Read Bob's bio and previous columns


July 7, 2009

The Seven Stages of Sarah


“Hubba hubba.”




“Ruh roh.”








“Hmmmmmm . . .”


There you have it. The Seven Stages of Sarah . . . perhaps the brightest light to flash across the political horizon in a generation.


“Hubba hubba.” That first look at Alaska’s mold-breaking governor on a YouTube video. Razor-sharp. Fabulously focused. Dead-eye determined. And yes, drop-dead gorgeous. A wannaveep?


“Wow.” The surprise choice . . . and a pitch-perfect introduction. Giant-killer. Wolf-hunter. Oil-exec vanquisher. Veto-pen-wielder. Talk-talking, walk-walking mom of a Down Syndrome child, not to mention an Iraq-bound soldier. Thanks, but no thanks. Pit bull with lipstick. Crazed crowds. Obama off-balance. Can I call you Joe? Don’tcha. Betcha. The wink. And those doe eyes . . . making hot love to the camera.


“Ruh roh.” Charlie. Katie. Tina. Kathleen. Bush Doctrine. Newspapers. Front porch. Qualifications.


“Yes!” Republican Governors Association meeting. Owned the press conference. Nailed the speech. And that million-dollar phrase – “smaller, smarter government.” Now tell us what it means and show us how it works out there on the Last Frontier.


“No!” Legislative tussles. Legal sideshows. Levi. Letterman. Can you say “Reality TV?”


“Huh?” Calling it quits in the middle of her first term? On Independence Day weekend? With a rambling wreck of an oration that, like much of her time on the national stage, is equal parts winning and whining?


“Hmmmmmm . . .” Could this possibly be a plan for a path to the presidency that, like its progenitor, is patently unprecedented? Is there, as some suspect, another shoe-bomb – perhaps a devastating ethics finding – to drop? Or are we simply witnessing, slack-jawed, yet another of those embarrassingly melodramatic, center-stage self-destructions that have rocked the political world – and the Republican Party – over the last few weeks?


Heck if I know. But as a near-adoring, from-the-start Sarah fan, I have some thoughts.


All of us know, and maybe some of us are, one of those types. Brilliant. Gifted. Creative. Driven. Insightful. Instinctive. But also impulsive. Inconsistent. Erratic. Mercurial. And prone to major misjudgment.


Properly handled and directed, she is a guided missile. A dagger thrust to the heart of the opposition. A parry to every counter-blow. As Barry Manilow put it in another context, answer to all answers I can find.


But he doesn’t want to be managed, handled, steered or counseled. Given excellent instruction from world-class advisors, she will wriggle free every time from what feels like stifling, oppressive control and listen to a small circle of sycophants and loyalists who will tell him he is greater and smarter than the rest, she is misunderstood and maltreated, beset and abused.


He won’t do things the conventional way. She has her own course, her own plan, her own path, and never the beaten one. He is a “maverick.” (No wonder John McCain felt he found not just his running mate, but – to coin a phrase – his “soul mate” in the comely newcomer from the 49th state.)


And then, when instead of honing in like that laser-guided missile, he flames out like a Roman candle, when she fails to keep her commitments or falls down before finishing the course, it’s always someone else’s fault. That liberal media. Those self-interested advisers. Those woman-hating hypocrites. That turncoat boyfriend. That sick talk-show host. Those darn Democrats. Those pesky ethics investigations.


This shooting star, this erupting supernova, could be a paradigm-altering scientist. A disruptive-technology-driving entrepreneur. A breakthrough rock star. An intrepid journalist.


But whether she has reached that realization on her own or will have it forced on her, she could not, should not and will not ever be president of the United States.


We might have known it before, but now, after this stunning, startling, bold, bizarre and ultimately, deeply disappointing decision, we do. And we know there will be an eighth stage.


Whew. Dodged a bullet on that one.


© 2009 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 it.


This is Column # RM076. Request permission to publish here.

Op-Ed Writers
Eric Baerren
Lucia de Vernai
Herman Cain
Dan Calabrese
Bob Franken
Lawrence J. Haas
Paul Ibrahim
David Karki
Llewellyn King
Gregory D. Lee
David B. Livingstone
Bob Maistros
Rachel Marsden
Nathaniel Shockey
Stephen Silver
Candace Talmadge
Jessica Vozel
Jamie Weinstein
Brett Noel
Feature Writers
Mike Ball
Bob Batz
Cindy Droog
The Laughing Chef
David J. Pollay
Business Writers
D.F. Krause