If people think that resigning from the governorship hurt Palin's chances for the presidency in 2012, I agree with them. That was my first thought when I heard about her resignation. If people think that Sarah Palin resigned from the governorship in order to run for president in 2012, however, I think they're nuts. With all the abuse she (and especially her family) has taken in the last year, I don't find it in the least bit remarkable that she would want out of public office. I am disappointed, I admit: she is the most remarkable conservative politician I have ever seen, with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan, and I had high hopes for her future. I'm not convinced that she's out of politics forever, but this move certainly puts a future presidential run further into the future. But why assume that that is her goal? Journalists don't seem to understand that Sarah Palin is a person before she is a politician. She hasn't been training for political office since high school; things just happened that pushed (or pulled) her in that direction. I think I would have a hard time turning down a chance at the national political spotlight, but I don't have five children, including one special needs child; and, of course, my family has not been through the hell that hers has.
I wish Sarah Palin the best in whatever she chooses to do, and if that means something other than politics, that's okay with me. My only regret will be the sad lesson that it is possible to drive a normal person out of politics by shameless personal attacks. When people wonder why all politicians are egotists, they should consider what has happened to Sarah Palin and ask themselves: who else but egotists could put up with all of it? It's especially sad for Palin because she didn't ask for it. She wasn't groomed, like Al Gore, for the presidency from the time she was little. She became a hit on the national scene because she connected naturally with voters, not because she had a carefully built-up image to present. It's easy to apply superlatives to the latest thing that has happened, but I don't think I'm guilty of presentism when I say that the venom directed against Sarah Palin was unprecedented in its intensity, and that it has been the saddest display of liberalism in my lifetime. Liberals like to say that conservatives are the party of hate, but they are always having to stretch the evidence to make their point -- it may not sound like hate, but it is if you understand the code -- or even to invent lies (remember the fake story about someone shouting "kill him" at a Palin rally last year?). What liberals did to Palin is a far clearer demonstration of their own hate than anything they could put on conservatives, angry white males, or poor white trash. They are a bitter bunch, liberals, and I can only pray that people will come to recognize their posturing as the apostles of goodness for what it is.