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Category

 Political

Published

 July, 2009

Synopsis

 Sarah Palin Takes a Powder

“I am certainly not a quitter.”
Sarah Palin, four days after she announced she’s quitting as Governor of Alaska

Sarah Palin Has Gone Fishin’

The political world held its collective breath on Independence Day Eve when Sarah Palin announced that after two years, seven months and 22 days - she’s ready to help Alaska in new and less troublesome ways.

Alaska’s stage, I suppose, just isn’t big enough. It’s time to go fishin’.

She convened a hasty (and clumsy) news conference, and sent pundits scurrying for some wisdom in her decision to forsake her governorship of Alaska in order to do “what’s best for Alaska.”

I understand her logic. I got a flat tire last week. I solved the problem by changing one of the good tires. I still can’t figure out what that sound is.

Palin’s desire to step away from the daily grind of public life, is only exceeded by her desire to grind out awkward sentences.

When asked to comment about the numerous ethics investigations against her, she claimed, “I think on a national level, your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we’ve been charged with and automatically throw them out.”

Your department of what? There isn’t a “department of law” in the White House.

Somebody who’s said to have presidential aspirations should know those sorts of things. Otherwise, when she gets elected she may resign on inauguration day when she discovers there’s no particular agency that’s devoted to handling her impending personal problems.

And knowing Sarah Palin, there will be ethics problems. Whether they’re legitimate or not, people just like accusing her of padding her expenses and abusing her powers.

She’d already repaid $8,000 in expense money for taking her family on supposed official business trips.
And there were those official findings after one investigation that determined Palin had abused her power by pressuring a subordinate to fire her ex-brother-in-law in what amounted to a public spat. Yet, Palin calls ethics charges the "politics of personal destruction."

That, and the fact that her, and her husband Todd, are now $500,000 in legal hock fighting the 18 ethics charges filed so far, are Palin’s stated reasons for her premature resignation.

She still refuses to say she’s really getting a run ready for the presidency in 2012.

But even some of her more ardent supporters from that faltering segment of the American political landscape known as the “conservative base,” aren’t sure the latest move makes good political sense.

Mike Huckabee, the former presidential candidate, and himself an ex-governor, says Palin’s early departure is “a risky strategy.” Huckabee knows that leaving a job half finished, especially one in which you were hired by the voters, so you can pursue other goals doesn’t look real good on your resume.

Palin’s tortured explanation about her supposed political enemies doesn’t wash with Huckabee. “If they chase you out of this, it won’t get any easier for you at other levels of the stage,” he says.

It’s the first time, and perhaps the last, I’ll ever agree with Huckabee about anything. I’m enjoying the moment.

Most politicians know they’re in troubled waters whenever they raise their hands and take their oaths. They’re aware that’s part of the deal.

Some, like South Carolina’s philandering governor, Mark Sanford, have Super Glued themselves to their chairs.

Palin, though, says that a flurry of ethics investigations (15 of the 18 have been dismissed), was too much of a drain on her efforts to transform Alaska into Utopia – but with snow angels.

What would happen, though, if every elected official could conjure up a “higher calling” midway through their first terms in office?

Supposing they could pay their mounting legal bills by running off and taking a TV gig, or by forming a political action committee with an eye toward higher office?

Palin has been a vociferous advocate of good government whenever it works as an applause getter.

She doesn’t seem to understand that good governments are comprised of dedicated public servants who work tirelessly despite their personal travails.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net