a brilliant move to set herself up for a White House run in 2012!” and everywhere in between.

I must admit it certainly caught me off guard. A number of the media pundits have been scratching their heads, with more than one proclaiming she's finished in politics because some still unknown scandal has driven her out of office. (Always going for the sordid, aren't they?)


MamaPundit thinks it's a stroke of genius, a “brilliant strategery”.

Unless the real reason she’s stepping down is that the National Enquirer is about to publish a cover story revealing that she’s actually a man who became a woman to escape his history as a Sandinista guerrilla fighter, her resignation is flat-out brilliant. It’s certainly possible that she’s leaving her post in advance of some big, ugly, serious scandal becoming public, but I suspect not. And if not, then she’s made the best political move I can imagine in her plan to run for president in 2012.


The Anchorage Daily News proclaims “Palin Decision Mystifies Some, Thrills Others.”


The liberal Wa$hington Po$t givers her an off hand compliment with the headline “Once Again, An Enigma Plays It By Her Rules.”

Sarah Palin demonstrated once again yesterday that she is one of America's most unconventional politicians, following an unpredictable path to an uncertain future.

That Alaska's Republican governor has a flair for the theatrical -- and plays by her own rules -- was underscored anew by her stunning announcement that not only will she not seek reelection in 2010, she will resign her office this month.


Politico believes her resignation is splitting the GOP. They may be right and it may end up being just what The Republicans need to rejuvenate the cachet of the party.

But her defenders believed an unorthodox move, even if risky, has a clear logic and may only further increase her standing with conservatives who don’t care what establishment figures in or out of the GOP think. Leaving the governor’s office at the end of this month leaves her free to travel the country, command large speaking fees, and begin the process of rallying her devotees without pesky home-state opponents criticizing every move.


Mark Steyn comments in NRO's The Corner that “as a political move for anything other than the 2010 Senate race, today's announcement is a disaster.” But he also says it may be something quite simple that has driven Sarah Palin to pull the plug:

So Occam's Razor leaves us with: Who needs this?

In states far from the national spotlight, politics still attracts normal people. You're a mayor or a state senator or even the governor, but you lead a normal life. The local media are tough on you, but they know you, they live where you live, they're tough on the real you, not on some caricature cooked up by a malign alliance of late-night comics who'd never heard of you a week earlier and media grandees supposedly on your own side who pronounce you a "cancer".

Could it be she's merely had enough of the BS flooding Alaska from the Lower 48? Goodness knows the so-called party elite from both sides have been trying to make her life a living hell.


The UK's Guardian calls it simply Sarah Palin's bizarre bombshell.


From the Daily Beast comes two opposing possible explanations why Sarah Plain is stepping down.

Max Blumenthal seems to think it's because of an as of yet undisclosed scandal that will rock Alaska and the GOP. (I call this the usual scandal-by-innuendo drive-by shooting by the Left.)

However, John Batchelor sees it not as a blow to her career, but as a smart opening move in her quest for the White House in 2012.


It appears Newsweek agrees with John Batchelor, saying “her resignation speech sounds like the first shot of her Presidential bid.”


Only time will tell the real motivation behind Governor Palin's resignation. Before too many people read anything into her speech, they should remember that she pretty much says what she means. If she did it, it was for the good of the people of Alaska. How can someone adequately govern a state like Alaska while being under the constant focus of the media and cynical political pundits across the political spectrum? The answer: you can't.

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