Well. What a wacky weekend. It all started on Friday, when Sarah Palin announced, quite unexpectedly, that she was resigning from the office of governor for the great state of Alaska. Seeing as (quite possibly literally) no one in the world saw this coming, it was a big topic on the talk shows. There have been a lot of people to weigh in with their views (including Rove, who says the move is a 'risky strategy') but I think we all know, the person I'm most interested in reporting on: John Green. Of course, John had some things to say about Palin's resignation. Let's let him say those things.
Yep. He's pretty smart. However, let me disagree with him just briefly. While I agree that she obviously didn't resign for the reasons she gave (which, as an aside, were even more convoluted than John makes it seem...) I really do think that she resigned because she thinks it's a good move in her jockeying for position in regards to a Presidential run in 2012. (This being said, I'm not comforted [if that's even the right word] by the FBI's recent denial of their investigating Palin for corruption charges. If they were, they'd certainly deny it. If they weren't [or aren't], I guess it's good of them to deny they are. But the denial itself means nothing to me. It's still open as a supremely distinct possibility. And, as John said, if I turn out to be wrong about this, and there is some huge scandal that's brewing and ready to explode, I won't mind apologizing for being wrong.)
Here's why I think Sarah Palin did this and why I think she thinks it's a good move for 2012:
Sarah Palin has never, not once, not one single time, done what we'd expect out of a smart, expedient, traditional politician, when faced with a choice. (OK, maybe once. When John McCain offered her the chance to be his running mate, she took it. That was the smart and politically advantageous thing to do.) But seriously. And I'm not trying to be super-liberal guy here, bashing on Palin. I'm just trying to look at her record and call it like I see it. I've never seen her make a choice that another politician would. From her debate prep to her post-election comments, from the corruption trial that involved her husband to the ways in which she interacted with the special needs community, I've never seen or heard of Sarah Palin doing what advisers would say is the right or smart or politically correct (not as in P.C. but as in politically advantageous) thing to do. That's not an aspersion, necessarily, and, again, I'm not trying to play politics (no pun intended) with the labels of 'right' or 'smart' - I just think that she's untraditional. (And, since I've gone out of my way to clear myself of any bias previously, let me say now, I don't care for those positions that she's taken.)
Palin is now (or will be at the end of July) in position to make a lot more money, as John noted for point two in his video. I think she's going to use that advantage to push her agenda and remain in affluent political circles, despite the fact that, as of August 1, 2009, she has no real place in those circles. I think that if an ordinary politician looked at the calendar and saw that the Presidential race of 2012 was, in fact, more than three years away, they would keep the political job they have as of this moment, and, perhaps, serve out its full term. I think that this would be a smart move on a politician's part. However, I think that Sarah Palin thinks she's gotten too big for Alaska. The key line to read in her Facebook address is this: "How sad that Washington and the media will never understand; it’s about country." That seems to me as clear an indication as anything that she views her resignation as a step forward in serving the country.
I can't imagine anyone else doing this or seeing it that way. To Palin, that previous sentence, if uttered by someone in the mainstream media as opposed to here on my smalltime blog, would be picking on her, or applying a double standard. To me, she's the one who's doing so.
I do want to append this video that I ganked from the boys at Live From APT (which is a killer blog, add it to your roll if you haven't already) wherein Anderson Cooper tries to make sense of this move with Palin's Communications Director on the phone. The key line to take is a direct quote: "She has no plans for anything at this particular time." Truer words have never been spoken.