As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, July 03, 2009

Sarah's Exit

I was away all day. Anything happen?

Just a couple words on this Palin thing. It could very well be, and probably is, a realization that an elected official in Alaska can't maintain the schedule necessary to run a Presidential campaign, and that these things begin earlier and earlier and she needed to be on the road as soon as possible. I think she could have stayed governor until 2010 and still made the campaign appearances necessary, but obviously she and her handlers didn't.

But the timing of the announcement just doesn't make any sense. The Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend is when you dump news you don't want anyone to know about. There's also the matter of that virulently negative Vanity Fair article, the consequent backbiting between some of the peripheral players, and then those leaked internal campaign emails depicting Palin in a bad light. You can argue that this pushed Palin to resign because she needed to get control of that story, and only a road tour would do it. But you could also view the leaked emails as a shot across the bow. Clearly the McCain people, who obviously hate her, have a wealth of material on her, and if she stayed perched up in Alaska they could control the spigot and destroy her drip by drip.

There's also the matter of the $500,000 in debt from legal defenses, which can easily be made on the lecture circuit, with the added benefit of raising name recognition. But I cannot help but think that this hastily arranged resignation got her out of Alaska before something very damaging hit her, and Palin must think that she can avoid harm by resigning first and then depicting the matter as inherently partisan and political, with no need for an independent investigation because she's no longer Governor. Max Blumenthal hints at something here.

Many political observers in Alaska are fixated on rumors that federal investigators have been seizing paperwork from SBS in recent months, searching for evidence that Palin and her husband Todd steered lucrative contracts to the well-connected company in exchange for gifts like the construction of their home on pristine Lake Lucille in 2002. The home was built just two months before Palin began campaigning for governor, a job which would have provided her enhanced power to grant building contracts in the wide-open state.

Seems like a small chink in the armor, but this is almost precisely what brought down Ted Stevens in Alaska, so it probably has more resonance there.

From a political perspective, this hurts, but not too much. Expect a couple months of Palin's supporters in full victimization mode, claiming that everyone from the mainstream media to David Letterman forced her out of her job. She thrives on the politics of resentment, and this just seems like a "you won't have Nixon to kick around anymore" moment.

...I finally watched that press conference, and she may as well have been speaking in German. I have no idea what she just said. I do appreciate David Kurtz' three-word assessment: Real winners quit.

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