Saturday, July 4, 2009

Alaska's First Point Guard Drops The Ball

These were better days for Alaska's most famous highschool point guard.
I watched Sarah Palin's speech last night and my first thought was WOW! She's finally admitted the real game for her is not governing, it is running for office---mostly running for the next bigger office.

There's not a lot of fun and adulation in actually governing, there's only hard work, lots of accountability, and far less gratitude than grumbling. Sarah Palin can blame bloggers, and ethics challenges, but I think the biggest reason she quit in mid term is because being governor didn't give her near the ego boost campaigning did. Campaigning on the national level for the office of Vice President was a continuous shot of adrenaline for a campaign junky. We have not seen nor heard the last of Sarah Palin.

The Republican party needs to understand this about Sarah Palin. She is a campaigner with no desire nor interest to govern anything. The omnipresent First Dude apparently does most of the nuts and bolts of actually governing. It looks to me like Mitt Romney knows this. It wouldn't shock me if a lot of the negative information recently released by bloggers and journalists came from his camp. The parts of the Republican party which know the Southern strategy is doomed to failure also know that one of the party's strongest faces for that strategy is Sarah Palin. The moderate wing of the party can not afford to be over run by the Palin wing and have any national hopes.

The sad thing is that Palin's quitting in mid term will have absolutely no bearing on how she is viewed by her faithful. Like any attention seeking narcissist she's very adept at playing the victim card and convincingly spewing half truth or out right lies in defending her image. She's not quitting, she's doing Alaskans the greatest humanitarian service she can and saving them money to boot.

She did this a number of other times in her speech last night. One which I found most telling is her insistence that she had somehow spent four years either running for or being governor of Alaska. She's off by a year, but four years sounds closer to having finished her full term, than the truthful three years. Then there was her accusation that people had been taking shots at her son Trig. No one has been able to validate this assertion, but this won't matter to the base. They will hear that mean liberal bloggers and media hate her so much they are attacking her defenseless son. The truth is that most of the serious attacks, those which question her competency, are coming from the right. None of this will matter to her core base. They will hear only Sarah the victim/martyr---exactly what she wants them to hear because it's exactly how she sees herself.

I strongly suspect there's more behind this sudden change in occupation. She's too much the political animal to have taken this step without serious reasons, none of which came out last night. She was way too nervous and too convoluted to have been giving Alaskans the complete truthful story. Her basketball point guard analogy is indicative of the kind of convoluted run on sentence that left me brain locked. Maybe I've played too much basketball.

There are rumors of federal investigations into political favors and concerns about a potential embarrassing legislative reversal over her refusal to take stimulus money. Her popularity numbers in Alaska were dropping precipitously, but weren't affecting her nationally. While it may be the grass just looks greener south of Alaska's borders, I think there's more to this story.

I wonder too, what her Evangelical pals will makes of this sudden move. Did God tell Sarah to quit in preparation for bigger things? There was very little mention of God in Sarah's resignation speech, but a huge reference to hell, as in the 'hell yes' purportedly said by one her children when asked whether Sarah should step down. It was a comment that was kind of jarring and out of character, and Sarah implied their was more behind that comment--and left us dangling.

It will be interesting to see what the new incarnation of Sarah Palin will be, but there's no question it will involve 2012. She may come up with novel ways to change her stripes, but underneath the stripes is still the political animal who needs the political stage and the adulation she receives from it. In the meantime she can console herself with the millions Rupert Murdoch is paying for her autobiography. I wonder how the chapter on this episode will read. Probably not near as upbeat as the chapter on Sara the state champion point guard.


  1. 4, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    One word in your comment says it all for me: "narcissist".

    I remember very clearly the day she referred to the 2009 GOP ticket as the "Palin/McCain" ticket!

    Enough said.

  2. Here is a link

  3. Sarah Palin seems to be a classic narcissist fitting the sub category of hyper vigilant. Everything she has done is predictable under typical narcissitic behavior. Here's the link the the clinical definition:

    Under this definition she would also be considered a stage one in ethical or spiritual development--not unlike a lot of her other fellow conservative Republicans and not unlike other mostly one issue liberals.

    Narcissism can be an adaptive trait for certain occupations, certain rock stars come to mind, but over all the lack of empathy and sense of specialness makes the typical narcissist hard to work with or work for. In today's political and religious climate a narcissist would only contribute to all the divisiveness.

    Obama on the other hand specializes in realistically defining a given problem but seems to prefer the solutions to come from others. I suspect that's why he finds common ground and consensus so important. In the long run this may not turn out to be any better a strategy than that of the typical narcissist.