Saturday, July 4, 2009

Northern Over-Exposure

Things are kooky on Planet Palin. Well, kookier than usual.

Sarah Barracuda is calling it quits. Governor Palin's not only not seeking a second term as Alaska's chief executive, but she's out-Sanfordizing Mark Sanford and ditching the last eighteen months of her first term. In a jittery, often incoherent speech, Alaska's mavericky governor invoked lame ducks, dead fish, basketball analogies,and the wisdom of refrigerator magnets. Huh? Sounded like she threw the speech together about as quickly as she convened the hasty press conference, which was so last minute only a small cadre were on hand. And most of them were the First Dude and the neighbors. Oh, and some loud birds, who underscored the folksy nonsense.

Someone surely spiked the moose jerky. This speech was so rambling, the performance so disjointed, the logic so loopy, Tiny Fey couldn't have made it any funnier if she pickled her brain in whale blubber. One minute Palin bemoaned apathy: "Only dead fish go with the flow," the next minute we're in the middle of a basketball court:"A full court press is picking away at us" And before long, she was even plucking a line out of the General MacArthur handbook: "We're not retreating; we're advancing in a different direction."

Okay, I get it. Sarah Palin's leading by not leading. Winners always quit, after all, and quitters always win. She's quitting because " the troops never give up." Right. And she's got some Pipeline left to sell you, too.

In her upside down world there is some wisdom. Well, of the self-interested variety.Without her official government shackles, Palin's's free to put her fifteen minutes of fame into overtime and overdrive, roam the lower forty-eight in pursuit of lucrative venues for her incoherent speeches (her price tag is reportedly in the $200-250,000 neighborhood),radio and TV talk show deals, Neiman-Marcus shopping sprees and those pesky presidential campaign issue Berlitz courses. Conservative commentator Bill Kristol, of The Weekly Standard and Fox News calls her abrupt resignation surprising, but " maybe a good move, " noting it could give her time to become educated on the issues. Another republican guru, Ed Rollins, thinks Palin may have come close to political suicide. " she's becoming more of a kook than a serious candidate." Becoming?

Of course cynics might suggest Palin's pulling out now to avoid further ethical inquiries. There have been fifteen so far, and more may be on the way. The bills for her legal woes are already topping $300,000 and mounting. She was quick to point out how frivolous and politically motivated all the claims have been. And she's been vindicated. Well, mostly, kinda, sorta. There is that scathing article by Todd Prudum in Vanity Fair, featuring blistering comments from former McCain aides who charge they couldn't get Palin to prep for the Katie Couric interview and use words like hard-to-handle, lightweight, narcissistic and unelectable to describe her. And John McCain's daughter, Megan's working on a book, too. And since she's never had a kind word to say about her daddy's former running mate, I doubt the chapter on Palin will be brimming with accolades. Then again, the Gov's got her own $4.5 million dollar book deal. So she'll have time to write... well, I mean, meet with her ghost writer.

Among her fantasy spinmeisters there's at least one character who suggests the governor's ready to throw in her lipstick-stained towel. She'so disenchanted with politics, Palin is ready to pack in all her public aspirations for the warm, quiet hearth of her family. Right. Like I said, she's got that piece of Pipeline up for grabs.

Don't get it? Too bad. As the magnet on her parents' refrigerator says, " Don't explain: friends don't need it. And your enemies won't believe it anyway."

Still, for those who had visions of a Palin & the Plumber ( as in Joe) bumper sticker adorning the back of their SUVs, there's still hope. Whether she'll be on the 2012 Republican ticket or a Fox News show, Sarah Palin's not ready to simply fade away. Here's the question: does Sarah Palin enjoy the spotlight and seeing her own reflection in it? You betcha!

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


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