Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 7, 2009
POLITICS: Out of the Game

Consider this something of an open thread on the Palin saga; I'm planning on writing something more extensive later.

Short answer: yes, she is finished as a presidential candidate, at least unless we get an even more bizarre series of events than the ones that took Richard Nixon from "you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around" in 1962 to the presidency in 1968. I hate to be quick to declare political obituaries, and as with Mark Sanford I could picture her having a second life as a Senator under the right circumstances, but not a serious presidential candidate.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:02 AM | Politics 2012 | Comments (23) | TrackBack (0)

I'll be interested to read how you relate this to or how it affects your assessment of her in your earlier character study.

As for "finished?" I gave up on prognostications; I'll leave it to astrologers and economists (but I repeat myself).

Posted by: Phineas at July 7, 2009 9:58 AM

Yeah, if she wants to be president, her decision is strange and really risky, and she would have needed to say that she was stepping down to focus on the election. Her own comments about stepping down were puzzling. If she just needed a break, then it's really troubling becase you don't get one as president.

In retrospect, she shouldn't have accepted McCain's offer to be vice-president. She wasn't ready, she wasn't up on the issues. Another few more years as governor would have served her well, given her some more time to learn about the national issues. And she would have been more emotionally prepared too.

Posted by: MVH at July 7, 2009 10:06 AM

Ummmm...why do you lump Palin's resignation into the same category as Sanford's international love triangle? I've seen a couple other places mention Palin alongside Sanford and John Ensign. The circumstances could not be more different. The appeal of the individuals is not even in the same ballpark. The popularity comparison is not even on the same planet.

Palin's decision is certainly not politics as usual. It is not the decision of someone plotting and planning a move up the political food chain. Isn't that the point? She clearly is a different breed of politician and one that resonates with real folks (though not with the Beltway establishment).

I cannot understand why Palin is now considered damaged goods and Mitt Romney, father of the failed Massachusetts state health care debacle, is considered a front-runner. If Romney, another big government Republican who suddenly found some conservative beliefs when he began running for President, is the GOP's vision of the future then the party is truly dead.

Posted by: Edgycater at July 7, 2009 10:07 AM

If you came looking for a defense of Romney, you came to the wrong place.

I agree with pretty much all of this.

The comparison to Sanford is solely in terms of the damage the last few weeks has done to their presidential prospects.

Posted by: Crank at July 7, 2009 10:12 AM

Sorry, this link.

Posted by: Crank at July 7, 2009 10:13 AM

The other explanation that would have been OK with me is this one: "My family is going through a difficult time, I have a single daughter with a small child, and my duties as governor is taking too much time away from my family at the moment, and I'm choosing to focus on my family."

Many people, including me, would respect that kind of decision, and it would have made it easier for her to reenter politics later. Nevertheless, those were not the reasons she gave.

Posted by: MVH at July 7, 2009 10:25 AM

She has to shake the label of being a quitter to restart her political career. Also, there is no way she can run in Alaska for any office, they voted her in to change things and she bailed out when it got tough. She will have to move to a new state just like Hillary to get a fresh start or gain political office. But, her biggest problem is she will not shut up and work behind the scenes to get things done.
A couple of odd things with this resignation, why did she announce it on at the end of the news cycle on a holiday weekend? The only time you do that is if you want to hide something or quietly slip away. The Lame Duck excuse is paper thin on every level. By quitting as Governor she no long can speak to the middle only to the already converted. Lastly, when she is raking the huge speaking fees this early her lack of substance will become a glaring weakness (the whole she won't shut up) the worst thing you can do in politics is talk to much.

Posted by: javaman at July 7, 2009 10:42 AM

Did you watch the resignation speech? She shouldn't be allowed back in politics based on that alone. As for anyone paying to hear her run that jive...You would have to be seriously insane to want to hear her talk.

Posted by: jim at July 7, 2009 12:28 PM

Iquitarod: Failin' Palin is Ailin'. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Sarah, don't let the door hit you on the way out. Most American voters have seats inside the plane and are not wingnuts. It has been real and it has been fun, but it has not been real fun. I thought Palin's announcement was more suitable for April Fool's Day than the day before the Fourth of July. Sarah's halftime speech: Win one for the Quitter!

Posted by: yetijuice at July 7, 2009 1:10 PM


Palin never was -- and never would be -- a serious presidential candidate. This action shows she wasn't even a serious governor of a small, rural state with natural resource royalties precluding any need to make decisions.

I do sincerely hope, however, that her delusional mind still believes she can be our savior. Watching her run for the GOP nomination would be the best "reality TV" train wreck we would ever get to see.

Posted by: Magrooder at July 7, 2009 1:51 PM

Such typical establishment lower 49 republican jibber jabber here. I'm an Alaska resident. Followed her since her single term as Wasilla's mayor. Personally interacted with her at public events for hours. Seen her Bill Clintonesque abilities with the base. You guys have no idea. Is she clueless towards her path? Of course. Is she a force in a nearly disintegrated GOP? Of course. I spent Monday driving 600 miles across the midwestern and eastern US. I tuned in every local Rush wannabe I could find on the dial. None of them agreed with your opinions. Beware, for in the land of the blind, the one eyed winker could be queen.

Posted by: splinter at July 7, 2009 10:11 PM

We can't write off Palin until after the '10 elections. If she is a force in electing Conservatives, she will be a force on the '12 Presidential considerations.

I too think her resignation is strange, but that doesn't mean that I don't still see her as the front-runner at this early stage. Can a dark house come from the back? Sure, but right now there isn't anyone on the Republican landscape who can beat her.

