Friday, July 10, 2009

The "I Can See Russia From My House!" Resignation

Friday, July 10, 2009

In the midst of the nation's Independence Day celebrations, Alaska Governor (and former Vice Presidential candidate) Sarah Palin resigned. While her announcement shocked absolutely everyone but her, I can't necessarily say anyone was exactly rushing to not accept it. Some Republicans probably even breathed a sigh of relief. But what exactly does this mean for the future of Palin and the GOP?

Palin was first introduced to the nation as John McCain's running mate in their failed November 2008 bid for the White House. McCain's declaration of someone who was completely off the political radar turned heads, caused mouths to drop and incited some of the most aggressive press I had seen since Obama initially announced his candidacy. Everyone scrambled to see who this woman was, what she stood for and most importantly, why in the world did McCain choose this nobody? Her introductory speech was at the GOP convention and I myself was blown away by her "take no prisoners" approach - I mean for someone with absolutely no experience, she came out swinging, coming directly at the Democrats and their failure to reach out and appeal to Conservative America. She was sassy, seemingly sophisticated and a "breath of fresh air", providing a quick boost to McCain's quickly faltering campaign.

Fast forward to November '08 - after a series of disastrous interviews, including the infamous Katie Couric sit-down where she couldn't even name her favorite book, the McCain-Palin express crashed expectedly. However, while he seemed to be reaping all of the finger pointing, she emerged a superstar, still glossy even though appeared to be very superficial. The GOP deemed her a favorite for the 2012 race and everyone anxiously awaited what she would do next. Go on Oprah? Go hunting? Host her own talk show? Write her own memoirs? Try another tell-all interview?

Fast forward to July '09 and Palin's bombshell resignation, citing her decision is in the best interest of Alaskans. So because she's embroiled in several ethics lawsuits, she didn't want to spend the taxpayers money on propaganda and "sexist" legalities....hmmmm.....

From the beginning, I have known this woman is one who is very calculating - her ditzy, "I can see Russia from my house" persona may indeed be an act....because she's smarter than we all think she is. I mean, really, when was the last time a major political figure announced their resignation from their very own lawn? There was no elaborate press conference, no well-polished rhetoric that seemingly wreaked of political nothingness; this lady plays by her own rules! While her resignation seemingly knocks her out of contention for the 2012 race, you have to ask....Who else does the GOP have? Most - if not all - of the top contenders have found themselves awash in extramarital scandals that are a definite "no no" in GOP world. And despite the fact that her family has gotten hit by a couple of bad jokes (Letterman!) and everything from her lack of experience to her wardrobe has been ridiculed, she has still remained a viable contender. So what if she didn't complete her full term as Governor? This was the woman the party chose as their second in command pick after barely 2 years in office...and she's in charge of Alaska, for heaven's sake! If it didn't matter then, will it really matter now? I mean, she's happily married with children, knows how to raise money, can work a crowd and knows exactly how to manipulate the media to make headlines (even if it is because she didn't know Africa was a continent). This woman is intelligent and I believe her political roadmap is pretty much laid out in her mind. With some polish and a great spin doctor (paging Karl Rove), she could definitely become the new face of the Republican party. She's not afraid to speak out against a wildly popular President, she's not afraid to acknowledge that she's an "Everywoman", and she definitely isn't afraid to acknowledge that she doesn't know everything there is to know. That was her formula for success initially....and she's everywhere - newsstands, cable news, network news, Internet gossip....and where exactly is McCain? Somewhere in Arizona, probably upset that he created this new megastar who essentially cost him the election while establishing herself as a new political icon. While to some this may come as an unwelcome shock, she is the new breed of politician - all glitz and no substance, well dressed but not well versed, eager but not experienced.

Believe me, folks...this is far from over....we have not seen the last of Ms. Palin.


I am XI said...

Dang! You make excellent points, Smokin Ace. However, the thought is terrifying...

Great article!

SmokinAce said...

Thanks, thanks! I'm waiting for the rest of this story to unravel...

XIKhai said...

Loves the article...this reminds me of what happened after she was first announced as the VP nominee. Many democrats first reaction was of jubilee. They predicted an Obama victory b/c they judged Palin off of her unknown status. But many other dems cautioned against rushing so quickly to judgment and warned that we should all be a little more fearful of her and this position she was in.
Which in the end proved to be a victory for the first impressions of Palin BUT she created such a buzz along the way that it balanced out for many. Fear did seep in when she started drawing crowds that rivaled Obama's. And when she tapped into that celebrity status that Obama enjoyed Republicans thought they had their competition. But crowds and celeb status don't win elections as the country and Republicans found out. It was almost a 50-50 win for both sides but for all of her charm, expensive clothes, and folksy speak, she couldn't close the deal for part she lost it for him. And it's because for all of her exterior and apparent natural ability she lacked intellectual depth. She's not stupid but she evolves no thought...whatever she was given she just spit it back never applying her own stamp on it. Because she doesn't have the ability to do if you only represent and relate to a certain kind of person. She appeals to a certain kind of American and when running a country that doesn't work. Her politics are well known and it's what ultimately did her in.

It's like this...I could organize and inspire, 20 something single women who are educated, independent, strong, career-minded and driven. And that's because I am everyone of those things. But what happens if my idea of what being a woman was limited to those standards? How would I relate to the 30 something married housewife without making her feel alienated because her life wasn't up to the standard I was pushing of women ? Or the 40-50 year old women who feel like women with my mindset take away from what it means to be a woman with a family and blah blah blah. I can go on with the examples but the point is this...a leader isn't judged by the people who believe as they believe those folks will follow you regardless so they're a given. It's who you can inspire whose opinions are so far different than of your own that shows how effective you truly are. Sarah Palin is a polarizing politician who always reverts back to her small idea of what it means to be American. Bush was alot of things when he ran for office but he was NEVER that obviously one-sided as she is. He exposed himself once he was in but didn't show is hand before. Rove can spin her and remake her image but the hypocrisy that she claims to want to lead under isn't even one in which she can live her own life under. The things she stands for personally don't add up with how her own life is and that's a huge problem if you're a politician.

So just like before in the end...after she draws the record crowds to speak to her base and fires up the media...she'll always be the best gift to dems...b/c she's not cut out to be a national leader. And it has nothing to do with her's just who she is. You betcha! Please keep these articles coming...I love intellectual stimulation like this!

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