Friday, July 10, 2009

Sarah Palin - Crazy Like A Fox

Last week, Sarah Palin - everybody's favorite huntin' and fishin' Governor gal, stunned the Punditocracy of both Left and Right by announcing her resignation as Governor of Alaska.

In a rambling yet trenchant press conference on the lawn of her lakeside home, Sarah explained that the aftermath of the 2008 campaign and the never-ending flurry of ad hominem attacks on her and her family was preventing her from doing the job Alaskans had elected her to do. Therefore, she was resigning effective July 26 and handing over the Governor's chair to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, a stolid, reliable, like-minded conservative.

The Punditocracy was floored."A death of a thousand cuts"said John Fund of the Wall Street Journal .
In a lengthy analysis, Toby Harnden of the London Daily Telegraph stated "The Empress has No Clothes", suggesting that her vapidity and lack of hard-headed political smarts had finally caught up with her, and that she at last realized it. Most other pundits of both left and right figured the Sarah Palin Soap Opera was finally, mercifully, over and they were ready to move on.

Reading my News feeds, The Thinking Nationalist was at first inclined to agree. Despite being a fresh and welcome face on the national political scene, the missteps and blown opportunities of the fall campaign had taken their toll. Despite her yeoman labors in an otherwise dreary and content-free
McCain campaign, her reward was ridicule, ethics accusations, and a $500,000 personal debt in lawyer and PR fees defending herself and her family. The David Letterman episode involving her daughter might have been the last straw.

But the way in which the announcement came left me thinking - there's more to this than meets the eye. This gal is Crazy - Like a Fox. Here's why:

First, she has nothing left to gain or prove by remaining in the Governor's chair. Eighteen more months as Governor isn't going to improve matters - it's just going to be more of the same. If matters can't improve, you do what smart leaders anywhere do - cut your losses and change course.

Second, unlike many of her upper-class detractors, she has a family to consider. She's tough enough to take it - but also smart enough to know that keeping her children in the public eye for the next two years isn't helping them. With Sarah, it's never been "all about me" - which it is for many of her detractors.

Third, she's still young - only 45 - and she has a choice to make. Does she stay in Juneau - away from the action - or does she spend the next few years doing what serious political comers do - work the rubber-chicken circuit, make the contacts and generate the IOU's and financial support
necessary for a credible run for national office. She knows only too well that if she does want to make a move, time is on her side - in 2016, she'll be only 52 and none of the current front-runners will be on the national stage.

She also knows that at her age Ronald Reagan was still a Democrat and uninvolved in politics.

Finally, she may well decide to chuck office altogether and capitalize on her fame while she has it.

A book is in the works, lucrative speaking offers are coming in, and there is talk of a political TV talk show for "megabucks". If she were to wait until her term is over, those offers, which could make a huge financial difference to her family, might not be there.

She's also well aware she really has no friends among Those Who Matter - the national media will remain both patronizing and hostile, but she can handle that. But it is the snarky condescension of the upper-class conservative Country-Club Republicans - the Meghan McCain crowd - that really smarts.
As a no-nonsense blue collar gal, she no doubt resented having her and her family treated like the Alaska Hillbillies both during and after the campaign. But, she's way too shrewd to let on.

In short, I see nothing but upside for America's favorite huntin' and fishin' gal. I was very impressed to see her, the Sitting Governor of Alaska, in hip waders helping husband Todd net in the Salmon while talking to a reporter last week . Love her or hate her, she's Original. And Authentic. Which is more than you can say for some of her critics.

When you consider that the closest her critics will get to a Wild Salmon is grilled in a reduction sauce with arugula on the side, it's no contest. We'll see more of Sarah ... and we might all be pleasantly surprised.

- The Thinking Nationalist


John Fund:

Toby Harnden:

1 comment:

  1. I'm undecided about Sarah Palin. You are undoubtedly correct in asserting that she can "take it", but why would she want to? I believe that the last presidential race was an excellent example of nothing but ad hominum, ad nauseum. McCain is no conservative. Only by running for President did he see where/what "conservate" is. And that was too late. Presidential elections now tip on less than 5% of the electorate. I thought of McCain as the placeholder (a cipher) until the party regroups and has some credible leaders. On the 5 to 8 Republican candidates for Pres. in 2008-9, Fred Thompson still stand out in my mind. He wanted to treat running for office in the same way as being in office. With some dignity. The Dems have far too long made a party of a party. And controlled the contest set by a Democrat agenda that the mass media has swallowed, hook-line-and-sinker. Imagine a Republican candidate saying: "We must cut welfare by 33%, or XYZ will be the consequence". The national media would both not cover it "in depth" and the pundits would scream: "racist". Conservatives need to talk about reducing welfare, protecting the Constitution, etc. A separate agenda from the Democratic Party and the mass medias' "take" on the US. I don't care that the mass media (free photo opportunity) wouldn't give much "coverage" to conservative ideas. That's why newspapers are failing, across the country. It's only about one point of view.

    I'm not distressed the Republicans are out of power. Despite the Pund-ocracy screaming it fromt he Headlines. It's a natural event, and when the nation is worn down by further encroachments on the Constitution, the people, in their wisdom, will cry out for conservative political leaders, right or left.

    The Republicans should NOT be playing catch-up with the Democrats by getting a woman, a black and a Indian (Jindal) involved. (is there a joke in there: A woman, an African-American and a Hindu walked into a bar) We should state our agenda, and stick to it. Better to be right than in power. Although I'm sure the politican (distinguish: politician is not a stateman) would argue to the contrary.