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Sarah Palin Resigns



That was weird.

The main thing I'd point out about Sarah Palin's dazzlingly incoherent farewell is that it's pretty clear she wrote it herself. The proof is in the punctuation. The transcript was posted to her official Web site earlier today. The style is closer to a high schooler's angry diary entry than to an official speech. I've read a lot of speech transcripts. They tend to have fewer words in all capital letters. And fewer things in quotation marks that aren't actually, you know, quotes. And I've never seen an official speech transcript, written by an actual speechwriter, that contains this:

*((Gotta put First Things First))*

And that's not even getting into the self-pitying shots at the press, the fact that she mocked those who take "the quitter's way out" in a speech dedicated to quitting, or this agonizing sports metaphor:

A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket… and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can WIN. And I’m doing that – keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities – smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it’s time to pass the ball – for victory.

All of which suggests that today's speech wasn't the carefully vetted product of the team quietly masterminding her presidential run (What's the difference between a pitbull going for a walk and Sarah Palin? The pitbull has a plan.) I don't know if Palin is leaving office to preempt a coming scandal or simply because she's finished with the job. But this looks like the impulsive decision of an impulsive politician. It doesn't exactly scream president-in-waiting.

Photo credit: AP Photo/The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Robert DeBerry.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 3, 2009; 8:12 PM ET
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I wasn't going to read the transcript (because really, once you seen it live...), but since you mentioned ALL CAPs, I clicked.

Wow. It's beyond stunning, and I didn't think anything could be from Palin. Obama only won by about 8 pts. She was 8 pts from VPOTUS.


Posted by: evietoo | July 3, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

They cleaned up the transcript as ridicule was making its way across the net. Caps, begone.

Posted by: evietoo | July 3, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

That sports metaphor was incredibly painful to listen to. First off, it had that really awkward start:

"Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me – sports… basketball."

It was like, "I am going to now use a metaphor that I can understand. Birds...oriole."

Then came the analogy and it was so stilted and disjointed, I wasn't sure she even understood her own analogy, and she definitely didn't come off as "comfortable" with it.

I too found it incredibly weird that she specifically mocked "quitters" when her whole speech could be summed up with, "I quit."

Posted by: nylund | July 3, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, I think that your final thought really sums up the whole event. It was not the speech of someone who has a crack political team in place.

And for all the conservative pundits who say she's "crazy like a fox" I have not seen a single "fox" moment, but plenty of crazy ones since she emerged as McCain's running mate.

Today really felt like when McCain suspended his campaign. It was one of those things that made you go WTF?? but when reasonably smart Republican strategists were applauding it, there was just a brief moment of, well maybe they're right? Naah!

We know how that turned out. And Sarah Palin is and will be unable to withstand the scrutiny that a 18 month campaign would take. Stick a fork in her. I just hope she didn't resign for health reasons. I don't wish that on anyone, even Dick Cheney.

Posted by: cswartout | July 4, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone get the original ALLCAPS version saved somewhere? Probably not.

Posted by: wovenstrap | July 4, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

TPM did a good thing by saving an earlier (I presume the original) version with LOTS of scattered caps THROUGHOUT. It's here

I presume some real Palinologists can peruse the original text and compare it with the video for some hilarious revelations.

Posted by: riffle1 | July 4, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

is it pundit s.o.p. to be so charitable? i can't believe you're attributing her troubles with the english language to the lack of a backup team. i'd wager and give 'charitable' odds that as a high school sophomore and on his worst day, barack obama could have produced a better statement in five minutes. no, her maladroitness is, to put it in an alaskan sense, absolutely native.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | July 4, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

i looked at the all caps version of her speech again today. Ezra is right: This speech is really a high school I-resign-as-prom-queen-because-the-cool-clique-is-so-mean-to-me speech in content and style. Kristol must have sat bolt upright, screaming, in bed last night.

Posted by: glewiss | July 4, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

From the transcript:

"In the words of General MacArthur said"


Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | July 4, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't even General McArthur who said that.

"Retreat Hell! We're just attacking in another direction." (Attributed to Major General Oliver P. Smith, USMC, Korea, December 1950.)

