A final post closing the book on Palin, who, I am given to understand, is gone forever, never to darken the door of the Lower 49 again.
* Paul Begala analyzes the speech itself.
Let's stipulate that if there is some heretofore unknown personal, medical or family crisis, this was the right move. But Gov. Palin didn't say anything like that. Her statement was incoherent, bizarre and juvenile. The text, as posted on Gov. Palin's official website (here), uses 2,549 words and 18 exclamation points. Lincoln freed the slaves with 719 words and nary an exclamation; Mr. Jefferson declared our independence in 1,322 words and, again, no exclamation points. Nixon resigned the presidency in 1,796 words -- still no exclamation points. Gov. Palin capitalized words at random - whole words, like "TO," "HELP," and "AND," and the first letter of "Troops."* Steve Benen struggles to figure out the game plan, as well as looks to the historical record for evidence of whether "quitting your day job" has ever helped anyone run for president, much less someone three years out who is midway through her first term as governor.
Gov. Palin's official announcement that she is resigning as chief executive of the great state of Alaska had all the depth and gravitas of a 13-year-old's review of the Jonas Brothers' album on Facebook. She even quoted her parents' refrigerator magnet. (Note to self: if one of my kids becomes governor, throw away the refrigerator magnet that says: "Murray's Oyster Bar: We Shuck Em, You Suck Em!") She put her son's name in quotations marks. Why? Who knows. She writes, "I promised efficiencies and effectiveness!?" Was she exclaiming or questioning? I get it: both! And I don't even know what to make of a sentence that reads:
*((Gotta put First Things First))*
Ponder the fact that Rupert Murdoch's Harper Collins publishing house is paying this, umm, writer $11 million for a book. Ponder that and say a prayer for Ms. Palin's editor.
* But it's Steve's co-blogger Hilzoy who gets in the best line I've seen on this.
Sarah Palin resigned as Governor so that she could help people who share her "ideas and ideals" get elected to political office. Maybe if she works really hard at it, she could even get one of them elected governor.* Runner-up: the indispensable Al Giordano.
A quick observation: "Being an ex-governor is sort of like being a community organizer... except you have no actual responsibilities!"* Ed Kilgore on the people I just can't understand, Palin's supporters.
In all the hype and buzz about Palin when she first joined the ticket, and all the silly talk about her potential appeal to Hillary Clinton supporters, the ecstatic reaction to her choice on the Cultural Right didn't get much attention. She wasn't an "unknown" or a "fresh face" to those folks. They knew her not only as a truly hard-line anti-abortionist, but as a politician who had uniquely "walked the walk" by carrying a pregnancy to term despite knowing the child would have a severe disability. And all the personality traits she later exhibited--the folksiness, the abrasive partisanship, the hostility towards the "media" and "elites," the resentment of the establishment Republicans who tried to "manage" her, and the constant complaints of persecution--almost perfectly embodied the world-view, and the hopes and fears, of the grassroots Cultural Right. (This was particularly and understandably true of women, who have always played an outsized role in grassroots conservative activism.) Sarah Palin was the projection of these activists onto the national political scene, and exhibited the defiant pride and ill-disguised vulnerability that they would have felt in the same place.* Edge of the American West does that thing it does and explains how badly Palin mangled her "General McArthur" reference.