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Uploaded:2009-07-05
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In which John discusses Alaska governor Sarah Palin and her unexpected resignation announcement. Did she quit because not quitting would be quitting? Or to run for President? Or to make money? Or because of some brewing ethics scandal? I'm sure you'll let me know your opinions in comments.


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A Bunny
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Good morning, Hank! It's Sunday, it's news day, and today the news is that noted Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin has announced her resignation! Being the expert in Alaskan politics that I am, I am going to tell you four reasons why she may have quit.
(Intro music)

Like her or hate her, Sarah Palin is not your usual politician, so let's begin with Possibility One: she resigned for the reasons she cited in her resignation speech, which, by the way, would be almost unprecedented in history of American resignation speech. Now, in the speech, she said she thought that it was bad for Alaska for her to be the relentless focus of ethics investigations, she said she was frustrated with the media for political blood sport and being cruel to her family, and she also said that she felt that she could help Alaska more from outside the governor's office. But she didn't cite any of those things as the reason she was quitting. The reason she cited in the speech was that she had decided not to run for governor in 2012, and that being governor for the rest of her term would be being a "lame duck". A lot of lame duck politicians don't accomplish much in their last two years in office; ergo, the courageous thing to do is to quit now. And Hank, that is why in her speech announcing that she was quitting, Governor Palin said that not quitting would be "a quitter's way out". So the reason she actually cites for quitting in the speech is that not quitting would be quitting. Although I do want to quickly point out you don't become a lame duck governor until you announce that you're not going to run for re-election, which you don't have to do with eighteen months still remaining in your term, so that reasoning doesn't technically hold up to scrutiny.

Reason Two: she wants to run for president. This is what a lot of conservative commentators keep saying, but it makes absolutely no sense to me. I mean she didn't feel compelled to quit her job to run for vice president… so why would she quit her job to run for president three years before the election? (1:46)

What seems more likely to me is Reason Three, that she wants to make money. Hank, the job of Governor of Alaska pays $125,000 a year, which isn't nothing. But no joke, Hank, Sarah Palin could $125,000 in five days on the public speaking circuit. Now Hank, I've never personally had the opportunity to do five days worth of work and make my entire annual salary, but there's a pretty short list of things I wouldn't be willing to do. I mean, I can only think of about three things: I wouldn't kill anyone, I wouldn't hurt anyone... and I wouldn't get above the third rung of a ladder. Then of course Hank there's Reason Four, that Governor Palin has some kind of scandal brewing. Now, Hank, as soon as you say the word "scandal", both Palin's supporters and detractors are like BLUHBLUHBLUHBLUHBLUHBLUHBLUH -- they basically become giant squids of anger. So, supporters of Governor Palin, let me tell you why it looks a little bit suspicious:
  • Palin told almost no one that was resigning in advance, which she did at a hastily called press conference where she didn't even read prepared remarks. That has happened before in American politics and every time it's been because of a scandal. Like, some politician will have a hastily called news conference late in the afternoon at the end of a week and he'll be like "I am resigning from office to spend more time with my family" and then like a week later it comes out that they really resigned from office because they owned like a kitten-killing factory in Indonesia.
  • On the other hand, Sarah Palin has frequently shown herself to be genuine about exactly one thing: she is not your usual politician. I'm not saying that's a good or a bad thing, I mean, Chewbacca is not your average politician either; I don't want him to be president. Wait -- yes I do. In fact, that would be awesome. Han Solo could be his vice president and chief translator… Wow, that idea is really exciting to me; okay, Hank, I gotta go write some Chewbacca-president fanfiction.
I'm going to state my guess about Palin's resignation right now: I think it is Number Four, I think there is some unannounced brewing scandal. But I've been wrong before and if I'm wrong this time I'll be very happy to admit it. Hank, I'll see you on Tuesday; in the mean time, Chewy for president 2012!