Posted by: kayjay503 | July 4, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. Did she say she had dodged bullets on a tarmac in Bosnia, and chuckle wryly at her own made up memory? Did she refer to all 57 states, or refer to FDR going on tv? Did she use a teleprompter? Did she refer to the president as "president America."? no....

Posted by: truck1 | July 4, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Did she say our constitution was written twenty centuries ago? Oh wait, the president said that in his remarks introducing sotomayor...But the 57 states gaffe remains the weirdest, because he said he was excluding Hawaii and Alaska. I think if you asked the average American waking up from anesthesia after surgery, they wouldn't say the US had some number of states other than 50. There's just no statement of hers, or anyone else's in recent political memory, that comes close in strangeness to the president's saying the US has 59 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Posted by: truck1 | July 4, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, let me get this straight. Palin says the following:

"And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn't run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks... travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe), overseas on international trade - as so many politicians do. And then I thought - that's what's wrong - many just accept that lame duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck, and "milk it". I'm not putting Alaska through that - I promised efficiencies and effectiveness! ? That's not how I am wired. I am not wired to operate under the same old "politics as usual." I promised that four years ago - and I meant it."

Um, I don't quite understand, you see. Palin notes that too many politicians take advantage of lame duck status essentially to take it easy, stop working very hard, enjoy collecting their paycheck for the bare minimum of effort, spend the state's money for what is really personal travel.

Then she says, "I'm not putting Alaska through that..."

Well, couldn't she serve out her term, and simply NOT "milk" her lame duck status? Is she saying she has to resign, or else she wouldn't be able to stop herself from "putting Alaska through that"?

Since she promised efficiencies and effectiveness, why not complete her term and keep those promises all the way to the end? Why is she saying here that resigning is the only way to avoid inefficiency and ineffectiveness? If that's not how she's wired, then what does she have to worry about? That being a lame duck is like a disease, and when you catch it you suddenly become a self-serving sloth?

Is Palin saying she truly wouldn't be able to prevent herself from taking advantage of all the perks she mentions, so the only way to save Alaska from her lack of willpower is to resign?

Really, it can't just be me who thinks this makes no sense at all.

Posted by: cordwainer | July 5, 2009 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Jim, darling, your comment that
"[people] can't believe you're attributing her troubles with the english language to the lack of a backup team.]. "I'd wager and give 'charitable' odds that as a high school sophomore and on his worst day, barack obama could have produced a better statement in five minutes. no, her maladroitness is, to put it in an alaskan sense, absolutely native".

I'd wager that BO would have greater issues explaining his cocaine use, membership in Wright's non-church "church", existence of 57 states, ability to "cook daal" (daal are simply legumes; I'm married to a Pakistani-American and can make "them"), with a beloved teleprompter (darling commander in chief's best crutch, lacking ability to make a cohesive statement without it), off the cuff.

Give it a shot, you distributionist Marxist. Especially as the employment rate creeps towards 10 percent for you family and mine.

Posted by: nay83 | July 5, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse


i will give it a shot.
not a fun way to begin a holiday sunday, but your comments shouldnt go unanswered anywhere.
first, i have to express my profound relief that sarah palin is no longer working in any political capacity in the united states.
and thank goodness, she is no longer in any position of leadership in the state of alaska. with all of its resources and natural felt like a sin to have her as governor.
it was an insult to the entire united states to have her on the ticket for vice president.
it was a grievous sin that mccain could ever have allowed her on the ticket, and jeopardized the safety of the world.
no matter what his accomplshments might be, they all lose their luster after he took the risk ,with all of us, to have her as his running mate.
and he knows it.
beyond shameful. that is the mettle of the man.
he played russian roulette with all of us.
many times, when a person has wisdom, great common sense and a just heart, it is easy to overlook lack of education.
sarah palin had none of these qualities.
she is egotistical, unethical, uneducated and proud of it, and has a cruel streak which is deeply dangerous in political life.
she also speaks before she thinks. which is a terrible quality for a leader.
i dont believe she will run for any higher office.
sarah palin doesnt want to work that hard ever again.
it is easier to have pretty clothes and work for fox news.
her major selling point is whatever glamour she has left. and her desire for power and money will be well satisfied with speaking engagements and a show on the preposterous "elder statesman," mike huckabee.
as for barack obama. he is probably one of the most brilliant presidents we have ever head.
he needs no teleprompter. he is the most gifted, eloquent speaker in any of our lifetimes.
and i am thrilled that he can cook daal, as our last president probably probably had no idea what it even was, couldnt spell it and would have some crass joke about eating it.
barack obama's ability to show an interest in things from other parts of the world, is another of his great attributes.
is it possible that could be lost entirely on some people, after watching shoes being thrown at our last president?
were you as concerned about the substance abuse of bush, as you are with whatever obama was doing years ago?
if you are in any way trying to compare the amazing intelligence and grasp of issues of president obama, with the ignorance of sarah palin, i feel sorry for you.

