Read Jessica's bio and previous columns here
July 6, 2009
Deliberately or Accidentally Incoherent?
Not to be upstaged by a disconcerting string of celebrity deaths these
last couple weeks, the celebrity formerly known as Governor Sarah Palin
made a rather befuddling announcement on Friday: She is
stepping down as
Alaska’s governor, in order to better “build up and fight for our state
and our country.”
a speech that is either deliberately or accidentally incoherent and
dizzying to decipher, Sarah Palin cited the sweeping changes her
administration has rendered for Alaska, took a few jabs at the way our
country is currently being run (“obscene[ly]” and immoral[ly] – terms
straight out of an abstinence-only sex ed class), said some stuff about
family values and decried – again – the ways in which the media and
those pesky ethics mongers are out to get her. Then, somewhere in the
middle of all that, she announced that she would not be seeking
re-election, and, in fact, would be stepping down from the governorship
entirely, effective in three weeks.
Central to her reasoning for resigning, it seems, is that she wants to
get out there (meaning, presumably, get down to the Lower 48) and
campaign for the Republican Party, restoring America to all its rightful
conservative glory. And she doesn’t feel that Alaska should be paying
her to do so. She also managed to squeeze in two wildlife metaphors as
she spoke to the press from her lakefront backyard, to describe what she
doesn’t want to be: A “lame duck” or a “dead fish.” What she
wants to be is a point guard, with her eye on the prize. Or something
Palin talked a lot about how much she loves Alaska, how serving them was
the “greatest honor (she) could imagine.” So great, in fact, that she
must do the noble thing and put that honor into Lieutenant Gov. Sean
Parnell’s hands. It’s not because she’s not capable of running Alaska
the way that the state deserves – no, she made it quite clear earlier in
her speech that she was the best thing to happen to Alaska since William
Seward – it’s that she has bigger things planned that, while not more
honorable than her current position, mind you, are more
Rumors originating from “inside sources” suggest that Palin is done with
politics and will instead focus on high-paying speaking engagements and
book deals. That would be a good move for her. Sarah Palin is an
interesting public figure, but a terrible politician. Every politician
tells strategic untruths, but rare is a politician who is so obvious
about it. Sarah Palin seems to want to be an enigma, but everything she
says reads as disingenuous because her actions paint a completely
She hates the media, but enlisted them to facilitate her rant against
David Letterman (and much of the media, myself included, defended her).
She sees no greater honor than serving Alaska, but yet she is pulled by
the “higher calling” of fixing the country that the new liberal
government has ruined. She boasts her “ethics reforms” but gets huffy
when her own ethics are investigated because, obviously, she’s done
nothing wrong. That’s not enigmatic – that’s hypocritical.
Hopefully, the age of Obama has ushered in a set of new expectations for
politicians. Namely honesty, forthrightness and speeches that make
sense. From here, it seems Palin has ended her short-lived career as a
political leader, but unlike with the celebrities we’ve recently lost,
we’ve certainly not seen the last of Sarah Palin.
North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
Click here to talk to our writers and
editors about this column and others in our discussion forum.
To e-mail feedback
about this column,
click here. If you enjoy this writer's
work, please contact your local newspapers editors and ask them to carry
is Column # JV096.
Request permission to publish here.