The biggest mystery about Sarah Palin's abrupt and droll decision to resign as governor of Alaska is why the media should think there is anything mysterious about it at all. There has never been anything complicated about Palin. She's a simple woman, and usually the first thing that comes to mind about her motives is correct.
Among the few analysts who have so far gotten it correct and said the first thing that came to his mind was NBC's Chuck Todd, who observed that her resignation allows her to make money -- lots of it. She wants to be free to grab all the money being thrown at her right now, without any pesky ethical or conflict-of-interest problems. Holding political office severely restricts the lucrative speaking engagement she could accept. As a private citizen, the sky's the limit.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to make money. It's how she plans to make it that gives one pause for concern. Regardless of how she or anyone else in her inner circle tries to spin it, she recognizes that announcing a run for President will earn her more money than, say, taking a job as a game show hostess. More disturbingly, it appears that she's going to campaign for the most powerful and most volatile job in the world by ignoring the advice, counsel, and speech-writing expertise of anyone with experience on the international stage and posting her profoundest observations about the United States, world affairs, and psychotic, trigger-happy dictators on Facebook and Twitter.
If the GOP was having second thoughts about what exactly they had created in thrusting Palin to national prominence that fateful day at the Republican National Convention, they must now be positively quaking in their boots. This is not their dream girl. This is a date from hell.
Paling by Comparison
Sarah Palin was already wearing out her welcome in Republican circles. Following McCain's loss against Obama, she cut herself free of the tight orbit her Republican handlers wisely attempted to keep her in, convinced she could do a better job herself. However, lacking any intelligent guidance system, she became something worse -- unpredictable. She was like a ball in a pinball machine, bouncing mindless from one public spectacle to another, making a lot of noise in the media and racking up a lot of meaningless points.
Unfortunately, she came to believe that those points gave her real political clout. She bought into the delusion that she was the only viable Republican candidate, and so she could say and do whatever she pleased, completely ignoring the internal chain of command within the Republican Party. As she said in her Facebook posting, she follows "a higher calling."
"I am now looking ahead and how we can advance this country together with our values of less government intervention, greater energy independence, stronger national security, and much-needed fiscal restraint," she said.
OMFG! It's not just the English language that needs to fear this formidable hockey mom.
If Republicans want to maintain control of their party -- and salvage any possible chance at the White House in 2012 -- they need to do something they have never done before: place their faith upon the intelligence of the larger majority of the American public that smells hypocrisy when they see it. That means cutting their losses now and declaring that Palin acts alone, and "the views she expresses are not necessarily the views of the Party."
Following the Republican Party's rejection, those moderate conservatives who reluctantly abandoned them in 2008 will consider it safe to return to the fold. By 2012, Palin will certainly be able to afford to pay for a $150,000 wardrobe out of her own pocket, thank you. She will pack in the stadiums and rake in the money along the Bible belt, but the bigger swath of voters around the country will have rejected her rabble-rousing posturing. No one will be taking her seriously anymore as a political candidate. If the Republican Party continues to waffle regarding their support of her, she will take them down with her.