Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sarah Palin - What's Next?

So what’s up with Gov. Sarah Palin? Why did she decide to not only skip running for reelection as Alaska's governor but to also resign now? I do not know the answer, despite the speculation I am about to engage in. Her press conference announcing the decision was low on specifics, perhaps deliberately so. I expect more details to come out after she is actually a private citizen again.

And most certainly, the pundits and critics, many of whom have critiqued her mercilessly and wrongly since last September, do not know either. The political insiders, both Democrats and Republicans, do not understand her precisely because she is not one of them: she is one of us. She symbolizes and represents middle America, the “fly-over country,” the outside the beltway reality that denizens of the fantasy world of New York and DC do not comprehend and look down on.

So why did she do this? I can think of some possible reasons.

1. Perhaps she has decided to run for president in 2012, but to not cheat the taxpayers of Alaska by taking a gubernatorial salary while devoting most of her time to campaigning for higher office. Every four years, senators and governors run for president while neglecting the present duties for which they are supposedly being paid. Barack Obama started running for president full time after only serving two years of his senatorial term, and spent most of the next two years doing so all the while drawing his senatorial pay check. John McCain did the same thing. Kerry did it in 2004 and Bush did it in 2000 while he was governor of Texas. Maybe Sarah Palin so values the citizens and taxpayers of Alaska that she refuses to play that game. If so, good for her!

2. Maybe she has decided that the principles she believes in are more important than her own ego need for high office. Maybe she has decided to spend the next few years campaigning for conservative ideas and helping candidates who agree with those ideas. Maybe she thinks the country needs her ideas, even if she is not the one getting the credit. If so, how refreshing to see someone put principle ahead of their own career.

3. Maybe she just wants to fight back. Maybe she want to be able to defend her beliefs and her family without the restraints of public office. After what has been done to her and her family, I could certainly understand that desire. Her lawyer has already said that any media outlets publishing slander against her family can expect to face legal actions. David Letterman, are you listening?

4. Another possibility is a plan to follow the Reagan model. "Ronaldus Magnus" used his time between his governorship and election as president to study and develop his ideas and policy prescriptions. He wrote articles and books, did a radio commentary, building both his readiness and credibility. The elites always wrote him off as dumb and ignorant too. They were wrong then, and I think they are wrong now.

5. Maybe she is just tired of the attacks and pain her family has been through, and just wants to escape. Based on her past track record as a political fighter, and what she did say at her press conference, I do not think this is likely. However, it would certainly be understandable.

I do no know what her plans are, and neither do you. The truth may be some combination of the above options, or something else entirely. But I do know that she has been a voice for things I believe in, and has suffered greatly for standing firm for those convictions. I also know that she is a believer, and therefore my sister. I intend to pray for her to receive wisdom and guidance to do the right thing, and look forward to discovering what that right thing is. We have not seen the last of Sarah Palin.