Palin Resigns

Governor Sarah Palin announced today that she will not run for a second term as governor of Alaska, and that she will be stepping down shortly and handing the reigns over to the Lt. Governor. Among reasons cited are desire to take public scrutiny off her family, and the fact that Alaskan law does not allow a sitting governor to collect any kind of donations or outside payments — which means that her personal legal bills in defending herself against frivolous ethics complaints have left the family in very significant debt. (The resignation would allow her to make money from a book contract or speaking events.)

Governor Palin provoked a wide range of reactions as McCain’s running mate during the ’08 campaign, and provoked a truly revealing hate-fest among some partisan Democrats which was deeply revealing about their real attitudes towards class and women. Many Republicans hoped to see Gov. Palin make a run for the presidency in 2012 or 2016, while many others questioned whether she had the abilities and experience to be president.

Others may disagree, but I would tend to think that resigning before the end of her first time as governor indicates that she does not have future political plans. I don’t see the “quitter” reputation as being something one could overcome, regardless of the reason.

50 Responses to Palin Resigns

  • Palin is not, and never has been, a conventional politician. Assuming she does wish to stay in politics, my guess is that she believes that Obama may be vulnerable in 2012, and she wishes to build up a mass organization to confront him. If that is the case I find the resignation refreshing rather than just ignoring the job she is paid to do, which is what most serving governors do when they run for President. She might also be ready to retire from politics altogether, sickened by the unending assaults on her family. Too little data to judge at the moment, although I suspect it will become clear rather quickly.

  • My impression is that Gov. Palin and her family have thrived in the very particular environment that is Alaska, and might not in some other locale, so it would be wise for her to forget about national politics.

    What was revealing about the reaction to her among not only the political opposition but among the chatterati with an affinity for the Republican Party (one thinks of David Frum and George Will and Megan McArdle) is that the only candidate running who had any experience as a political executive was derided as a lightweight while a thoroughgoing dilletente stood at the head of the Democratic Party’s ticket. Gov. Palin is likely not familiar with peculiarly federal issues, but does anyone think a man with less than three years under his belt as a working member of Congress is exactly seasoned? Most particularly when he appears to have made no effort to familiarize himself with possible pathyways out of the hideous banking crisis the world is in (“Sweden had, like, five banks.” No, Sen. Obama, Sweden had 114 banks.)?

    The whole business was another demonstration of Thomas Sowell’s observation that people fancy intelligence can substitute for expertise, and that to be articulate is the same as to be intelligent. And who traded in these confusions? People who make their living as word merchants.

  • While this decision is justified and understandable for many reasons it does not favor her running for president in 2012. If she couldn’t do her job as governor because of attacks by liberals, financial and family concerns, etc. how could she expect anyone to believe she could handle being president?

    However, she’s only 45 years old so time is on her side. She could take a break from politics for 2-4 years, then serve in Congress or get a Cabinet appointment (Interior? Energy?) under the next GOP president, then run for president in 2020 or 2024 (when she would be 60 years old, same age as Hillary Clinton was in ’08).

  • As far as GOP prospects for 2012, looks like Bobby Jindal or Tim Pawlenty may be the last candidates standing (at least among the governors).

  • More information on “grassroots” supporters gathering across the nation to support Sarah Palin for President in 2012 can be found online at http://www.palin4pres2012.com

    Note, the website is in danger of crashing due to the flood of readers and supporters signing up to show their interest in a Palin Candidacy. The GOP establishment had better watch out, Sarah Palin and Ron Paul combined with the power of the internet will remove the stranglehold of GOP special interests and the elites who have brought the party to its knees in defeat in the 2008 elections.

  • In 15 years, her daughter Piper will be (one wagers) done with her schooling and her husband will be nearing retirement age. Not sure Todd will be impressed with the hunting in West Virginia, but maybe past sixty he will be ready to downshift.

    Some time working in the business world in the intervening years and then some time in Washington (a couple of terms in Congress and or some time in charge of a federal agency) might render her well prepared. Certainly better prepared than some of the characters who have held the office in the last several decades.

  • Possibly her “You’re Not Going To Have Dick Nixon To Kick Around Anymore” moment?

