More on Palin
9:51 AM, Jul 4, 2009 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
I spoke to a few friends in Alaskan Republican politics yesterday. None of them had a clue that Palin was going to resign her office, and none has any idea what her motivation might be in doing so. It was widely assumed in Alaska that Palin wouldn't run for a second term. But this?
One friend pointed out that the biggest loser is Hollis French, the chairman of the State Senate Judiciary Committee and a longtime Palin adversary. French announced he was running for governor this week, on an explicitly anti-Palin platform. There was the possibility, however small, that French could have defeated Palin by running against her personality and not her policies. Now he won't have that chance. He'll face (one assumes) incumbent Sean Parnell, who shares Palin's ideas but not her baggage.
Palin's surprise announcement was another reminder of how impulsive a politician she is. She zig-zags from office to office, from Republican Revolutionary to bipartisan champion of clean government, with nary a second thought. She resigned from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission suddenly to make a point about self-dealing. She entered the race to unseat Frank Murkowski in October 2005, months before the primary. She accepted John McCain's offer to be his vice presidential nominee without hesitation.
Indeed, Palin's surprise move yesterday was another reminder of how she and McCain are so similar (remember McCain's decision to suspend his campaign?). They are both spontaneous and unpredictable. They are both known for their attitudes rather than their policies. They are both political gamblers, and they both have been extremely lucky. But sometimes luck runs out.
And sometimes it doesn't. "She is a lot of things," another Alaska Republican wrote me in an email. "But NOT stupid ..."