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'Five Myths About Sarah Palin'

1:09 AM, Oct 17, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Matthew Continetti writes in the Washington Post on "Five myths about Sarah Palin." Here's one myth:

2. Resigning as governor was rash.

No one expected Palin's resignation on July 3, 2009, just 2 1/2 years into her term. Her hastily composed and clumsily delivered farewell address left many observers confused about her motives. Some of her critics were only too eager to fill in the gaps with conjecture and hearsay (She's being investigated by the FBI! Sarah and Todd must be headed for divorce!). If there was one thing everybody knew for sure, it was that Palin's career in politics was over.

But none of the rumored scandals ever broke. The Palins remain married. And as for Sarah Palin's career, it's taken off. She plays a far greater role in American public life than she did before she left office.

When Palin returned to Alaska after the 2008 campaign, she confronted three problems. The political coalition on which she had based her governorship -- a combination of Democrats and renegade "Palinista" Republicans -- had collapsed. Her critics were using Alaska's tough ethics laws to launch investigations into her behavior, sapping her finances and her energy. Finally, every time she traveled to the Lower 48, Alaskans criticized her for putting her political interests above the state's.

Palin's solution was to resign. Her agenda stood a better chance of passing if then-Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who shared Palin's goals, succeeded her as governor. As a private citizen, meanwhile, Palin could make enough money to pay her legal bills. And she would no longer be accused of neglecting her official duties.

Some might say that Palin's resignation was shortsighted and showed that she was not ready for the demands of executive office. But if Palin had remained governor, she would have been denied opportunities to rally the tea party and fight in the battle over the Obama agenda. She would have been stuck on a regional stage. Instead, she's back on the national one.

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