  • Yeah, don’t get me wrong: I like Palin at a gut level. And while I think she had some pretty poor interview moments, the accusation that she’s inexperienced is pretty laughable considering the tenderfoot who sat at the top of the other ticket (and the bozo who plays second fiddle to him.)

    I must admit, this looks to me like a decision to leave politics. Otherwise, why not serve out the term? But I’d agree with the thought that if she did a come back in 2-4 years and spent some time in congress and/or at cabinet level she’d be a good prospect a says down the pike.

    I’m with Elaine on 2012. It’s a thin field, though I have hopes for Jindal. A smart, capable, Indian-American-Catholic with an expertise in healthcare is not a bad short for this next year, though I don’t know if he’ll be done with LA at that point or is thinking 2016.

  • I’m thinking Palin does not plan on running for the presidency. Perhaps she may one day run for the Senate or the House, but I don’t see it any time soon.

    The Republican field continues to shrink and lack inspiration. I’m still one of those guys that believes the GOP must return to its core principles in practice (not rhetoric) if it wishes to stop loosing voters.

  • “As far as GOP prospects for 2012, looks like Bobby Jindal or Tim Pawlenty may be the last candidates standing”

    JIndal will not be running for President in 2012. All indications are that he is going to run for Governor in 2010. He cannot do that and just months later win the early crucial primary States that takes a huge amount of time and money. NOT HAPPENING

    Further JIndal to be honest is limited by MOther Nature. A major Hurricane is well always likely. Thought the tv cameras left after New Orelans survived the latest ones much of SOuth Louisiana looked like a War Zone. Bobby was sdielined for over a month dealing with it. Also a limitation on him during the crucial 2011 GOP primary campaigning mohts of July through Sept.

  • One other thought. My gut is telling me she is sick of it. The fact she is in Alaska make her not able to respond to the vicious campaign against her

    If that is the case I think it is sad and we are all partly to balme . Even Conservatives. We have an amazing ability to eat our own and cast the worst accusations on our friends in the poltical field. I saw this too Bush to a certain extent from many conservatives because he dared to take a view that was different on immigration reform. All last year there were in comment sections “they are all the same” and “they are just using us”. There is nothing wrong being cynical but at some point it becomes destructive

    Palin had her own foes in the various conservative camps and factions.

    Still it is worth noting that all the pundits we pay attention and who throw the criticism we all lap up rarely run for elective office. If they do they rarely win which should be telling.

    We bloggers that are experts on everything under the sun and are examning every flaw and threatening to take our toys home with us if poltician x does not do y rarely run for elected Office(with one notable Catholic exception of a person that comments here). I think we all know that the shoe would be on the other foot and it is not so much fun being “them” and getting the heat.

    Maybe this average person that had a great bit of smarts said the heck with it. I refuse. If that is the case well it is sad day.

  • Actually, time would be even more on Jindal’s side since — if I’m not mistaken — he’s only in his late 30s. He too has plenty of time to wait to run for president, if indeed he really WANTS to run for president. Cleaning up Louisiana (both politically and from the inevitable hurricanes) is a big job in itself and it requires his full attention.

  • On the other hand… there are also reports in the blogosphere of a possible scandal about to surface dating back to her tenure as mayor of Wasilla, involving the construction company which built both her home and the Wasilla Sports Complex.

    I really, really hate to say this, but that sounds plausible to me and would explain her “sudden” and “baffling” decision to resign. The contract issue apparently is something political junkies and statehouse reporters in Alaska have been following for a long time — the same way Illinois political junkies and statehouse reporters followed all the pay-to-play allegations against Blago long before the national media ever heard of him. It would NOT surprise me at all to discover that the national MSM totally missed the real story which Alaskans knew all along.

  • All that rumor among the “nutroots” lacks Elaine is any alleged factual basis to support it. I think it will join the long list of ethics complaints filed against Palin since she was the GOP veep nominee last year and found to be wanting.

    http://www.adn.com/palin/story/838912.html

    Of course this type of allegation against her by her opponents is what has caused her to accumulate a personal debt of $500,000 in legal fees responding to this type of tripe.

