Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has just announced that she will not seek reelection. Even more surprising, she also says that she will be resigning from the office that she has held for less than one term.
Were this merely a politician choosing not to run again, there could be several explanations including, most likely, an intention to run for higher office. But the resignation throws that theory right out the window. Either she has some serious scandal about to erupt, or she got an offer from Rupert Murdoch.
The timing is suspect as well. It seems like an odd choice to make a significant statement like this on the day before the fourth of July. Especially when competing with other sensational stories like Michael Jackson and Gov. Sanford. Why couldn’t this have waited a week? Fridays are generally considered to be news graveyards – where stories go to die. Why make an announcement that has any positive content at a time usually reserved for bad news? Could it have anything to do with the fact that many of the opinion-casters are on vacation this week? Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, even Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are not around to comment. Coincidence?
Remember, she was a sportscaster before going into politics. She studied journalism in college (but must have forgotten much of it because she couldn’t tell Katie Couric a single newspaper that she read). And her appeal in last year’s campaign was mostly connected to her alleged personality – it certainly wasn’t her experience or intelligence. Since folks like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity have proven that those qualities are irrelevant to a career as a Fox pundit, Palin may believe that now is the time to cash in. Her resignation speech even included a reference to the $500,000 dollars in debt that she has accumulated defending herself against criminal and ethics complaints. So it’s fair to say that she could use the money a broadcasting job would provide.
A Palin show on Fox News has always been a good fit for both her and Fox. Neither have an interest in, or reputation for, honesty or accuracy. And both have profited from exploiting controversy and sex. Plus, she wouldn’t be the first potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate with a show on Fox, would she, Mike Huckabee?
What more could Fox ask for than a former beauty queen who cheerfully calls the President a Socialist who pals around with terrorists? And what more could Palin ask for than a network gig that allows her to spew nonsense and practice her fancy pageant walkin’?
[Update 7/4/09] Foxnews.com got around to reporting the Palin news with a story mainly cribbed from the AP. In addressing Palin’s future they wrote…
…she will have a variety of potential platforms, from writing books to hitting the public speaking circuit to working directly with the Republican Party to get candidates elected.
In the process, she’ll also have the ability to make a lot of money — far more than the $125,000 or so a year she has earned as governor. She already had a deal with publisher HarperCollins to produce her memoirs, with publication planned for next spring.
They left a couple things out of that report. First, they failed to mention the possibility of a role on Fox News. Second, they didn’t think it worthy to note that HarperCollins is owned by Murdoch’s News Corp.