By Pablo Fanque, National Affairs Editor
Illustrations by Jack Brummet, All This Is That Arts and Letters Editor
On July 3, 2009, Governor Sarah Palin announced that she would not run for re-election in the 2010 Alaska election and would resign by the end of the month. Palin stated that since August 2008, she and the state had been expending an "insane" amount of time and money ($2.5 million) responding to "opposition research", 150 Freedom of Information Act requests and 15 "frivolous" legal ethics complaints filed by "political operatives" against her.
As I watched Palin's strangely jangled and jittery "resignation speech" last week, I was reminded of another speech--Richard Nixon's famous "last press conference" after losing the 1962 Governor's race in California (to Jerry Brown's dad no less). Not unlike Sarah Palin, the press rode Dick pretty hard, put him away wet, and eventually he came a little unglued. The night of his gubernatorial trouncing, he listened to his bitter staffers, and finally snapped. He went out to give his concession speech. It was a rambling sixteen minute affair tinged with bitterness toward the press and his critics. Sound familiar?
"I leave you gentleman now and you will write it. You will interpret it. That's your right. But as I leave you I want you to know — just think how much you're going to be missing. You won't have Nixon to kick around any more, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference. . ."Dick Nixon had been called a user car salesman, red baiter, Ike's lapdog and all the rest. Sarah Palin, after the rogering she received from the press in the election, and following the final, staggering blow of last week's savage Vanity Fair article, and the unending lawsuits and investigations, decided to throw in the towel. On this chapter. Palin resigned as Governor and, like Nixon, did not talk about the future. But keep your eyes peeled. She is running, and resigning from office will only enable her to run stronger, faster, and harder. Like it or not, Sarah Palin has a base. And all it takes to become President is building on that base. Remaining as governor would not help build that base; staying in office will only lead to further diminution of her reputation. Now she needs to do her homework, start campaigning for other politicians, mend fences, collect I.O.U.s, travel, give speeches, and begin nipping at Mitt Romney's bootheels.
The media is wrong. Sarah is making the smart move. Jimmy Carter came out of nowhere (well, Georgia) with no base and far less name recognition. And he got to the big seat, trouncing a sitting President. Palin needs major rehab to her damaged political image--the damage caused by media and liberals, and most importantly, her self-inflicted wounds.
Soon to be Ex-Governor Palin will have to go to war with the Republican Establishment. She can easily best the Band of Clowns left to defend the blown husk of the G.O.P.
Compare Nixon's speech -- Listen to the audio of Nixon's infamous speech via the History Channel -- to the Palin resignation speech:
Dick Nixon was elected President of the United States of America exactly six years after his "last press conference."
[Ed's note] Paul Constant wrote in The Stranger on July 29 2014 that "She's a political figure who has spent every last dime of political capital that she earned through her half-term as governor of Alaska and as a failed vice presidential candidate. Politically, she's washed up. She has no power. Nobody who works in Washington, DC, owes her favors. Her fan base has shrunk to a few hundred thousand unfettered loons, meaning she doesn't even have the ability to promote change through petition or boycott anymore...."