    I suspect that Mark Steyn may have got to the crux of the matter:

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=N2ZiOTA5MmU0MjQ0ODJmNWI3OGQ4ZTg2ZGE1Nzg5NmE=

  • Actually, the report I’m referring to is NOT among the 15 ethics complaints referred to above; it’s much more serious in that it MAY carry the potential for federal indictments. Also, I discovered it from a usually reliable and libertarian-leaning blogger and former journalist who is not given to spreading unsubstantiated rumors (Peoria Pundit).

    Mark Steyn’s article also raises an important point: when local and state media are tough on local/state level pols, their toughness tends to be based on actual knowledge of the person and how they govern, not on a “caricature” created by “malign late night comedians.” This is something local and state media in Alaska have been following, not just Daily Kos or other “nutroots.”

    You and I know that was true in Illinois; Blago was not impeached just for selling Obama’s Senate seat, or for having bad hair — it went way beyond that, and the situation had been brewing for years. But to the national talking heads who never heard of him before Dec. 9, it looked like a “rush to judgment.”

    Now, I’m not saying that Palin is necessarily guilty of anything or that these charges have merit. (Sen. Ted Stevens’ conviction was thrown out, so perhaps federal prosecutors and juries in Alaska are too aggressive.) I’m simply saying this goes beyond the “frivolous ethics complaints” we’ve been hearing about, and that it would provide a plausible explanation for her actions that the national media seems to have completely missed.

  • Elaine I realized the rumor you mentioned was not among the ethics complaint I referred to as I believe my comment made clear. I was merely noting that Palin’s foes have engaged in this type of baseless smear frequently and I suspect this is more of the same.

    Did your source give you any facts to support the allegations of the rumor? If not, I contend this is more of the same until such time as facts, those “stubborn things” in the words of John Adams, are brought forth.

  • Here is what Peoria Pundit wrote.

    http://peoriapundit.com/blogpeoria/2009/07/03/bloggers-not-mainstream-media-has-the-scoop-on-palin-resignation/#comments

    Here is the Brad Blog post, a rather far left blog, which is his “source”.

    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7280

  • Elaine,

    Peoria Pundit cites two sources. One is Max Blumenthal of “The Nation Institute”, writing in The Daily Beast. Victor Navasky’s The Nation is an opinion magazine of low quality, not a venue for original reporting. After a discussion of ‘rumors’ that ‘federal investigators’ had been rummaging through the business records of a local building supplies company, Blumenthal offers this:

    Just months before Palin left city hall to campaign for governor, she awarded a contract to SBS to help build the $13 million Wasilla Sports Complex. The most expensive building project in Wasilla history, the complex cost the city an additional $1.3 million in legal fees and threw it into severe long-term debt. For SBS, however, the bloated and bungled project was a cash cow.

    Gov. Palin completed her second term as Mayor of Wasilla in 2002 and took up a position as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission in 2003. She did not run for Governor until 2006. (The bond issues and tax increases to fund the sports complex were approved by referenda, by the way).

    Brad Blog recycles Blumenthal’s column and adds some material cribbed from the Village Voice. There is not the slightest discussion of the process by which the contracts to build the Wasilla sports complex were awarded. Both authors would prefer their readers draw a conclusion that there is something sinister about the fact that Todd Palin procured building supplies for his house from the same company, SBS, that sold supplies to the town to build the sports complex. However, Brad Blog’s sources describe SBS as Alaska’s leading provider of building supplies. They also would like you to believe that Todd Palin has been misleading the public by stating that he had built that house with the help of friends, though (apparently) he procured building supplies from SBS. Seriously, would anyone have interpreted Todd Palin’s remarks to mean that he and his buddies had milled their own lumber and manufactured their own cement?

    The contracts to construct the Wasilla sports complex were awarded seven years ago. I would think it unusual for a statute of limitations for embezzlement to extend to such a length of time. Blumenthal and ‘Brad’ report that a federal investigation is underway. Perhaps Mr. McClarey might inform us as to what statutes of limitations usually are under the U.S. Code, and whether, given that, it is at all likely that federal investigators would be at work here.

