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It's hard to learn that anyone you think you love is less than you need them to be. That's the case with Governor Sarah Palin I'm afraid!
As many of you know, I loved Richard Nixon throughout all of my youth and well into adulthood. Nothing said about Mr. Nixon: that he had shifty eyes: that he was a dirty campaigner; that he was stuffy; that you wouldn't buy a used car from him etc. etc. None of these observations mattered to me by penetrating my emotional attachment to his political and even personal success. It took a bitter war and a nasty scandal and a heap of arguments to get me to see the way--and yet I still possess just a residue of affection for him.
I'm sure that what's below won't change any minds, but it is informationally substantive I hope and therefore worthy of consideration even by those of you who love Sarah Palin. I really do understand!
I'm grateful, as usual, for the time you take to what's below and responses are always welcome!
MONDAY, JULY 13TH, 2009
GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN -- SAUCY BUT SAD!
BY EDWIN COONEY
True, I would never vote for her let alone encourage her, but its still sad to see someone hoping for the White House stumbling instead toward the political Out House!
There are, after all,
worse circumstances than being a one term governor or a governor who
was defeated for re-election. Defeated one-term
governors such as James K. Polk of
Defeated vice presidential candidates in the 20th Century:
been appointed Chief Justice of the
-- have been nominated for President of the United States (Robert Dole, Gerald R. Fords running mate in 1976, and Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carters losing Vice President in 1980);
-- have served as Ambassadors (as did Henry Cabot Lodge, Nixons 1960 running mate); -- have served as Secretary of State (as did Edmund Muskie, Hubert Humphreys second in 1968);
-- or, finally, have served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Jack Kemp, Doles political team-mate in 1996. Kemp, of course, possessed star billing even before Doles 1968 election to the U.S. Senate.)
Defeated vice presidential candidates have even made television commercials as did Bill Miller, Barry Goldwaters 1964 running mate. He made a Do You Remember Me? commercial for American Express in the late 70s or early 80s. William Edward Miller the son of a Lockport, New York factory floor sweeper, also holds two other distinctions. He was among the prosecuting attorneys at the Nuremberg Nazi War Criminal Trials in the late 1940s. He also is the only Roman Catholic the GOP has ever nominated for high national office.
The point is, its no disgrace to be a defeated candidate for the second highest office in the land. Thomas A. Hendricks of Indiana, the defeated vice presidential candidate in 1876, became VP under Grover Cleveland in 1885. More dramatically, the Democrats vice presidential candidate who was defeated in 1920 was a dapper gentleman named Franklin Roosevelt, yet he became President four times although most of Governor Palins constituency continuously disparage that happy historic reality! To have been nominated, even by the smallest party, is an honor. Think of it this way: how many people do you know who have even been considered for high national office? What a defeated vice presidential candidate cant afford however is to add dereliction of duty to political defeat. Governor Palins announcement that shes leaving her office with more than half her term to go amounts to exactly that. Even if her most devoted supporters will forgive her, its certain that her fellow GOP presidential candidates in 2012 wont.
In her press conference announcing that she will be turning the affairs of the people of Alaska over to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell at the end of the month, she gave two reasons. The first was the high cost, in both time and money, to successfully defend herself against frivolous law suits filed by those not as interested as she is in the well-being of either Alaska or America. Her second reason was that her pledge of independent leadership and her decision not to seek a second term as governor would place her in a lame duck political category thereby diminishing her effectiveness to the people of Alaska.
Listening to her rather rambling presentation, I couldnt decide whether she was energetic or hysterical. Even if I were to grant that she was merely energetic, her assessments still lacked specificity and she spent much of her time on ideological bromides while attacking the media and her ideological opposition. Sarah Palin, while seemingly on the offensive, was ultimately on the defensive.
As Harry Truman used to say: If you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Obviously, Governor Palin cant stand the heat. Whether shes getting out of the kitchen, however, only time will tell.
If Governor Palin is as wholesome for the people of her state and nation as her political opponents are bad for both, then it seems to me that shes doing her current and future constituency a double disservice. Mrs. Palin wasnt a lame duck and thus less effective politically until she herself started energetically or hysterically (take your choice) imposing lame duck-dom on herself, cinching it tighter with every word. I find her constituency politically unpalatable, but they are a legitimate and mostly honorable constituency. They only want to be led and loved -- and its so sad that Saucy Sarah has let them down.
For the record, it should be noted that Virginias John Tyler resigned his House Seat in 1821 and his Senate seat in 1836 and yet he became President of the United States. Ah! But he achieved that lofty position via the vice presidential road. That, it would seem, is Mrs. Palins only potential path to presidential glory. In order for her to travel that route once again, another future GOP presidential candidate would have to be as brave or foolish as John Sidney McCain III. Do you suppose there are any likely takers? If so, youre a braver supposer than I am.