News Columns & Blogs

Pro-con: Will Palin have a future after resignation?

It's silly to claim Palin has no chance to win the nomination or the presidency. The fact is, despite a rough campaign in 2008, Palin has been (for what it's worth at this stage) a co-front-runner in polls of GOP primary voters for 2012, along with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. In a recent Pew survey, she had the strongest favorable-unfavorable numbers of the likely candidates among Republicans.She has fervent supporters, which would presumably help her in primaries and caucuses. Among the general public, she has a not-great but not-unmanageable 45-44 favorability rating.Will her poll numbers fall because she has opted to step down early from the Alaska governorship? Perhaps. But the short-term effect of that decision will soon be swamped by judgments people make as they see her out and about, speaking and opining on the issues of the day.— William Kristol, Washinton Post

What can you say about a public official who ridicules those who would take the "quitter's way out" — as she faces reporters to announce that she's quitting? A governor who claims that "the worthless, easy path" would be to serve out the remaining 18 months of her term? An ambitious politician who says that "life is too short" to worry about, you know, boring things such as responsibility or duty?You can say that all of us who ever took Sarah Palin seriously — or pretended to take her seriously — should be deeply ashamed. And you can say that John McCain should publicly apologize for putting the nation he loves at risk by choosing Palin as his running mate.The reasons she gave for stepping down are not just contrived or implausible but literally nonsensical. But I'm stating the obvious. The thing is, Palin's unsuitability for high public office has been obvious all along. Tina Fey got it right; the rest of us were far too reluctant to state plainly that the emperor, or empress, has no clothes.— Eugene Robinson, Washington Post