Sunday, August 31, 2008

Question of the day: how will Sarah Palin gracefully drop off of the ticket?

First off, my sincere apologies to my loyal four or five readers who have been waiting what seems like eons for me to update this here blog thing. Once you take what is intended to be a two-week break from blogging, it's really, REALLY easy for that to turn into a month or more. At any rate, here's to what I hope will be an interesting and productive next several months.

The question of the day is how Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will manage to extricate herself from the national ticket without causing undue harm to herself or to "soulmate" John McCain. There are, of course, two options.

The first is the refuge of about-to-be-indicted-on-some-bizarre-sex-charge Republicans everywhere: "I am resigning to spend more time with my family." Palin is (cough, allegedly, cough) the mother of a 5 month old child, one with special needs, no less, and it is hard for any new parent to imagine how she could possibly find the time or energy to co-run a national campaign under such circumstances. (That's not a judgement, mind you, just that as a parent myself, I can scarcely remember the first thing about what I was doing when my daughter was 5 months old. It was rare that I had the energy to run to the corner store, let alone run a vice-presidential campaign.) So, it's not hard to see her ducking out and claiming that her family needs her more than the national party. That being said, I don't see it: it would be a huge embarrassment to McCain to have his VP candidate drop out for such flimsy and cliched reasons.

Which brings us to our second option: HURRICANE GUSTAV! (Here the observant reader considers writing me an email to inform me that Alaska is unlikely to be hit by Hurricane Gustav.) While her own state will not be affected by this national disaster, it is highly likely that Louisiana and/or Mississippi are about to be leveled once again by a Category 3-5 hurricane. I can imagine Governor Palin, whilst on a heartbreaking photo oppo--I mean, tour of the damage, finding herself overcome by the scope of the human tragedy, and suddenly remembering that MY STATE NEEDS ME! She will duck out of the campaign after making a maudlin and totally self-serving speech about remembering the values that got her elected, and that ordinary Alaskans were voting for when they elected her just two years ago. What would happen, she might ask rhetorically, if a natural disaster (Moose plague? Runaway glacier? Seriously, what happens in Alaska?) were to strike her state while she was traipsing around some corn patch in Nebraska? The consequences are simply too stark to contemplate. With a solemn nod and a wave good bye, McCain will bid her good day and welcome Mitt Romney back to the fold. Or, barring that, someone less feminine, like Kay Bailey Hutchison.