July 7, 2009
The Seven Stages of Sarah
“Hmmmmmm . . .”
There you have it. The Seven Stages of Sarah . . .
perhaps the brightest light to flash
across the political horizon in a
“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
“Ruh roh.” Charlie. Katie. Tina. Kathleen. Bush
Doctrine. Newspapers. Front porch.
“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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
This shooting star, this erupting supernova, could be
a paradigm-altering scientist. A
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.
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