Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy July 4th! No More 'Politics as Usual' Palin Edition

First off, FHQ wants to wish everyone out there a Happy Independence Day.

Good, now that that's out of the way, we can get down to the real business of the holiday weekend: Sarah Palin's surprise (Is it still a surprise today? Yeah, I think it is.) announcement that she's not only not seeking re-election to her current position as Alaska governor, but that she will be resigning the post altogether toward the end of July. Half a day later, I'm still trying to make sense of the move. Of course, in retrospect, it may be futile to try and make sense of it.

Is she running for president?
Some think so.

Is she running for senate?
That idea has been thrown out there.

Is she done with politics for good?
That, too, is on the table. I couldn't say I'd blame her.

Could it be all three? Well, it couldn't be (not if she's done "for good"). But let's assume she's just taking a break* and that she and Lisa Murkowski have a "deal" to basically switch places. Palin runs for Senate and Murkowski comes home to run for governor in 2010. Is it far-fetched? Sure. Lt. Governor Sean Parnell will certainly have a claim to the governor's office at that point. However, Murkowski would start out with name recognition in the state; an understatement considering her father, Frank, served as the state's governor earlier this decade (not to mention a senator for two decades prior to that.).

Well, why would Palin quit her current job to do this? I'd argue that a backroom deal such as this proposed political switch is a direct challenge to the "politics as usual" she has been fighting against. Yes, it's still far-fetched, but I'm throwing the idea on to the table.

I'm on the road today (and was yesterday), so I'll be back later with more. In the meantime, consider this an open thread on the Palin issue. I'll move the comments already made (in the New Jersey post) over here later on.

Happy 4th everyone! (Oh, and thanks to Jack for the Mitchell and Cillizza links above.)

*I'll define break as building the organizational infrastructure necessary for a national run.

Recent Posts:
State of the Race: New Jersey (7/1/09)

Could Open Primaries Actually Help the GOP in 2012?

Did Democratic Superdelegates Write Their Own Epitaph?


Jack said...

Why would Murkowski do that?

Robert said...

The only reasons I could think of are 1) she is afraid of Palin beating her for the Senate seat or 2) she'd rather be in Alaska than DC.

Her press statement suggests that there was no deal

Janet said...

Lisa doesn't sound too happy...

Josh Putnam said...

Links from...



Josh Putnam said...

Why indeed?

I suppose my thought process revolved more around Rob's point 2 than point 1. But admittedly, the endgame strategy there would be less clear. Murkowski would face a decision eight years down the road if she pursued the gubernatorial route. And most likely, she'd be staring another Senate run in the face.

So I'll jump on this theory too. That would be a roundabout way of getting back to where you started.

We'll see. One thing is for sure: Palin will keep it interesting.

Jack said...

Move to New York and run for the state senate? They never meet anyway so she'll have plenty of time to do whatever she resigned to do.

Then she can switch parties, as is the trendy thing to do in the New York Senate, then move back to Alaska and challenge Begich in a primary.

Josh Putnam said...

This may be the most sensible theory I've heard so far. I'm buying in while it's on the ground floor.

george kennan said...

My theory:

Ethics complaints against Sarah Palin leaves her and Todd with a half million bucks in legal fees.

She has a lucrative book deal but she has to turn the book in about 6 months from now and even with a ghostwriter, she needs to be involved.

She sees a whole slew of articles suggesting she should have studied national issues if she wants to be a serious candidate. Also that she should campaign for candidates in 2010 and build up a campaign network.

She's got two infants to raise: a granddaughter and a disabled son, plus three other girls. She wants some hired help.

Being a governor is a pain in the ass with a legislature that she's butting heads with.

It all adds up to her deciding to bail on a job she's not in love with in order to have time to finish the book, do other public appearances or TV to get rich, to study issues and otherwise prepare for a national campaign and to raise her family. Being governor feels like the most expendable of those things. She underestimates the extent it will be perceived as crazy and a disqualifying move for a presidential run. She herself cooks up a clumsy explanation for why she's doing this and delivers it incoherently.

Robert said...

I think you are spot on, George!