Saturday, July 4, 2009


i don't claim to be no political expert, but i think i have a pretty good understanding of how this politics thing works. despite being the astute observer of politics that i am, i was quite baffled by sarah palin's announcement yesterday that she is stepping down as governor of alaska to...well, its kind of unclear what her next step is. some are speculating that there is a major scandal on the way (could be true). others think she just isn't interested in the job of governor (could also be true). she might be retiring from politics (god i hope this is true, but unlikely). or she could be prepping for a presidential run (unsure if i want this to be true or not). and, as the dude on CNN just said, depending who you ask, this is either the smartest - or dumbest - political move ever. depending on who you ask.

here is my take. barring the scandal scenario, i think this could prove to be a shrewd move. allow me to explain. right now, the republican party is essentially leaderless. none of the republican senators or representatives really commands the national spotlight. there is no governor, save for palin, that really commands national attention either. the power base of the republican party right now is in the media with rush, beck, hannity, and the rest, but despite being popular and influential, none of them can really be considered the leader of the republican party, politically speaking.

this is where palin comes in. i think nominally she was the de facto leader of the party, but from alaska it is very difficult to really command the national spotlight. now freed of the encumbrance of being governor, palin is free to tour the country for the next 3 (!) years and act as a steady opposition to obama's policies. what form her opposition will take is unsure but i think this is what she is doing. she is attempting to position herself as the leader of the party, and as we all know, when it comes to republican presidential primaries, the front runner normally wins.

i wonder if it will pay off for her. i personally don't think its a sound strategy. she could have waited a year and announced that she isn't running for reelection. but this will give her the time to do her homework on domestic and foreign policy and if she devotes herself to full time campaigning for 3 (!) years, she could emerge as a much more polished (read: comprehensible) candidate.

time will tell.

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