From Michael Carey at the Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed):
Reporting from Anchorage — Sarah Palin’s career as governor of Alaska is over. So is her barely begun career as a serious presidential candidate. The road map to the White House doesn’t include a stop at “I quit.”
In a truly Palinesque moment near the end of her speech in Wasilla on Friday, the departing governor quoted a saying she said her parents kept on their refrigerator. “Don’t explain: Your friends don’t need it, and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.”
The governor might have done better to take her cue from another piece of refrigerator wisdom: “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.”
Palin’s speech was hastily arranged and hastily delivered.
The governor seemed to have trouble breathing — was on the verge of panting — as she took a long, clunky windup to make her pitch. She recited her achievements and chastised the media for not appreciating them. She told us how sorry she feels for herself and her family. She praised our brave troops serving abroad, renewed her commitment to the fight for free enterprise, denounced apathy and explained she would not waste public dollars as a lame duck. And she dipped into metaphor, invoking her experience as a high school point guard.
The point-guard metaphor was supposed to leave Alaskans appreciating her willingness to pass the ball. Instead, it raised an obvious question: “What kind of point guard walks off the court in the fourth quarter, refusing to play any more?”
The only thing we can be absolutely sure of is this: Palin did not tell the truth when she said she is leaving for the good of Alaskans. She is leaving for her own good. With Sarah Palin, “me” always comes first.
But the “why” of why she left may be as simple as this: She couldn’t take it anymore. The scrutiny, the criticism, the mockery, and yes, the hard work of being governor. Palin’s thin skin is legendary. She never ignores a slight. For most of the last year, she has been feuding with the Alaska media and many of the state’s political leaders.
She has almost no support among legislators, even Republicans.
Palin will continue as an A-list celebrity in the tabloids and gossip magazines. She and her husband, Todd, provide a rich source of family drama, scandal and compelling photographs. She also will remain a celebrity on the Christian right, which adores her.
She will keep my state in the news. But she is finished as a leader. No leader abandons the battle in mid-fight.
Michael Carey is a columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and host of “Anchorage Edition” on Alaska Public Broadcasting.
Keep in mind, kids, this isn’t the first time Princess Sarah quit (or gave up her “title” as she put it). From the Anchorage Daily News:
Published: January 17th, 2004 05:09 PM
Last Modified: September 5th, 2008 06:49 PM
Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Chairwoman Sarah Palin said Friday she is resigning amid frustration that she is being forced to keep silent about ethics allegations against Republican Party of Alaska chairman Randy Ruedrich.
Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski appointed both Ruedrich and Palin to the state commission last spring. In November, Ruedrich resigned the $118,000 commission job in the face of mounting criticism that his job and his party position presented a conflict of interest.
As a top party official he was raising political funds from the same industries he regulated as a commissioner. In addition, allegations surfaced that Ruedrich was doing party business while he was on the state job as an oil and gas commissioner.
Palin has deflected numerous questions from the press about the Ruedrich affair in recent weeks. The Alaska Department of Law has told her that she cannot talk about the ethics allegations against Ruedrich, even after she resigns.
Palin said frustration over the gag order made her conclude it was time to quit, but she said it wasn’t the only reason. She wouldn’t detail what else contributed to her decision.
Palin said it was hard to do her job with potential civil penalties hanging over her head if she talked about what went on at her agency. She said the experience was taking the “oomph” out of her passion for government service and she decided to quit rather than becoming bitter.
Palin is a former mayor of Wasilla. She made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination in the 2002 election and has been discussed as a possible challenger to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Palin said Friday her decision to leave the commission had nothing to do with such matters.
Palin said she has not discounted running against Murkowski but is leaning against it. The Republican Party is backing Murkowski with money and endorsements, she said. Palin said she has no immediate employment plans.
And, kids, don’t forget her illustrious college career. I guess when the going got too tough at one school, she’d quit and go to the next one.