Monday, July 13, 2009

She Learned Nothing

The New York Times has a piece today that chronicles the events that led to Gov. Sarah Palin’s decision to resign from office. It basically comes down to her inability to handle the burning light of publicity and celebrity that landed on her last August when she accepted John McCain’s invitation to join her on the Republican ticket, plus her distraction from her job as governor in order to deal with the fame and attention brought on by her own missteps and problems that came with her new celebrity.

To a certain degree you feel a little sympathy for her to the extent that she had no idea of what would happen to her. But it’s also clear that the choices she made, the battles she chose to fight, and the priorities that rose to the top indicated that she was not ready for any of it. What’s also interesting is that she seemed to have no interest in taking the advice of people with long experience in the field of political combat and who had nothing but her best interests at heart. She thought she could do it on her own and that her own political instincts, which had served her well in the politics of Alaska, would be fine on the national stage.

She says that now she will be able to focus on the future; whatever that is. She blames her problems on outside forces, like the national media attention, in spite of the fact that she encouraged it, and she blames her numerous problems at home on people who are out to get her. That may be how she sees it, but one of the things that mature and seasoned politicians — or any person — should take away from a traumatic and life-altering event is what you learn about yourself, and possibly how you can grow from that experience. It’s abundantly clear that Ms. Palin has learned very little from the last eleven months about herself. That is not a quality you want in someone who has national ambitions for leadership.