Posted by: maddirishman at July 8, 2009 3:08 AM

I find the Nixon parallel interesting on a variety of fronts.

One reason Nixon recovered from his hard loss in '62 was that the 1960's era GOP had its senior management decimated by election losses. By 1968 the alternatives were Romney, who made Biden-esq gaffes, Rockefeller, who was persona non grata to cosnervatives in the not-yet- Red States; a bunch of "Rocky-lite" eastern Governors and Reagan, who was thought of as too inexperienced and too close to the Goldwater defeat to win in '68.

Nixon appeared relatively less flawed to the actual competition, even though he still was a "two time loser"

As Chris Palko in the The Next Right points out, the contemporary GOP bench is also quite thin. The other historic parallel is McCain. Michael Barone points out that he got nominated because his political strategy in 2007-08 failed first. By hanging around and letting his competitors make errors closer to primary day, he started looking better and better.

Not to say this won't be akin to Plaxico Burress in a night club; but I think the passage of time is likely to heal this wound.

Posted by: Ironman at July 8, 2009 7:22 AM

I wonder if her resignation was caused by the steady stream of frivolous lawsuits aimed at her by the dems? This was chronicled at Red State a while back. They said she was being bankrupted defending herself. If that is the case, the dems may have found a powerful weapon to hound repubs from office. One could make the argument that Ronnie Earle pioneered the effort against DeLay.

Posted by: feeblemind at July 8, 2009 9:31 AM

Frivilous lawsuits? Even if there were a shread of truth back in the real world, perhaps this notion came from the GOP during the early 90's?

Posted by: Magrooder at July 8, 2009 12:46 PM

Palin spouts platitudes to a failed ideology. I fail to see how that makes her any different than other Republicans.

Posted by: Berto at July 8, 2009 12:47 PM

She's running for President, and she's doing it because Sanford is essentially out.

Primaries are in 2 1/2 years. Debates start in 2. She needs $50mil to be a force, let along training. Being Gov can only hurt her, with people always playing gotcha ethics and asking her to actually pay attention to what needs to be done instead of helping out other Republican Govs, building a staff, etc.

Or trying to see her make difficult decisions with her state deep in the red, and knowing those will be held to her. Since we know that no one will hold her to problems with massive expansion of the budget, then running out when it starts to go bad. Well, no Republican.

Nothing good, aside from actually doing the job the people elected you to, comes from continuing to be Gov if you're aiming to run for president.

Personally, that's the biggest thing that I think holds her back, quitting when things need to be fixed. But Crank, I don't think it would matter primary time.

Posted by: Dave at July 8, 2009 11:33 PM

Still waiting on Crank's detailed opinion. First Ensign, then Sanford and now Palin. Where have all the heroes gone? It is amazing how Crank always has instant analysis on Obama but now that the chosen one has bowed out it is oddly quiet. You never disappoint Crank.

Posted by: javaman at July 9, 2009 12:44 PM

Let me field this one for you, Crank.
Hey javaman, get your own blog where you can spout bullshit in support of a failed ideology, while totally carrying water for the rich and powerful, if you don't like it.
No problem. Anytime, Crank.

Posted by: Berto at July 9, 2009 2:36 PM

Maybe Crank will jump on the "Marco Rubio for President" bandwagon next.

Posted by: Magrooder at July 9, 2009 10:49 PM


Why are you so angry. Here is a hug via the internet just for you. I think that hug should ease your bravado enabled by the anonymous nature of the internet. But, you should also remember anger is not substitute for lack of height, hair, and any other short coming your obvious over the top anger may mask.

Sincerely, your friend


Posted by: javaman at July 10, 2009 1:40 AM

No anger here. Just pointing out that this is Crank's forum to spout bullshit in support of a failed ideology (the late, but not great, Conservativism) while carrying water for the economic elites.
BTW, in the last year I've let my hair grow past my shoulders for the first time in my life. The only short-coming I see is in the lack of liberals in the media.
Hugs and kisses (from this straight guy) right back at ya.

Posted by: Berto at July 10, 2009 11:54 AM

I think this has to be seen in the light of two external perspectives: the very weird political situation up in Alaska where some Republicans apparently are working with the Democrats against Palin, and the whole Sanford mess.

Sanford was the chairman of the Republican Governors Conference, where Gov. Palin was getting some national publicity after the election last fall. That would have been a good place for her to be, if he had indeed gone on to run for the presidency: A Sanford/Palin or Palin/Sanford ticket wouldn't have been impossible. All that crashed with Sanford, and the RGC chairman now (Haley Barbour, who is currently the governor of my home state and who I really respect) is, by his own admission, the unpopularity trifecta winner: a lawyer, a politician, and a lobbyist. That venue is now not too workable for Palin.

With a faction of the Republicans in Alaska against her, and with their influence on the national scene, I think she might be right in not perceiving a good future with that party. Maybe she has taken a look at how rotten national politics is right now, and may realize her potential to change all that and renew it, or at least bust the doors open for other, younger players to come in and clean things up. Maybe she is going to try to remake the national picture into more of a conservative-liberal thing, rather than the traditional Republican-Democrat split, which really is kind of meaningless nowadays, since the 1994 "revolution" got coopted, or whatever happened to it.

Or maybe Rob Harrison was right in his July 4th post over at Conservatives4Palin: .

I don't know, but I wish her all the best in whatever she does. She really made me feel good about American politics in general when she "suddenly" appeared at the GOP convention last year.

Posted by: Barb at July 13, 2009 7:41 AM
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