I’ve been itching to return to writing after life threw a couple of unexpected curve balls. And what better way to begin than with Sarah Palin’s resignation?
I am not a Sarah Palin fan. Even settig aside my own far left of center views on public policy, I am not a fan. I wish I could admire her guts, her sheer audacity in taking on the VP nomination nearly a year ago. The feminist in me wants to applaud her nomination as a step forward for all women–and for all little girls who want to be president someday. But I think that Hillary’s run for the nomination and her appointment as Secretary of State do more to achieve those changes in society. And, seriously, it is not just about policy.
It’s about competence, purely and simply. Palin was used to court the conservative vote by a campaign that was suddenly, inexplicably foundering. (I still maintain that, somewhere, in his heart of hearts, McCain must not have really wanted the job. I don’t know how else a veteran campaigner could make such a freshman mistake). She wasn’t ready for the national stage; she wasn’t ready for the presidency. She can’t even parse a sentence correctly half the time. The fact that Tina Fey could quote Palin verbatim for laughs underscores Palin’s lack of education.
In the end, Palin seemed to have been chosen as VP mainly for her good looks and her gender coupled with her solid membership in a conservative church. But she lacked the necessary depth to carry off the job. And her resignation speech today seems to be leading to the same old problems with her as a candidate.
She presented no plan for the future, gave only a strange excuse for leaving, and dumped the story into the start of the holiday news cycle to bury it as much as possible. Does this sound like the plan of a potential presidential candidate? It doesn’t to me. It sounds like someone avoiding a Spitzer/Blago/Sandford type of moment before the cameras.
If she’s moving on the bigger and better things, why not announce it now? Why not trumpet a triumphant switch to the national stage at the start of the news week? Why bury yourself? All of this points to problems lurking in background and will create rumor frenzies in the blogosphere (to which I am certainly not contributing, lol). Was the pressure too much? Was there an ethics problem? A sex scandal? Will we ever know?
What I fear most is that the pressure pushed out of office. If it did, this will have a negative impact on the ability of other women to ru for higher office, especially at the executive level. Because, let’s face it, there aren’t many women with five children, some of them young, in office. Her failure may undermine the faith in other female candidates with similar life situations. For that reason alone, I actually wish she had stayed in office. And I also hope that there is either some grand, unrevealed plan or a scandal. At least then she’d be like any other politician out there. And that could only be good for other women running for higher political office. But I can certainly say that I am glad I am not her political strategist.