Palin’s Bailin’

Alaska governor Sarah Palin is the Manny Ramirez of American politics. For one thing, she’s living in a world of her own. For another, she sure seems like she’s on drugs.

Her Fourth of July Eve bolt from the blue (transcript here, via the New York Times) featured more doublespeak than a Bill Clinton deposition.

Campaign Outsider’s favorite soundbites from her statement (with translations):

So that Alaska will progress, I will not seek re-election as governor. And so as I thought about this announcement, that I wouldn’t run for re-election and what that means for Alaska, I thought about, well, how much fun some governors have as lame ducks. They maybe travel around their state, travel to other states, maybe take their overseas international trade missions. So many politicians do that. And then I thought, that’s what wrong. Many just accept that lame duck status and they hit the road, they draw a paycheck, they kind of milk it, and I’m not going to put Alaskans through that.

(Yes, it’s all about Alaska. No, I’m not going to be like normal politicians and live off your dime. I’m going to be like other politicians and live off campaign contributors’ dime.)

Life is too short to compromise time and resources and though it may be tempting and more comfortable to just kind of keep your head down and plod along and appease those who are demanding, hey, just sit down and shut up. But that’s a worthless, easy path out. That’s a quitter’s way out. And I think a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just kind of hunker down and go with the flow. We’re fishermen and we know that only dead fish go with the flow.

(Listen up here: I am a lame duck. Not a dead fish.)

Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law that I championed became their weapon of choice over the past nine months. I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations, such as holding a fish in a photograph or wearing a jacket with a logo on it and answering reporters’ questions. Every one of these, though, all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We have won, but it hasn’t been cheap. The state has wasted thousands of hours of your time and shelled out some two million of your dollars to respond to opposition research and that’s money that’s not going to fund teachers, or troopers or safer roads.

And this political absurdity, the politics of personal destruction, Todd and I, we’re looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills just in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime. So they’re not going to stop draining the public resources, spending other people’s money in this game. They won’t stop.

(I can’t afford to defend in court all the questionable things I’ve done as governor. Plus, First Dude Todd is tired of working to pay oily lawyers to defend us. You betcha.)

Let me go back quickly to a comfortable analogy for me — sports, basketball. And I use it because you are naïve if you don’t see a full-court press from the national level picking away right now. A good point guard, here’s what she does. She drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her head up because she needs to keep her eye on the basket. And she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win. And that is what I’m doing — keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities — you remember they include energy independence and smaller government and national security and freedom! And I know when it’s time to pass the ball for victory.

(Okay, now even I have no idea what I’m saying.)

Campaigner Outsider Pop Quiz:

Sarah Palin dropped this bomb on a Friday before a holiday weekend (traditionally a time to bury bad news) because:

a) Sarah Palin is actually very shy

b) There’s a real spitstorm about to come down on Sarah Palin’s head

c) Sarah Palin is totally unhinged

Whichever, check out Gail Collins’ always deft take.

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1 Response to Palin’s Bailin’

  1. Michael Pahre says:

    John, glad to see you blogging! Now let us see what color pajamas you wear in your parents’ basement…

    You should know better than to quote Sarah Palin directly without first fact-checking her statements.

    For example, the AP tabulated 18 (not 15) ethics complaints, of which two are still pending and one is not yet resolved as of 6/22/09 (waiting for her to write a reimbursement check for her family’s travel expenses).

    AP story at Anchorage Daily News (natch):

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