Posted by: jkaren | July 5, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

sarah palin's intimations during the campaign, that barack obama was a terrorist, were far worse and more imminently dangerous than anything said by jeremiah wright, who was targeted cruelly and incessantly by the press for weeks.
and what a final and graceless stroke...not even to offer an explanation to the people of her state, for why she had to suddenly resign. well, whatever "higher calling" prompted her to quick action to abdicate her position, it works for me.

Posted by: jkaren | July 5, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse


dont blame president obama's few months in office, for the decade of financial neglect, greed and abuses that fell on the watches of other presidents.
if you dont like the unemployment figures, then you have the clinton and bush administrations mainly to thank for that.
if you bring an almost fatal patient into the emergency room, do you blame the e.r. doctor when he walks in the room, for not being able to make him better?
you may not approve of what president obama is doing, but put the blame fairly where it needs to be.
and the extreme lack of patience to expect "everything magically fixed in a minute" is a bad habit we have acquired from years of excess and instant gratification.
those days are over.

Posted by: jkaren | July 5, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

and one more thing....

sarah palin "decides" she doesnt want to be governor anymore with out giving the people of her state any explanation, and mark sanford "decides" to run away for a few days without telling anyone in his state where he is going.
what kind of people are these?

and mark sanford "decides" he is staying in office after taking unnacounted leaves of absence when he feels like it.
how can homeland security not launch an investigation?
is it not recklessly dangerous for our homeland security to have a governor who thinks that is acceptable behavior?
homeland security is worried about our telephone calls...they should be addressing the reckless behavior of mark sanford.

Posted by: jkaren | July 5, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Sheesh, it seems that the right wing blogosphere still thinks that Obama somehow believed there were "57" states, and that therefore Sarah Palin's manifest dumber-than-a-cow stupidity is "all relative."

Obama's "57 states" comment was a reference to the primary contests that had been fought to that point in time, some of which were in Guam, DC and other non-States. He was bone tired and everyone knew what he meant.

Posted by: LincolnDuncan | July 5, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh fer cryin' out loud, I am so tired of this "bone tired" argument. My mother after a stroke would not have made that mistake. People don't lose track of such information unless they have an incredibly superficial sense of this country. He said he had visited 57 states. period. He said the constitution was written 20 centuries ago. He said the events in Selma inspired his parents, led to their union and his birth. They took place four years after his birth. I don't think he was lying when he said it, either. I just think he has no historical timeline in his head, and speaks rather carelessly when not on the prompter. Sarah Palin's supposed lack of learning is NOT in such great contrast to our present leadership. We have not had a president of great intellectual stature for ages, and yet we've survived. But it would be nice, for a change, to have one who shows a good knowledge of U.S. history and geography.

Posted by: truck1 | July 5, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"sarah palin's supposed lack of leaning is not in such great contrast to our present leadership."

thank you for adding some humor to my weekend!
the laughter from your comparison equals one piece of
chilled watermelon and two balloons at a fourth of july picnic!

Posted by: jkaren | July 5, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket… and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can WIN. And I’m doing that – keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities "

Agood player keeps her eye on the basket, and Palin is keeping her eye on the ball. So she's not a very good player, then.

Posted by: GingerYellow | July 6, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"lack of leaning?"

Posted by: truck1 | July 6, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

JKaren, you are not fit to carry Sarah Palin's hair extension box

Posted by: truck1 | July 6, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

What's the difference between a pitbull going for a walk and Ezra Klein? The pitbull realizes it's on a leash.

Posted by: jimtreacher | July 6, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse


thank you for making me laugh!
i sincerely mean it!
humor is in short supply these days!

Posted by: jkaren | July 6, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

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