If you haven’t heard, Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska’s governor today. She will officially hand over the reigns to her Lt. Governor on July 26th, 2009 and will not seek re-election in 2010.
“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,” Palin said in a statement released by her office.
So why is she doing this now? What prompted her to make such a rash decision so close to the end of her service to the state of Alaska? She did not announce her plans after the resignation so it is for us to assume the reasoning. Check out below the list of ideas that I have:
Focus on the 2012 Presidential Election: Let’s face it. The whole world thinks that she’s going to run for President. Some think she will do a better job of it than John McCain. Other’s blame her for the loss in the election. “Her stepping down at the end of the month allows her to focus on her future political plans: a run for the 2012 presidency,” said CBS News political director Steve Chaggaris. “She won’t be restricted by the trappings of a faraway governor’s office and the continuing firing squad from her opponents in Alaska, and won’t have to worry about a potentially tough gubernatorial re-election bid in 2010.” This will also give her plenty of time to polish up on talking to those pesky “gotcha” reporters who insist on her knowing a lot about foreign affairs.
Pre-emptive coup with Alaskan Independence Party: The bitter battle between Palin and McCain strategist, Steve Schmidt, have been all over the news this past week. It appears that emails leaked out during the fall campaign claimed that the Alaskan governor saw her husband as an Accidental Seccessionist who didn’t know that by checking the AIP box on his voter registration made him a candidate for leaving the Union. Palin – the governor – suggested that they knew nothing about the seccesion viewpoints of the AIP, even though – in bold letters – on their home page it says they wish to “Become a separate (sic) and Independent Nation.” Furthermore, Todd was a 7 year member of this group and Sarah Palin gave an opening address for the party’s 2008 convention. Seems a little dubious to me that all of this came from a misunderstanding. My guess is that they are ready to secede and she doesn’t think her political plans can handle being the governor of a state leaving the Union.
The Ethics Complaint is Starting to Stick: In April, an ethics complaint was filed against Palin in regards to her for “outside employment” and “misuse of official position”. According to the complaint, she left the state to do outside work during the height of the Alaskan end-of-session Legislative activities, at a time where the legislators themselves are not permitted to leave. This all came about from a trip the governor took to Indiana which the complaint stated as, “The recent partisan trip to Indiana by the Governor was purely to benefit personal interests, had no benefit for the State of Alaska and was in direct conflict with her official duties.”
Alaskans Just Found Out Who’s Getting Paid for the Pipeline: The crowning feather in Palin’s cap is the Alaskan Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), the next generation of oil pipeline that will bring billions of dollars to Alaska. Even on the AGIA web site (http://gov.state.ak.us/agia/) Palin claims that this pipeline is “the next pipeline to Alaska’s – and America’s – future.” However, in our economic downturn you would think American’s would have the opportunity to gain from this pipeline, right? Wrong. The pipeline is being built by TransCanada! She selected TransCanada to build the Alaska gas line, and “induced” them with $500 million. Not only are we relying on a foreign company for essential delivery of energy infrastructure, WE ARE PAYING THEM HALF A BILLION DOLLARS TO DO IT! Good thing she was against being part of the overall national debt by also declining the $28.6 million dollars in funds offered to Alaska through the State Energy Program stimulus funds.
Palin’s Political Advisors Told Her This Was The Best Way To Keep Her In The Spotlight: …and she believed them! Maybe she shouldn’t have hired so many of McCain’s old cronies to tell her how to stay in the limelight. OK, I actually don’t believe those guys were the ones who told her to do this – none of them support her. I do believe that this could be an “I love America and Alaska so much that I am doing it for my country” moment. She can come back in 2012, after she’s done studying everything she needs to know on how to be president and say she was patriotic in her decision to step down. Forget the conspiracy theories, forget the hubbub on her running the state of Alaska, this is the angle I think she might be going for. It is amazing that a woman who once held the highest overall approval rating as governor (at 93%) is now reduced to resigning prior to her turn being out with the rating dropping to 54% approval in the Republican state in May of this year. I think she’s gettin’ out while the gettin’s good. I am sure her political foes in the party won’t be using her quitting the governor’s position against her in the 2012 election.