Sarah Palin today announced she would step down as Governor of Alaska at the end of this month.
I had hoped that she would run for re-election next year. That way if she were butting heads with Mitt Romney she could tell him that she was Governor of Alaska longer than he was Governor of Massachusetts.
Is she doing this in preparation for a bid to become the Republican nominee in 2012? If so it will give her an opportunity to turn her weaknesses into strengths. It would be an opportunity for her to sharpen her critique of the Obama Administration. It would also be a means by which she could run for the White House as an outsider. It would be Sarah Palin with her old charm and a new arsenal.
Or is this a retreat from public life altogether? The last 10 months have been the craziest of Sarah Palin's life. In these 10 months she's gone from relatively unknown Governor to Vice-Presidential nominee to a cultural icon either loved or loathed. Even though the election took place eight months ago those who loath her do so with every bit as much intensity as they did during the campaign. It's one thing for the loathing to happen to her but when the loathing is directed at her children it may have been too much to bear. In which case her piece of mind and that of her family is more important any office she could hold. Sure there will be those who would follow her to the end of the earth with their scorn. But for most people memories fade with time and with time perhaps Sarah Palin and her family can live a life resembling normalcy.
Personally, I hope it is the former. If she should run for the 2012 GOP nomination I would do everything I could to see to it that she becomes the next President of the United States.
But if it should be the latter then I wish her all the happiness she can find. After the election, my Dad told me he didn't want to see Sarah Palin as President. Not because he didn't like her. Hell, last October while on the phone with Dad he flipped Game 7 of the ALCS between the Red Sox and Rays to watch her appear on the opening skit of SNL. I have never seen that happen before and will never see it happen again. On the contrary, Dad quoted a lyric from Don McLean's song "Vincent" which was, of course, a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh:
this world was never
meant for one
as beautiful as you
It pained him to see her treated with such cruelty and does not want to see anymore.
In life one has a limited amount of control on how people will perceive you. You can be the kindest most considerate person in the world and there will be those who despise you and wish you grievous harm.
Speaking from my own experience I have become used to the idea of people not liking me or the things for which I stand. So be it. Stick to your guns. If you do so you will find admirers and even some of your detractors will grudgingly respect you. This is living life on one's own terms.
So whatever road Sarah Palin takes in life let it be on her terms.