  • Palin’s move puts yet more pressure on Obama to finally get some results, as the soaring rhetoric isn’t hypnotizing the plebes like it used to. This week Helen Thomas, Colin Powell, and Warren Buffet all turned on him. Polls are looking droopy for The One lately.

    Obama’s porkulus program is a train wreck, all it’s done is bump interest rates and tank the dollar. We are being laughed at by bad guys like Tehran, Pyongyang, and Al Qaida who amazingly turned-down Barack’s friend-requests.

    Palin could trounce him in 2012, when Americans would vote for the Gipper-in-Heels in droves- while begging for lower taxes, free enterpise, a defense posture with some backbone… an end to the radical, anti-American nightmare we’ve got now.

    Go get ‘em Sarah-

  • Thank you Art for another informative comment. Most crimes under the Federal Code have a statute of limitations of five years, with a few exceptions that I do not believe would be relevant here. In my experience most federal investigations leak out to the press within a few months of their inception. Considering the microscopic and hostile media focus on Palin, if there were a federal investigation it has been a minor miracle that the media has not heard of it.

    Update: Below we have a link to proposed legislation introduced in January to have the statute of limitations on public corruption increased from five to six years, so it is clear that the relevant statute would be five years.

    http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200901/010609a.html

  • I don’t dislike Palin, but I’m not a big fan either. Her style of speech seems to get more and more disjointed to me, in comparison to her performance at the RNC convention where she pretty much went for the jugular.

    Whatever her reasons for this move, I do love seeing all the talking-head know-it-alls get wound up.

  • Perhaps the most revealing comment about the pistol-packing mama is
    “Governor Palin provoked a wide range of reactions as McCain’s running mate during the ‘08 campaign, and provoked a truly revealing hate-fest among some partisan Democrats which was deeply revealing about their real attitudes towards class and women”.

  • OK, maybe those usually reliable bloggers weren’t so reliable this time. Perhaps those “rumors” are more wishful thinking along the lines of predictions in 2005 that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney faced imminent indictment in the Valerie Plame case. (The term “Fitzmas,” referring to federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, originally was coined by Daily Kos bloggers to express the high level of anticipation of such indictments among that crowd.)

    It would be pretty difficult to hide a full-blown federal investigation of Palin from the press, or for journalists in Alaska not to notice it. However, again, I note that in the case of Blago a lot of the national media seemed not to be aware, or not to care, that he had been under federal investigation for over 3 years at the time of his arrest. Then again, he was not a presidential or vice presidential candidate at the time (though he had hoped and schemed to become one from the moment he became governor, if not before).

    Still, even the mere possibility of federal investigation or indictment is a whole new ballgame compared to “bogus” state ethics complaints. It would also explain her sudden decision to resign — trying to defend herself against those kind of charges, whether founded or not, would make it pretty much impossible for her to function as governor.

  • Elaine,

    She left office as Mayor of Wasilla in the fall of 2002. A federal indictment on corruption charges derived from her tenure in that post would be invalid due to the passage of time.

    The obvious questions to ask about this sort of controversy are as follows:

    1. Was there a competitive bidding process for the various elements of the construction of the sports complex;

    2. Is there any evidence of the bidding being rigged?;

    3. Is there any evidence that the contract(s) were written in such a way as to preclude enterprises other than a firm targeted to receive patronage from bidding on or winning the contract(s)?;

    Your ‘normally reliable bloggers’ pose none of these questions. That the statute of limitations might call into question the veracity of ‘rumors’ about a federal investigation seem not to have occurred to them either. If I interpret them correctly, they also seem to think that the mere possession of building materials by Todd Palin is suspicious, as if it cannot be assumed by default that he pays for drywall and lumber. I do not think I would pay too much attention to these three characters in the future.

    A better explanation of why she elected to resign is that she has to raise money to pay her legal fees; efforts by friends and admirers to do resulted in…another ethics charge (filed 27 April).

  • Perhaps the most revealing comment about the pistol-packing mama is

    Revealing about whom, and why?

