On Quitting

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO — How many times have we regretted our actions?

Even when we thought, it was not the right move, we still ended up taking the plunge – the wrong plunge.

I consider Sarah Palin’s act of stepping down from office as governor prematurely as a blunder if she was ever entertaining thoughts of running for higher office or of making more money than she ever earned as a state chief executive.

Her move was never an addition by means subtraction either.

Although, Ms. Palin has vehemently denied them, I have a feeling that the speculations of her former future son-in-law Levi Johnston have a glimmer of truth in it that she resigned because of “wanting to cash in on her fame and her desire to relieve the stress in her life.”

KILLED THE GOLDEN GOOSE

How can the former beauty queen “cash in on her fame” when she just killed the goose that laid the golden egg? Her being governor was the source of her fame.

She never realized it that if she ably steered the office of the governor, it would yield more golden eggs – more dividends for her than she could imagine. Her governor’s office was her ticket to her fame and fortune. Take it away from her, she loses the clout – her Midas touch — to anything she could aspire for.

Spaniards have a saying that she might be a governor of a popularly- or economically-challenged state but at least she is the head of a mouse and not the tail of a lion.

As governor, Ms. Palin has a natural platform to project her image to national, if not, international stage. To remove her mantle of a governor was to remove her raison d’etre for espousing a public cause that will not only apply to her constituents but also to the nation as a whole.

If she thought that her governorship as a public service was an albatross that was the source of her stress as she sets her sights for higher office, she was simply wrong. It was her asset — her stepping-stone.

During his campaign, Senator Barack Obama was right on the money when he did not call public service as stressful but the “noblest profession.”

By completing her term of office as a governor, she would have sent a message that she is capable of completing a task that she pledged to do to the Alaska people.

NOT EQUAL TO THE CHALLENGE

By relinquishing her office in silver platter to her lieutenant governor, it sent a simple message that she quit her position when the going was tough.

If she could not complete her term of office of the governor, how can the American people expect her to trust her to complete the office of the vice presidency or the presidency for that matter?

It would be like giving her a passing grade, instead of “incomplete” grade, in school. Should she be promoted from the first to the second grade when she did not do and submit her home works, pass the examinations, etc. by taking a long vacation from class? Is it fair to her classmates to pass her?

If she is aiming for higher position than the governor, Ms. Palin had just failed the basic  test!

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

She did not realize it that completing her term of office is like attending school the entire school year that could let her join a “spelling bee” contest that could propel her to the grand national “spelling bee” stage. It opens her to other opportunities that she would miss if she were out-of-school.

By quitting, Ms. Palin became a poster girl of a role model in reverse.

I really don’t see any advantage in quitting. As governor, she can still write a book and make money on the side as did the then little-known Illinois state Senator Obama.

She may not be able to make product endorsements that her Mr. Johnston might be talking about along the way as governor but she would be investing “political capital” in the process that could prop up her resume in the long run and could become handy once she leaves office.

HAVING A CAKE AND EATING IT TOO

She just could not have a cake and eat it too. She should do it step by step. She could not have it all in one swoop. That’s greediness!

If I were Ms. Palin, I will stay in the private sector and set aside any thoughts as a  comebacking politician. She just took herself out of consideration as one of the promising political stars of the Republican Party.

Just to fathom the enormity of her mistake, did she ever realize that if she were not a governor of Alaska, would she ever be in the political radar screen of Sen. John McCain?

If Senator McCain did not anoint her as vice presidential candidate, will she ever get a national recognition that she now earned?

Even if she lost the vice presidency, if she completed her term of office of the governor, she was still on track to be nominated again either as vice president or president.

But now that she lost her platform as Alaska governor, the Republican Party will be putting her name in the backburner while it is in search of other Republican governors, who were able to finish their terms of office.

Because the Republicans have a big field of candidates for national office in 2012 presidential elections, Ex-Governor Palin would likely and largely remain Citizen Palin.

Now that she had shown her true colors, the elections of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have become blessings in disguise.

(E-mail: lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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