Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has announced that she will resign from office on July 26th. The news has led bloggers and comedians to breath into paper bags and use emergency dial-ins for their analysts across the country. Palin has been God’s gift to bloggers, including this blog. But fear not, this announcement may actually promise more not less Palin!
There was no explanation given for the news, though there is speculation that she is committing herself to run in the 2012 presidential election. One spokesperson, however, blamed the onslaught of ethics complaints as the reason, here.
She insists that, since she does not intend to run for a second term, she is simply avoiding that awkward lame duck period. She stated that she is “determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is not the easiest path. … Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional lame duck status in this particular climate would just be another dose of politics as usual, something I campaigned against and will always oppose.”
That is a curious rationale since voters probably thought that they were voting for a full term — since that is what she was running for when she asked for their vote. Under this logic, every term would be cut short by roughly a year if the incumbent was not looking for a second term. Moreover, instead of serving as a lame duck governor, she has given Alaska a governor who was not elected to that particular office. Since when is completing one’s promised term “another dose of politics as usual.” That would seem more like a promise as usual.
Palin has long had trouble with quotations, particularly with regard to the Framers. Her departure speech is no exception. The most notable line was a quote attributed to Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.” For those of us who are military history nuts, the line is well-known and not the words of MacArthur. Some attribute it to General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller (left) at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir when the 1st Marine division was surrounded. However, Puller is more often quoted as saying “”We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.” Some attribute it to Gen. Oliver Prince Smith (right). Others deny the quotation was actually ever made, here.
What was clear is that it was not MacArthur. I am not sure why Palin wants to portray herself as surrounded in the first place and coming up for another word for retreat. The more apt paraphrased quote from MacArthur would be something along the lines of “Alaskan Governors never die, they just fade away.”
Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell will be inaugurated as the new governor at the end of the month.
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