Feature

Palin goes out swinging

Sarah Palin ended her tenure as Alaska governor, taking some parting shots at the media and vowing to fight for Americans’ personal freedoms.

Sarah Palin ended her tenure as Alaska governor this week, taking some parting shots at the media and vowing to fight for Americans’ personal freedoms “as that grizzly guards her cubs.” Speaking to thousands of supporters, Palin, who resigned with 17 months left in her term, accused the press of “makin’ things up” and vowed to keep battling “politics as usual.” She insisted that she had nothing planned for the future, aside from writing a book. But she’s reportedly exploring the possibility of hosting a syndicated radio program and appears to be positioning herself for a presidential run. Her first big event as a private citizen is an Aug. 8 address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

Even Palin’s supporters are troubled by her “rejection of civic responsibility” in stepping down, said Steve Haycox in the Anchorage Daily News. By “quitting in midstream,” she told Alaskans that they “simply don’t count.” She made that clear as soon as she returned from her stint as John McCain’s running mate, said Suzy Khimm in The New Republic. Legislators from both parties found her “nearly impossible to work with,” as she adopted a “hard-line conservative” posture at odds with her reputation as a reformer.

Yet Palin remains “a unique political personality,” said Dan Balz in The Washington Post. Not only does she “stoke passions” among the GOP base, she “generates fascination even among Americans who disagree with her.” Free now “to take on the issues of her choosing,” Palin will undoubtedly be a force in American politics, regardless of whether she mounts a presidential campaign.

Either way, this could get ugly, said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. In her farewell address, Palin did little but throw red meat to the conservative faithful, accusing Hollywood, liberals, and the media of being “hellbent maybe on tearing down our nation.” Palin is playing the “politics of cultural resentment.” Could that be a problem for a Republican Party “seeking to move beyond its conservative base? You betcha.”

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