  • I guess I’ve been looking at all political developments through Blago-colored glasses a little too long :-)

    However, even if all these “bogus ethics complaints” are unfounded and merely a smear campaign, it does not change my belief that she was NOT adequately prepared to run for national office in ’08, and probably won’t be for some time to come.

  • I think most of her problem last year Elaine was that intially she was badly served by McCain’s handlers. Having her give interviews in hostile venues shortly after arriving on the national stage was simply bizarre. She performed much better as the campaign progressed and she did what she thought best and stopped listening to the McCain advisors. She bested Biden in the Veep debate, although since Joe truly is a blithering idiot, perhaps that wasn’t the hardest accomplishment in the world. Without Palin on the ticket McCain would have been lucky to break 40%. McCain lost 11 points among white men compared to the totals for Bush in 2004 and only lost four points among white women. There is only one reason for that difference: Palin.

    http://thehill.com/dick-morris/sarah-palin-saved-gop-from-landslide-defeat-2008-11-11.html

  • Here is a link to a statement from Palin’s legal counsel on the nutroots’ Wasilla Sports Complex fantasy.

    http://www.conservatives4palin.com/2009/07/statement-from-gov-palins-legal-counsel.html

  • Oh great, I hope I didn’t get you all in trouble! Maybe it’s not too late to give up blogging for Lent :)

  • Ha! Don’t worry Elaine, that is what second mortagages are for! :)

    The threat of litigation from Palin’s attorney is probably a bluff since Palin is a public figure whether or not she is governor of Alaska. However the facts he cites he finds I find persuasive. This is probably a shot across the bow to Palin’s more crazed critics and an indication that now that she is no longer an elected official she will no longer be constrained in the manner in which she responds to the endless slurs that are heaped upon her and her family every day.

  • The FBI now absolutely denies (in a statement to the L.A. Times) that there is or ever has been ANY federal investigation of Palin’s activities. Sorry to have gotten all worked up over the blogosphere reports. They sounded plausible to me at the time as an explanation for why she would resign so abruptly.

    Also plausible to me was the claim by a blogger who usually DOES cover events in his area far better than the local newspaper does (which probably says more about the low quality of the local paper than the crack journalistic skills of the blogger in question), that bloggers had beat the MSM to the punch on the “real” story. That is obviously not always the case.

  • I’ll paraphrase a friend and say my first thought was: Life just got a little less embarrassing for Republicans. I was a Palin fan when she was announced, and really liked the convention speech. I viewed her sympathetically because of the weird and deranged attacks and the irresponsible rumor-mongering facilitated by the major media outlets. But she is not a national politician, and nothing captured that better than her rambling, incoherent, contradictory resignation speech. She has been erratic and petulant since the Couric interviews; hopefully the resignation will bring her and her family some peace.

  • The talk shows had it down, she’s not some Ivy league graduate, she doesn’t fit in to some of the establishment. Who’d keep on making fun of a veep candidate 7 months after that side of the party lost,,, Michelle Ferrara or whomever. They are scared of her. $500,000 in debt from defending oneself against the smears of her detractors.

    Viva Sarah!

  • EXCERPT:

    “She resigned because of the tremendous pressure, time and financial burden of a litany of ethics complaints in the past several months, she said. The complaints were without merit and took away from the job she wanted to do for Alaskans, Palin said.”

    SOURCE: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/07/palin.resignation/

    So this is ‘presidential material’?

    If she can’t stand all this while merely governor, how much more if president?

    She’s proven to be nothing more than a pin-up babe.

    What an utter disappointment!

    I initially had high hopes for her last year due to her sanctity for life record; however, there’s much left to be desired unfortunately — especially given all the remarkably deplorable interviews she gave last year (most notably, the Katie Couric one), which merely demonstrated her immense ineptitude.

    As much as I abhor Hillary Clinton and her liberal breed; at the very least, she isn’t so dense and puerile as Palin.

  • Would you care to be saddled with her legal bills, ‘e.’?

    Can you please explain how the term ‘puerile’ applies to a 45 year old woman married 21 years with five children and a history of taking on unusual challenges?

  • ‘Puerile’ as in:

    “Waaah–Waaah, everybody’s pickin’ on lil’ ole me; I no more wanna be gov’ner!”

