Sunday, July 05, 2009

What's She Going To Do?

Soon after Sarah Palin announced her resignation as Governor of Alaska, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell either came up with a great scoop utilizing her sources- or was suckered. As many of us heard live and thinkprogress.org reports here, Mitchell maintained

Talking to people who are very close to Sarah Palin, I have been told that she has told her supporters that she is out of politics, period. She is fed up with politics. She doesn’t like her life. She feels like she has to raise her family. She’s sick of the commute from Wasilla to the capital and she really does not want to run for higher office. This is not the case where she is stepping down in order to figure the way for a presidential run. In fact, she has told some of her biggest backers in the national Republican Party that they are free to choose other candidates for 2012.

This runs counter to what most others are predicting. Veteran Republican fundraiser and Palin adviser Fred Malek told Rick Klein of ABC that the Governor is not precluding a return to politics and

She’s not going to go hide in a cave. She’ll continue to be a major friend and force for Republican figures in this country.

Howard Fineman of Newsweek wrote definitively

I have covered politics for a long time. I can tell when someone is running for president. Sarah Palin is running for president.

Ed Schultz of MSNBC, arguing that Palin has decided to run, insightfully referred to this passage in the Governor's speech

In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life - my children (where the count was unanimous... well, in response to asking: "Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children's future from OUTSIDE the Governor's office?" It was four "yes's" and one "hell yeah!" The "hell yeah" sealed it - and someday I'll talk about the details of that...

A response of "hell yeah!" (ain't she folksy?) is not elicited by asking one's loved ones "should I resign as governor so I can spend more time with you?" or even "should I resign so you and I can travel around the country while I work for the election of other conservative politicians?" It might, though, be the response to "how about if I drop everything so we have a chance to go live in that big white house in Washington surrounded by good-looking bodyguards and servants?" And if that sounds superficial, why is she (allegedly) relying on her children's advice? And who are we dealing with, anyway?

A few people in the media have contended that because Sarah Palin cares so much for her family and is such a good mother, that perhaps she wouldn't do anything, such as a run for national office, which would detract from the time she can spend with her children. But consider this possibility: Palin already has decided to go for the top job, or at least to build up iou's she can cash in later if she wishes; given that, which affords her more time to spend with her family- functioning as governor or not?

Maybe Sarah Palin has decided against a run for the presidency. But if so, given the evidence and educated opinion to the contrary, Andrea Mitchell deserves to be considered one of the finest correspondents of our time.

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