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Spunky Sarah

© 2009 by H.B. Koplowitz

One thing that cannot be said about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is that she lacks spunk, although the people who love to hate the former vice presidential candidate might turn that statement into a sleazy punchline.

When politicians resign from office, they usually say it's because of their families, and usually it isn't. Sarah Palin did not say she was resigning as governor because of her family -- she mentioned her family, but didn't blame her decision on her family -- which indicates her family might indeed be why she decided to step away from the spotlight.

And what a spotlight it was, with the media and everyone from Tina Fey to Bill Maher ridiculing her and hers. Not being a Palin fan myself, I found most of it pretty funny, and I didn't find David Letterman's joke about a Palin daughter getting knocked up by A-Rod especially offensive. But that may be in part because I'd become desensitized by all the jokes from so many places that came before. There have been jokes and caustic commentary not just on the governor, but her husband, pregnant daughter, pregnant daughter's boyfriend, even her disabled baby, and then Letterman accidentally tossed another daughter into the mix.

Even more than the "politics of personal destruction" practiced by so many in the media and both political parties -- which Palin has justifiably railed against, and is undeniably a victim of -- the public bullying of her children, and putting a stop to it, may be why she put aside her personal political aspirations, at least for now. The Letterman joke may not have been the most egregious jab, but perhaps it was the final straw.

In announcing she was resigning, Palin said she put her decision up for a family vote, and the result was "four yesses and one 'Hell, yeah!' and the 'Hell, yeah' sealed it." It was also telling that her two older daughters were not at the announcement.

Many have criticized how she made the announcement, suggesting she appeared unprepared or that some other shoe is about to drop. But she did it without shedding even a Hillary trace of a tear, and with more composure than a lot of male politicians in similar situations.

Despite the fact that Sarah Palin's politics and values are mostly antithetical to my own, I wish her and her family the best in whatever they decide to do next. As long as it isn't seeking the presidency!
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