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If There’s a Method to Palin’s Madness…

…Charlie Cook has put his finger on it:

So assuming Palin would not seek re-election in 2010, what value would she get from spending the next 18 months as a lame-duck governor, having to contend with a recalcitrant state legislature that already has shown little interest in making her look good, while trying to lay the groundwork for a national campaign?

She has already punched her ticket as governor; would she really get that many more “experience points” for sticking around Juneau, if it meant missing a lot of gripping and grinning at Lincoln Day dinners and other state and local party functions, or headlining fundraising events for Republican candidates?

… Finally, it appears that Sarah and Todd Palin are not people of great wealth, and it’s a decent bet that they would have little income during 2011 and 2012, with the two of them campaigning full time. My hunch is that — to the extent that she could bank some serious change over the next year and a half by speaking, writing a book or what have you — it would make their lives easier in 2011 and 2012.

Many pundits had considered Palin virtually MIA since the election. Her absence from the rubber-chicken circuit, though, has been down to nothing more than the sheer distance between Alaska and the rest of the country. Now she can capitalize on all the invitations — to politick as well as to pick up fat checks — that she had to turn down previously.

But come on — Palin’s fans may approve, and her critics would snipe whatever she did, but how does this read to a neutral voter? She’s cutting out on her responsibilities once they cease to be politically advantageous for her, all so she can make money and campaign for higher office. Then again, neutral voters aren’t paying the slightest attention to any of this. But her resignation is one more indication that she’s less interested in politics as way of accomplishing anything than in getting elected for the sake of being someone — like in a beauty pageant or a popularity contest.

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#1 Comment By Icarus On July 7, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

Palin aready has a legal defense fund (The Alaska Fund Trust) to cover her legal bills, a PAC, and a multi-million dollar book deal. What she’ll now gain in income, she’ll lose in credibility and much needed experience. But, Palin doesn’t care, because fulfilling her oath of office was too much work and aggravation, and she can now make millions spouting platitudes in front of adoring, hand picked audiences. That’s what she wants.

#2 Comment By Icarus On July 7, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

“But her resignation is one more indication that she’s less interested in politics as way of accomplishing anything than in getting elected for the sake of being someone — like in a beauty pageant or a popularity contest.”

That’s why she kept saying that being Governor was only a “title”, like Miss Alaska.

#3 Comment By Cody On July 7, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

The problem with multitudinous analysis from this or that place is that they all assume voters, and especially pundits, are rational human beings who consider the negative implications of an action. Obama essentially neglected his term as senator in order to run for president. Unless Obama’s mind, energy, and physical self could be in two places at once, then Obama could only dedicate all of his time to one task or the other, or some of his time to one task and some to the other. My bet was that Obama allocated much of his talent toward running for president.

In effect, a robot could have done his job in the senate.

Obama’s neglect did not seem to upset his supporters much.

Politics is not about reason. Campaigns are about eliciting the right emotions and making the right lies stick. Palin will be fine, I think.

#4 Comment By Daniel McCarthy On July 7, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

Fair point, Cody, but one of the irrational things that voters look for in a candidate is respectability. Palin had little of that after November, and her latest move leaves her with less still.

#5 Pingback By Around the ‘Sphere…. « Political Byline On July 8, 2009 @ 1:00 am

[…] Wonders about Palin’s Madness and “The Right’s” urban […]

#6 Comment By Barney Rebble On July 8, 2009 @ 4:50 am

I will make only one comment to this thread (or zero if TAC doesn’t feel it’s appropriate).

For what it’s worth:


What do you want to bet that Sarah Palin doesn’t even know the difference between “liberal” and “pseudo-conservative elitist snark”?

#7 Comment By Hankest On July 8, 2009 @ 7:23 am

I don’t really understand Palin’s logic. If she believes a lame duck executive cannot accomplish anything (pure nonsense of course), then how can she run for president seeing as it has term limits?

Even if she runs promising that she’ll only serve one term, then she effectively makes herself a lameduck for those first 4 years, and therefore, by her “reasoning” ineffective.

#8 Comment By Matt Weber On July 8, 2009 @ 9:26 am

There must be something to this Palin character. She seems to inflame the strongest passions wherever she goes and whatever she does.

#9 Comment By TomT On July 8, 2009 @ 9:43 am

My 2 cents’ worth


#10 Comment By William Morris On July 8, 2009 @ 10:37 am

The thing I am going to miss most about Sarah Palin is the almost daily quotations from Levi Johnston of whom I had become quite a fan. The most recent remark from him I greatly enjoyed was “Whenever I spent the night at the Palin’s Bristol and I shared the same bedroom”.Are they stupider than anyone ever thought or did they rely too heavily on the fact she had taken the “Chastity Pledge”? Why should any conservative or libertarian be interested in denying they are trailer trash?

#11 Comment By Matthew Cole On July 8, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

Respectibility is as malleable as tin foil. Look at Bill Clinton today. Hell, Newt Gingrich is back again. If Palin believes her destiny is in the lower 48, it is folly to stay in Alaska.

Before Palin the biggest Alaskan national politician was Ted Stevens, and that’s because he spent nearly half a century in the US Senate. I don’t begrudge her or anyone else the opportunity to pick up $10K honorariums instead of govern.