Palin shocks nation and resigns as Alaska governor

Posted on July 3, 2009

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A stunning announcement from Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin today: she’s not running for reelection, and what’s more, she’s stepping down in 3 weeks as governor. In a press conference from her hometown of Wasilla, Palin referenced numerous frivolous ethics charges and the futility of being a lame duck, but never really came right out and said why she was stepping down on such an urgent timetable.

I don’t see how this sets her up for a 2012 Presidential bid, as the move makes absolutely no sense. It looks right now like she couldn’t stand the intense media onslaught against her and her family, which makes her sympathetic but unfortunately doesn’t grade well in the leadership category. Ed Morrissey muses that her national political career might be over at this point – I don’t know if it’s over and done with forever, but this is devastating in the short term.

I always liked Sarah Palin, and I liked her addition to the 2008 GOP ticket. I never was one to cast major aspersions in her direction, but I likewise didn’t yet see her as the knight in shining armor that would rescue America with a shining conservative agenda. But I was willing to wait and see.

That all changed today, and I confess to a level of disappointment, both in how Sarah Palin’s story has ended, even if only momentarily, and at the darkening of another conservative icon. Some, such as Charles Krauthammer, argue that voters’ memories are short, and she may return to the political stage at some point down the line. Palin, with her charisma and down-to-earth qualities, had a chance to become a massively important figure in American politics as she matured in the policy realm and became more accustomed to dealing with the media. That dream ended today, if not for good, then at least for the short-term future.

Details have been promised to expound on the reason for Palin’s departure. Leftists may crow at the scalp they just collected, but after all the mean-spirited viciousness aimed her way, I’d caution against unbecoming and overweening excitment. It’s a bizarre stop, however momentary, in what promised to be an exciting political career. Let’s just hope the resignation is just truly for family reasons and not for anything darker, such as a health crisis or a looming scandal.

In any case, thanks, Gov. Palin, for giving a lot of folks something to be excited about, if only for a brief time. Like her or hate her, she seems at least a decent person, and despite this bizarre and unexpected disappointment, I wish you and your family well. Maybe the vultures will quit circling for a short time now.

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Posted in: News, Politics