If your goal was to become a millionaire and you opened a business that bankrupted you, wouldn't it make sense that, instead of quitting on your goal of becoming a millionaire, you quit the business that's bankrupting you? If your goal was to see your country return to greatness, but the political office you served was stopping that, wouldn't it make sense that instead of quitting on your goal of seeing your country return to greatness, you quit the office that was stopping that?
It seems the less intellectually curious among us have taken Sarah Palin's resignation as governor of Alaska at face value. They think she quit. But when you dig a little deeper, it becomes more and more apparent that her resignation was probably the most crucial career saving decision of her life. This blogger has now come to accept that Sarah Palin's resignation was a brilliant and fantastic move.
Had Palin stayed on as governor, she would have just spiraled deeper and deeper into debt as the concerted smear campaign against her continued to pile on frivolous ethics complaint after frivolous ethics complaint. She did the math and realized that if she was ever going to be able to participate in leading a nation back to its greatness, she would not be able to do it from the poor house.
Palin could have served two terms as Alaska governor and ended up broke, disillusioned and politically devastated. Any attempts at reaching a national audience would have been viewed with contempt by local detractors and would have resulted in more ethics complaints. Without the ability to speak to the masses of those who yearn for her to take the reigns of the disaster we now call "the federal government," Palin was a lame duck governor in terms of national politics the minute she returned to Anchorage after the 2008 presidential campaign.
And on top of that, she was going broke.
When Sarah Palin sat down and figured out the finances, she realized that $125,000 a year minus $600,000 plus whatever other ethics violations were in the works means that she will end up with a net loss of at least $475,000. That's some fine reward for a great governor isn't it? And that's low balling it.
Since her resignation, here is the cocktail napkin explanation I've been giving to everyone who argues with me or simply asks me about her resignation:
Palin's choice: be Governor of Alaska and run up over $1 million in legal fees while having her children abused ruthlessly in the press or resign and make more than enough money on a book to pay back her debt and embark on a career as a private citizen political activist that would allow her to never quit on the real thing she's after: seeing our country return to greatness again.
Pro rate it like this:4 years as Governor $500,000
Current ethics costs -$600,000
Projected new ethics costs -$400,000
Then take into consideration the hits on her children.
You do the math. If you were her, wouldn't you quit, too?
In retrospect, it's turning out that this blogger was right. Why? Because I was willing enough to let Sarah Palin tell the story and not listen to the media. What I heard was "money" and "kids." I didn't hear "quit." I heard "advance in a different direction."
"The critics want to put you on a course of personal bankruptcy, so you can't afford to serve," she said, calling the attacks "bull crap," Sarah Palin told Fox News. That confirms the money analysis. Palin's lawyer told CNN "off-color jokes by talk-show host David Letterman contributed to her decision to step down." That confirms the kid analysis.
Jay Tea on Wizbang writes:
Josh Painter writes: "The aim of her political opponents has always been to destroy Sarah Palin any way they can. So they staged an all-out assault not only on her character and her family, but on her personal finances as well."
At that point, she had run up about half a million dollars in legal bills, and pretty much every single complaint had been tossed. In other words, she had incurred debts equal to twice her family's net income and 40% of their net worth for absolutely nothing. And with the latest complaint going after her legal defense fund, it was shaping up to get more and more and more expensive, with no relief in sight. The agenda of her opponents was clear: to use Alaska's flawed ethics laws (the "flaw" being that no one foresaw a cabal filing an endless chain of worthless complaints purely to drive up the target's legal bills) to bankrupt her and her family.
John Ziegler says it best:
The bottom line is that Sarah Palin resigned simply because she was no longer allowed to do her job in a way that benefited her state and family. She saw that if she stayed on as Governor it would cost the state millions of dollars in wasted time and resources and doom it to gridlock. She knew that it would also continue to cost her family hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend against false and maliciously filed ethics complaints. And she had simply had enough of her children being fodder for inappropriate public attacks.Like I said in a previous blog, this could not be answered by pundits. It could only be answered by Palin herself. Now that the answer has unfolded and her financial disclosure proves her right to resign, we can say that Sarah did in fact give us the answer.
We again are mere mortals who can thank the lucky stars and our God above that Sarah Palin had the wisdom to resign her governorship. If she didn't, we might as well have just kissed that shining city on a hill goodbye.