    As for taking on unusual challenges, I suppose honorably serving out her full term in spite of these seemingly hostile forces is just beyond her.

    For this, strangely enough, I bear greater respect for George W. Bush; at the very least, though he experienced considerably greater antagonism (much of which he deserved, by the way) and, yet, in spite of all these fierce obstacles which taunted him both physically & mentally (which perhaps taxed his already much too beleaguered congnitive abilities), still, he made the best of it.

  • ‘e.’, her legal bills are not a product of her attitude, but of defects in the Alaska Revised Statutes and defects in Alaska’s political culture. A different attitude is not going to pay her legal bills.

    She is under no obligation to continue in public life and there is no dishonor in departing public life to attend to matters that have priority. Politicians are replaceable. Members of your family are not.

    The campaign of harrassment against Gov. Palin has been unusual, to say the least, and the financial dimension of it leaves her with little room for maneuver. Your reaction to this is to describe her as ‘puerile’ and ‘nothing but a pin up girl’. One other reason she may want out of public life is the realization that the years you have are too short to squander them in the company of jerks.

  • ‘Art Deco':

    Perhaps — if the latter you’ve suggested is even actually the case.

    If she is aiming for the highest office in the land(as some out there still suspect), I fail to see how bailing out on your responsiblities midway as governor of a state makes you out to be deserving of even greater responsibilities, such as President of the United States.

  • e.

    I fail to see how bailing out on your responsiblities midway as governor of a state makes you out to be deserving of even greater responsibilities, such as President of the United States.

    Granted, that not serving at least a full term in office is a detriment, let’s be honest, Obama didn’t serve even 2 years as a senator. I think you’re missing a key point. If her remaining in office as governor is a detriment to the people of Alaska, it is not irresponsible. Remember, in addition to the distractions, the state has spent $2,000,000 in her defense against absurd accusations. This may be a small number if you live in Texas, but in Alaska where the population is less than $1,000,000 it is not.

    It’s not possible to predict whether this will help or hurt her chances in 2012, it’s far too soon for that. It seems likely that her focus will be on 2010 at least for now (see the new post about a plan for Palin).

  • Please people, do not get behind this woman. She is quitting. She offers us no cogent reasons. She can not put together complete thoughts and has offered nothing in the way of initiatives or ways forward. Move on, and not to that insane version of a Catholic Jindahl.

  • She offered cogent reasons – she and her husband are now $500,000 in hock due to bogus ethics complaints.

  • Those are not monies that are not her responsibilities, they are part of the state
    budget. And, she herself opened up some of those investigations. What is she up to?

  • Her legal bills are her responsibility. Which of the ethics complaints lacked a plaintiff?

  • Art,

    Her legal bills are her responsibility. Which of the ethics complaints lacked a plaintiff?

    most of the costs of defending the governor in her official capacity are borne by the taxpayers of Alaska, that totals about $2,000,000. A portion were personally incurred, totaling about $500,000.

    I believe Palin requested that allegations be investigated to avoid the appearance of a coverup.

  • Back in September 2008, we saw her wagging her finger at Hillary Clinton, that Hillary should not whine about tough media coverage, she was not doing women any good, she should just plow through it, she should have known what she was getting into and should just try harder and prove herself. “WOW”, I guess she loves measuring others by standards that she does not follow. What a hypocrite, but expected from most political false prophets types. I guess all other “lame duck” governors should take her lead and quit (cut and run). Thank you for leading by example.

  • If you Paul had been subject to a tenth of the abuse that Palin and her family has been through you would have been screeching for your mommy long ago. The attack on her by the deranged left is beneath contempt.

  • Donald,

    What Palin’s suffering is not even a tenth of that which G.W. Bush suffered/continues to suffer.

  • e., somehow I do not recall Bush being accused of anything approaching faking the birth of a child, being forced to incur personal expenses of $500,000.00 in legal fees fighting off baseless ethics complaints, having a comedian suggesting the rape of a daughter, and the list could go on for considerable length. The vials of hatred poured on that woman and her family are a complete disgrace.

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