Sarah Palin has never exactly been a stellar public speaker but this speech is awful beyond the telling. There’s all kinds of speculation already on the web about her resignation. Despite her comments in the video, TPM quotes a tweet from earlier that reads:
We’ll soon attach info on decision to not seek re-election… this is in Alaska’s best interest, my family’s happy… it is good, stay tuned
This does not sound like someone on the verge of resigning. Everything from her presser – her manner, her body language, the rushed and chaotic speaking – sounds to me like a woman on the verge. She’s trying to get through the presser – she’s sounds like a whore in church. Josh Marshall describes it:
Okay, we’re getting our first indication of what happened. It seems like a colossal sulk on Palin’s part, or perhaps better to say an effort on her part to ingeniously combine anti-liberal media bias agitation with Christianist politics by portraying herself as having been crucified by the liberal media.
On the heels of this week’s Vanity Fair article that eviscerated her, I think Josh Marshall is right. Palin was not ready for prime time when John McCain picked her to run for veep. She’s a female Rush Limbaugh – egotistical and thin skinned, a loud mouthed boor and schoolyard bully who has managed to get as far as brazenness and dumb luck can take her. Andrew Sullivan has probably been her harshest critic from day one; he chronicled what he called “The Weird Lies of Sarah Palin” – lies that he defined as outside the normal political lies, lies that were immediately and obviously disprovable, lies that served no purpose other than making the immediate moment feel good regardless of what went before or would come after. He recently summed her up in what may be one of the harshest posts I’ve read from a professional journalist:
As the months have gone by since John McCain revealed his total cynicism and contempt for America’s national security by selecting one Sarah Palin to be a potential vice-president of the United States, we have learned that every single ghastly attribute we discovered in the campaign is worse than we thought at the time. The narcissism, the pathological and incessant lying, the viciousness, the delusions of grandeur, the vindictiveness, the fathomless and proud ignorance, the opportunism, the vanity, the white trash concupiscence and fraudulence in almost every respect: these are now indisputable. How an advanced democracy came that close to having this farce of a candidate running the most powerful country on earth reveals how deep the corruption of our politics and especially our media are.
I remain unsurprised that Sullivan, the proper British Tory, finds the Palin contemptible. Her success in American politics condemns our political media and system. She’s awful – indisputably one of the most laughable candidates to have ever come to the national stage; she’s a bumbling, gibbering idiot, grasping for whatever she can get and hoping to turn it to her benefit. Palin’s folksy demeanor – like George W. Bush’s – was always a cover for something else; in Bush’s case it was his privileged upbringing, in her case a coldly rapacious self-aggrandizing egotism. Her husband and children have been the props on the Sarah show for a long time. The schtick works in Wasilla – elsewhere it’s not so effective.
At the end of the day, it’s entirely possible she’s resigning ahead of some new revelation that would force her removal from office. It’s entirely possible that yet another of her odd and intensely personal blood feuds with some person who betrayed her (in a real or imagined way) was about to explode. I actually hope those things aren’t true – that she really is resigning because she’s realized she wants more time with her family – that the world of politics is simply not making her happy and she wants to get out so she can dedicate herself to what makes her happy.