I started writing feverishly about Sarah Palin when the news of her resignation broke, but then I cut off and thought better of it.
We have seen so many stories about her decision. Perhaps I was not mentally prepared for another Palin media bonanza so soon (they take a lot out of you), rife with skeptical snarky segment teases and tired old puns.
So, for now I will just say this.
There’s a maelstrom around her, big as ever and less concrete than ever.
Her and her messengers did a frightful job of pitching how leaving her position of leadership positions her better to be a leader. This was not a story that was sprung upon them; they made it, and thus should have prepared better responses.
Despite this, I am reserving judgment for now, because inevitably we will see something else happen with her soon and I am going to wait that out. It’s part of a multi-step plan that will come into focus. As Nancy Gibbs wrote in Time, “It’s important to note that Palin never said she was leaving office to spend more time with her children.” The media is hair-trigger and pouncing on the immediacy of the story.
“We know we can affect positive change outside of government,” Palin stated in her announcement, which waxes hypocritical in light of her razzing Obama at the GOP convention for being a community organizer. It’s also quite vague.
If she does have wider political or presidential aspirations, for her, serving out a full term feels like a pre-requisite, and, conversely, not doing it a non-starter. What laurels is she resting on that allows her to pull off a run without it? Unlike John Edwards or Hillary Clinton, she does not have the foundation that would grant her leeway to take an unorthodox approach to running. And unlike Al Gore or Bono, she is not a unifying champion of one issue. She could conceivably dig deep and go state-to-state to build connections and community, à la Hillary’s jaunts to every county in New York for her initial Senate run. But for now I am marking this all “TBD.” And no, that does not stand for “Talk show, Book deal, or Disappearance.”