Friday, July 3, 2009

Sara, We Hardly Knew Ya

My first reaction was shock... until reality stepped in. Sarah Palin says she will resign her post as governor of Alaska at the end of July. Nothing this woman does surprises me anymore.

It took about a nanosecond for the pundits and second guessers to opine on her future from the cable channels to websites and Twitter. I haven't a clue what she plans to do, if anything. She's that flighty.

I doubt she will disappear from the frozen tundra. It's not in her DNA. She earned her 15 minutes of fame and, as a Democrat, I loved her as the gift that kept on giving. Every time she opened her mouth, I saw and heard her words spoken by Tina Fey: "I can see Russia from my house."

From the moment she was catapulted to national fame when John McCain selected her as his Republican vice presidential running mate last August, Sarah Palin was in the news for good or bad.

Frankly, I admired this soccer mom who energized the Republican base and damn near made a race out of the presidential campaign until McCain himself screwed it up, admitting economics was not his strong suit at the beginning of a recession.

But Palin's downfall was brought about herself as a result of the Katie Couric -- of all people -- interview that revealed her true colors as unprepared to handle the job one heartbeat away from the 72-year-old McCain with a history of cancer disease.

Palin had to be respected, however, as a quick learner and still could study her way into a savvy, seasoned pro should she seek the presidential nomination in 2012. The problem is, Palin already is the darling of the Republican base and could win the nomination by virtually sweeping the primaries. However, her chances of winning the election in a national vote would be as plausible as mine. Flat out zero.

I felt sympathy for Palin when David Letterman stupidly attacked her and her daughters with a sexual innuendo involving admitted philanderer Alex Rodriquez of the New York Yankees. Even then, Palin wouldn't let it rest by simply accepting an apology. She milked the flap for at least three days.

No, what bothers me about Palin, the politician, gloated during the primary about her success in acquiring a deal that would build a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the Lower 48. As far as I can determine, that project is more a dream than a reality. And, therein lies her problem: It was a done deal in her mind only.

A continuing battle over her ethics as governor has plagued Palin's unheard of 80% popularity last August. Now it's a more pedestrian level in the Dick Cheney neighborhood. Certainly, some bombshell will be heard out of Alaska before all is said and done.

My guess is she'll turn to television, her first job. She was a lousy sportscaster but sort of got the hang of it as time went on, this, according to one of her bosses. Perhaps her real niche in the public arena is with Fox News. I say that with one caveat: Learn how to ask follow-up questions that she so artfully dodged from answering as a vice presidential candidate.

Sarah Palin was a fresh face in American politics, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Among other things we learned from her is telling the difference between a pig and a soccer mom.


No comments: