Feature

Sarah Palin's disputed legacy

Polls show Palin's popularity hitting a low point as she prepares to step down as Alaska's governor

What happenedAs Sarah Palin prepares to step down as Alaska's governor, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that her popularity had hit its lowest point since she entered national politics as Republican Sen. John McCain's running mate. The poll found that 53 percent of Americans view Palin unfavorably, and 40 percent see her favorably. (The Washington Post)

What the commentators saidThere's no one like Sarah Palin, said Steve Haycox in the Anchorage Daily News. Voters started out admiring her for being so —as she said—"mavericky." Eventually it became clear that her stirring speeches were "uninformed, her mind untrained, and her reasoning illogical." But the real reason her popularity is sinking is that she's shirking her civic duties by quitting before her term is up.

"Why, in the wake of her resignation as governor of Alaska," said Janice Shaw Crouse in Townhall, "do the mainstream media continue their efforts to destroy Sarah Palin?" Americans should be thanking Palin for illustrating that "a woman can be feminine while being a strong, smart leader." But don't hold your breath—the media will never give up their "campaign of personal destruction" until they have eliminated her as a 2012 presidential contender.

The media and the public aren't the only ones who have soured on Sarah Palin, said Suzy Khimm in The New Republic. Alaska legislators from both parties say Palin's "national exposure changed her, moving her much further to the right than she had been and making her nearly impossible to work with." Palin says media attacks and frivolous ethics complaints made it impossible for her to do her job, but "it was Palin's national ambitions that were primarily responsible for her undoing."

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