In the News
Why Sarah Palin Resigned
Sifting through all the rumors to find the truth
Why did Sarah Palin resign? The New York Times sent a team of five reporters on the trail to find out why the controversial Alaska governor, who startled the nation last week with her abrupt resignation, called it quits. They concluded it came about because of Sarah’s “Missteps and Ignored Advice.”
Just a minute. Reading their detailed analysis of what went wrong Wasilla-way, you — or at least I — come up with a different interpretation of what caused this perplexing and intriguing woman to say, “Enough is enough.”
The Times outlined what they seem to consider what Sarah Palin has done wrong. First of all, she did not listen to the advice of a Republican party elder who had sent her a memorandum with Daddy-like instructions. “Make a long-term schedule and stick to it, have staff members set aside ample and inviolable family time to replenish your spirits,” the memo, shared with the Times, droned on. Just asking: Would that same party elder dare to write such a patronizing memo to a male governor? Was this the respectful way to treat the most popular woman in the Republican party?
In the last months, Sarah was under constant attack for a variety of “ethics” violations which all had to be investigated and answered. In her resignation statement, she complained about these constant distractions. For example, a local Democratic blogger accused her of becoming a “walking billboard” by wearing a jacket emblazoned with the logo of Arctic Cat, her husband’s team sponsor at the Iron Dog snowmobile race. In response, she issued a news release titled Governor Comments on Latest Bogus Ethics Complaint. “Yes, I wore Arctic Cat snow gear at an outdoor event, because it was cold outside,” her statement read.
According to the Times, her behavior seemed to prove she was just too thin-skinned for today’s hardball politics. Does this mean that more seasoned politicians know how to handle it when their ethics are being questioned? And that the sign of capable politicians is being able to skillfully suppress or dodge criticism of their ethical behavior? I don’t think this is a skill-set most people want in their leaders and, maybe, Sarah realizes that. So why would wanting to answer charges brought against her be a criticism?
Finally, the Times notes that Sarah had troubles coping with the pull from her family and the demands of her party. And that she, her husband and children have been stalked relentlessly by the paparazzi and joked about in the media — like David Letterman‘s snarky comment about her daughter. She has received far more attention than almost any other politician in America. And most of it has been critical. A recent poll reported that 70 percent of the public does not think she has been treated fairly in the press.
She also had problems with an uncooperative legislature who seemed Mean Girl jealous of her national profile. They have become increasingly unwilling to endorse her once popular agenda. “It’s like, ‘Ooh, not so good anymore, because it’s got Sarah’s name on it,” she has said. Because of all these pressures, Sarah has lost a great deal of weight and even her hair has grown thin. “Honestly, I think all of it just broke her heart,” her hometown hairdresser, a friend who should know, said.
So Sarah has done what mothers advise their children to do when it all gets too much, probably what she has advised her own kids: To just take a “time out.” And maybe that is a very wise thing for her to do. She isn’t listening to advice because maybe it isn’t the right advice for her. And her missteps — and she had made them — seem like missteps because she needs a bigger platform to stride across. She is now saying she will campaign not only for Republicans who share her views but for Democrats, too. No, it is not what your typical ambitious but cautious male politician might do. But then Sarah Palin always said she was different. And she is.