Sarah Palin certainly has her flaws, but it has been interesting the last few days to watch her swat away one criticism after another of her decision to resign the Alaska governorship. What’s most refreshing is that, unlike most others whose lives are a campaign or who place their value on whether they hold elected office, Palin does not appear to make every life decision a calculation to maximize personal political benefit. She admits her inability to hide “Mama Grizzly” when her children are ridiculed or attacked; she clearly places a higher importance on God and her family than on government office; she understands that the moment she accepted the vice presidential nomination changed everything about her profile and her ability to help Alaska; and she recognizes that the state she governs can continue just fine — maybe better — without her in office.
Palin wouldn’t rule out a 2012 presidential run, and told CNN that “all options are on the table” for her future.
“I don’t know what doors will be open or closed by then,” the Republican told Time magazine. “I was telling Todd today, I was saying, ‘Man, I wish we could predict the next fish run so that we know when to be out on the water.’ We can’t predict the next fish run, much less what’s going to happen in 2012.”
But she told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she recognizes she might not have political staying power after her surprise resignation Friday, which came just as she had been expected to elevate her national profile ahead of a possible 2012 GOP presidential run.
“I said before … ‘You know, politically speaking, if I die, I die. So be it,'” she said.
That’s not to say she has never made a political calculation in her life in her decisionmaking — we all do to some degree or another — but at least she’s courageous enough to recognize reality, make a bold decision, and suffer the negative consequences if there are any. Whether it’s to free her up for national speaking, or to concentrate on a 2012 presidential run, or just to make money — well, so what? Better that than to burden your family with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal debts, when a state can run just fine without you.
It’s foolish for pundits to say her political career is over. It may have only just begun. If the mocked, ridiculed, and washed-up Michael Jackson can draw adoration in death, then anything can happen.