John Fund on ‘Why Palin Quit’

John Fund has an interesting OP-ED in today’s Wall Street Journal on “Why Palin Quit.” In a nutshell, he says that the Beltway media have likely gotten it wrong. Fund suggests that there may not have been any political strategery involved in this decision to resign the governorship. The reasons for her departure were uncomplicated. Not only were Palin’s legal bills piling up due to frivolous ethics complaints, but her family was also taking a beating in the press. Fund writes:

“Ms. Palin gave birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome in 2008, and also has a six-year old. Everyone in the family was weary of endless personal attacks, including mean-spirited suggestions on liberal blogs that all of her children should have been aborted and that she would run on a presidential platform promoting retardation.”

One can only imagine what kind of a toll such venom took on Palin’s family. Fund concludes,

“Ms. Palin mostly likely will not run for president — in 2012, at least. She made many mistakes after suddenly being thrust into the national spotlight last year, but hasn’t merited the sneering contempt visited upon her by national reporters. She simply was not their kind of feminist — and they disdained the politically incorrect life choices she had made.

“In helping to convince Sarah Palin that her road forward in national politics would demand even more sacrifices and pain than exacted from most politicians, the media did nothing to encourage women or people of modest means to participate in politics.”

I am not a Palin-apologist. In the 2008 campaign, I liked her views but not her candidacy. She delivered a barn-burner of a speech at the Republican National Convention but was not up to the task in subsequent interviews where there was no script. To me it seemed she was not quite ready for prime time.

That being said, I think that some of the attacks on her and her family have been unconscionable and completely out-of-bounds. Fund does well to point out this fact. Who can blame her for wanting to spare her family another year and a half of such abuse?


  • Alex Chediak

    I think Fund is right. This way, she can write her book, support her family financially without restrictions, and travel freely to support candidates and causes.

    Furthermore, if it becomes widely recognized that she’s not running for President, media pressure and negative attacks will die down (as it intensifies on the 2012 primary candidates). I think she’s smart enough to realize that if she did run in 2012, they’d just be attacking her once again, and even more viciously.

  • MatthewS

    Someone just sent me the link to the “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2SSZA0CjdQ&feature=related). Hyperbolic, silly, funny. “He lives vicariously through himself”, “he once had an awkward moment…just to see how it felt.”

    Frankly, Palin made me nervous. But there is an annoying hypocrisy in the entertainment/news industry that treats Obama like the Most Interesting Man in the World and Palin like Rosemary’s baby. She is an upwardly mobile woman who has managed both a professional career and a family. She has her flaws but even so she has been treated unfairly.

  • Nathan

    Palin made the media and especially feminists nervous because she was the antithesis of what a successful woman looked like. They loathe her because of her stances on life, marriage and fmaily, and for her conservative views. Maureen Dowd still can’t believe women can relate to Gov. Palin. Whether or not she returns to the political stage as a candidate down the road, she is a voice for women who don’t live in the socially minded, ivy league world of the Obama’s, Pelosi’s and others.

    It would be wrong to assume that her resignation is a surrender.

  • christina

    What I find upsetting about this media hoopla about Palin is that it is always viewed in a negative light that she stepped down. As if somehow denying political ambitions, if that is what she is doing which I believe she is, is a “wrong” choice.

    First of all, as a mother and a wife myself I couldn’t see myself handling all this in the midst of raising children. And I have only one child. I don’t think it was wrong of her to get into politics having a large family, but I also don’t believe it’s wrong of her to get out of politics. There are more important things in life than political aspirations, and I believe she probably saw this.

    And why is it made out to be that her stepping down is somehow a “bad” thing and that devoting oneself to their family at the expense of career ambition is a bad move? I’m tired of the media circus surrounding this poor woman and her family. Please can we all, conservatives and liberals, let this woman live in peace.

  • Lydia

    Resigning means any future for the presidency or any high office is dead. She should have served out her term out of duty. She had kids going in so that is no excuse. Her husband stays home with them.

    I am disappointed in her. But I can certainly understand why someone would NOT want to go for the presidency.

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