On July 3rd Sarah Palin stunned the nation with her announcement that she not only would not seek reelection as Governor of Alaska, but that she would also be resigning at the end of the month. The unexpected move has had the media in a tizzy and the blogosphere on fire with theories and predictions as to Palin’s political future. For the last three days I have sat back and enjoyed the delicious frenzy as politicos and pundits proclaimed her doom or 2012 Presidential run.
Yet supporters and detractors alike have missed what is right in front of their noses – a shrewd political maneuver. Detractors are falling over themselves trying to find a scandal or make one up, seeing that scandal is the only viable reason for a Governor to resign after two years. While supporters are declaring her candidacy for President in 2012, saying that she is resigning to focus on a campaign effort. Detractors are cheering her resignation feeling that their frivolous ethics complaints finally beat the Arctic Fox back into the wild. And supports are a bit queasy but optimistic about a possible national election.
It has all been quite delicious… but alas the vast majority have both hit the bulls-eye and missed the mark in my opinion.
What the Fox has done is out fox… well, everyone. Her resignation as Governor has virtually all positives with very few negatives – politically speaking. While remaining as Governor has far fewer positives and many more negatives. By resigning she can successfully avoid the majority of negatives while at the same time opening countless new doors and slamming the back door shut on the collective noses of the liberal jackals that love to loath her.
Let me break it down. Leaving office now provides the following:
- No more smears from frivolous ethics complaints.
- No more personal debt from fighting said complaints.
- Gives greater birth for fund raising.
- Allows her to campaign freely for other conservatives.
- Allows her to travel and generate more international experience
- She keeps her markedly high approval ratings – which are destined to decline due to federal legislation and the economic downturn. Which prevents her from being blamed for it.
- She can raise her national profile unfettered by the tethers of holding public office.
- She regains privacy and no longer has to worry about everybody and their grandmother having a right to dig through her life with a fine tooth comb.
- Her family is no longer fair game.
- She leaves office with Alaska in very good shape.
- She keeps a laundry list of great accomplishments with virtually no downfalls.
- She leaves her legacy in the hands of her selected Lt. Governor – which gives him office time and makes it easier for him to get elected as governor.
- She can freely fire back at her opponents without the political problems of doing so while in office.
- Even if there is a scandal, she is now out ahead of it, thus minimizing the damage and taking the wind from critic’s sails.
The negatives for her future by leaving office now:
- She leaves office now. Giving her critics the ability to call her a quitter.
Staying in office provides the precise opposite. It also leaves her responsible – in her constituents’ eyes – for the failings and bad decisions of the federal government, the ailing economy and the inevitable backlash of cap and trade – should it pass – on the major industry of Alaska – energy. By resigning, she won’t take the hits for what is out of her control.
She has in effect swapped out her critics’ and opponents’ machine guns for a single shot rifle, while at the same time allowing herself to use her artillery. How is what I’m opining different from what her detractors and supporters have been saying? Like I said, they hit the bulls-eye, but still missed the mark.
What everyone else has failed to realize is that this calculated maneuver was only made possible by the detractors and their frivolous shot gun tactics. By constantly peppering her with complaint after complaint and smear after smear, they have given our Arctic Fox the opening in their own flanks. With one swift move she can now turn the tide on them, leaving them depleted of ammunition and stuck in a pit of their own making.
They gave her the perfect alibi. The best and truest reason for leaving office – “for the greater good of the state.” See, by peppering her and her administration with ethics complaints her critics have cost the state millions of dollars in costs to investigate and slowed legislation to a crawl – basically preventing her from doing her job. And there has been no sign of it stopping – even though every single case has been dismissed. Sarah, being every bit the shrewd arctic fox, saw an opportunity to turn bad circumstance into good fortune. She can now focus on bolstering her national and international profile while helping fellow conservatives win back seats in Congress, while at the same time leaving the state – that she dearly loves – in the capable hands of her Lt. Gov. who will continue her agenda.
And it may not happen in 2012 but if and when she decides to run for national office, Mrs. Palin will be in a better position to win. The only thing that her critics can do is call her out for “quitting” to which they themselves gave her the perfect – true and genuine – reason for doing so.
By resigning she pulls the rug out from under her critics and they land in the very mud that they have been slinging. It is simply delicious.
***Hat tip to Manly Rash for the “Arctic Fox” moniker – far more fitting than a barracuda.***