The big question: Why?
Both Republicans and Democrats are mystified. There is speculation of scandal, amid other theories, though admirers like William Kristol and Mary Matalin are exceedingly optimistic that this surprise move will pay off for Palin. It’s difficult to believe, however, that someone with serious presidential hopes chose (or was counseled) to deliver a rambling resignation speech on the eve of the 4th of July weekend.
Some of Palin’s biggest fans still have high hopes Palin will champion their political causes. From the Anchorage Daily News:
Palin’s staunchest supporters in the anti-abortion movement, however, said they were pleased and appreciate continuing to have a high-profile role model who opposes abortion. They firmly believe that whatever she does next will have an “equal and profound impact,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, who co-founded the Team Sarah social networking Web site popular with Palin supporters who oppose abortion.
Just this week, Alaska’s public health director was forced out, reportedly due to run-ins with Palin over issues related to women’s health. Beverly Wooley had worked in public health in Alaska for more than 20 years.
“The key source of tension was legislation that would have required girls under age 17 to get parental consent for an abortion, Wooley said Thursday. The bill, which Palin actively supported, passed the state House but stalled in the Senate,” reports the Anchorage Daily News.
Here’s more on Alaska’s parental consent initiative.
Plus: In a damning assessment of Palin’s resignation speech and performance as vice-presidential nominee, Michelle Goldberg writes: “The Alaska governor shares the personality flaws of many of her male peers, but by all accounts she doesn’t express them via the preferred method of politicians like John Edwards or Mark Sanford — by being sexually reckless.”
The United States has grown more blasé about sex scandals post Bill Clinton, but they remain more damaging than, say, dishonesty, greed, or naked incompetence.
Palin may have gone rogue on John McCain, had public feuds with her grandson’s teenage father, turned on loyal aids, flubbed interviews, spent tens of thousands of other people’s money on clothes, told countless lies and now walked away from her responsibilities, but as far as we know she hasn’t cheated on her husband. If congenital narcissists dominate our politics, Palin may still be just the narcissist the GOP needs.