It is July 3th, 2010. Governor Palin is in Wasilla with her family, having just returned from a fishing trip in Dillingham. She has just been informed that a fortieth frivolous ethics complaint has been filed against her for talking with reporters at an Anchorage 5K race about her best selling book that had been released just in the Spring. Things are still moving forward with the transcontinental gas pipeline, and after a fierce battle with the obstructionist Alaska legislature, a prudent FY2011 budget has been passed.
On the national political front, President Obama and Vice President Biden are hitting up the links (again) trying to decide if the administration should meet with the head of BP more than 3 months following a massive oil spill in the Gulf. The administration had passed its first major piece of “reform” legislation –a government take over of health care–during the Fall of 2009 in spite of the protest of a sincere, bold, but somewhat faceless group of Tea Party Patriots. President Obama is on near cruise control with his agenda, with few prominent, outspoken, well known critics of his administration.
In June, Tom Campbell defeated Carly Fiorina and Chuck DeVore for the GOP nod in Califorina. Nikki Haley had recently returned to the South Carolina legislature as an up-and-coming reformer who had a strong showing in the primary for governor, but didn’t have quite enough to make it over the top.
Such may have been the visage of the Alaskan and American political scene had Governor Palin not stepped aside from the governor’s office and handed the reins over to Governor Parnell a year ago today. As Governor Palin stated when she made that famous, surprising announcement on July 3, 2009, she had no intention of running for a second term, nor did she want to waste countless hours of staff time and hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer monies fighting the ridiculousness of unfounded lawsuits. So she did what many considered a career-ending move; she resigned. Governor Palin no longer wanted to be relegated to spending the majority of her time battling dozens of baseless, frivolous ethics charges, which were not productive for her state. She instead knew she could fight for Alaskans and Americans outside of office, and she knew the man who would fill her place would govern with the same agenda as she had.
When Governor Palin announced she was stepping aside from the governor’s office on on July 3, 2009, she said:Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions.
Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn’t been cheap – the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the “politics of personal destruction” … Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other peoples’ money in their game
My choice is to take a stand and effect change – not hit our heads against the wall and watch valuable state time and money, millions of your dollars, go down the drain in this new environment. Rather, we know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time, on another scale, and actually make a difference for our priorities – and so we will, for Alaskans and for Americans.
A year later, Governor Palin’s message and intentions have not changed. In an interview with the Daily Caller last week, she said:The media incentivized political opponents to file false ethics charges and expensive, wasteful, frivolous lawsuits against me, my family and my staff, in an obvious attempt to destroy us.
I said, ‘Enough. Political adversaries and their political friends in the media will not destroy my State, my administration, nor my family. Enough.’ I knew if I didn’t play their game any longer, they could not win. I would not retreat, I would instead reload, and I would fight for what is right from a different plane.
Governor Palin knew that for the sake of her state, her country, her family, and her political voice, it would be best if she stepped aside from the governorship. She said it in July of 2009, and she said it in July of 2010. Her tune has not changed. It is hard to delve into alternative history, but one has to wonder how the political landscape would appear if Sarah Palin were still governor of Alaska. I don’t think it would be too far from the aforementioned scenario. She would have made progress on the pipeline (as is being done anyway) and would have continued to battle with legislators to ensure a modest budget was passed and state sovereignty was upheld. President Obama would be gliding through his first term tone deaf to the voices of the American people. The Tea Party movement would still be strong and vocal, but it would not have such a powerful voice, nor widespread coverage, had Governor Palin remained in office. The health care reform bill, stymied enormously by two words and a pair of quotation marks from the Governor, would likely have passed in the Fall of 2009, rather than the Spring of 2010. Aside from Governor Palin, there have been few voices that have consistently, boldly, and unabashedly spoken against the overreach and tone deafness of the federal government, the reckless spending, the negative impact of cap and tax, themismanagement of the oil spill, and the enemy-centric foreign policy of the Obama administration. Had Sarah Palin remained governor of Alaska, she could not be speaking in such a way without an ethics complaint being levied against her. Stepping aside from office allowed her to speak more boldly and fearlessly.
She likely could not have been a vocal supporter of candidates for office without outcries and ethics complaints from the anklebiters, and no one knows about the power of a Palin endorsement better than two fellow mama grizzlies — Carly Fiorina and Nikki Haley. Both of these women are definitely strong candidates in their own right, but without the endorsement of Governor Palin they may not have received the necessary visibility and campaign funding to put them over the top. The same could be said of other candidates, such as Susana Martinez. Governor Palin’s endorsements are helping to pave the way for many Constitutional commonsense conservatives to victory in November.
When Governor Palin uttered the words “I never thought that I, nor anyone else, needs a title to do this — to make a difference, to help people” in her signature display of self-confident humility during her resignation speech, it was unknown just how powerful her voice and how widespread her influence would be. Sarah Palin, without the official title of current governor, has been a voice for everyday Americans, speaking against progressivism, standing for the principles of our Constitution, and supporting those candidates who stand for those conservative principles. The anklebiters and the Left may have thought temporarily that they had won a great victory, but time has most definitely proven otherwise. Governor Palin is not a conventional politician; she is an unconventional leader. As C4P noted following her resignation announcement, Robert Frost’s words were true then, and they are true now:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
As Governor Palin has continued on this road less traveled for a second year, she has achieved more for America--even in spite the media’s continued attacks. In a Christmas Facebook post, Governor Palin mentioned that she hoped people in 2011 would grasp the promise found in II Timothy 1:7 in the Bible where the apostle Paul writes, [f]or the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” As a woman of faith, that Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline, is one she carried herself with when the mainstream media essentially accused her of murder following the horrific shootings in Tucson, Arizona, and she responded by focusing on the enduring strength of Americans. That same Spirit is the one she carried herself with when the media attempted to build new Palin closets in a vain search to find non-existent skeletons when they rifled through thousands of her emails only to find, to their disappointment, that she was a competent, engaged governor.
In this last year she laid out a vision of a restoration of America, delineated a military doctrine, and described three key principles to put America back on the right track. From the Restoring Honor Rally last August to her thought provoking book, America by Heart, to her One Nation bus tour, Governor Palin has rallied Americans to remember the Founding principles and ideals upon which our nation was founded. This spring, she laid out a military doctrine calling for America’s interests to be protected and American military force to be well defined, powerful, and autonomous. In her extemporaneous, impromptu speech following the Iowa premiere of the Undefeated last week, Governor Palin laid out three key things needed for America—“responsible development of natural resources, letting job creators do what they do best, and getting back to those Judeo-Christian principles that our Founding documents were crafted upon”.
Her endorsements of candidates and legislation in the past year have spoken volumes. The 2010 primaries and general elections led to one of the biggest landslides in the House and brought forty-three members into the House and Senate and others into state offices including the first female governors of South Carolina, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Beyond that, she has stood beside two key governors in times of great contention in these two years. In Spring 2010, she stood beside Governor Brewer when Arizona passed an immigration law that other Republicans offered criticism for or only faint praise. This past spring, she stood with the Governor Walker and people in Wisconsin who wished to make their state financially sound and faced intense opposition. She was the first major national politician to support Congressman Ryan’s Roadmap to address entitlements and reduce deficit spending. As Tammy Bruce has noted, Governor Palin does not run from the fire, she runs to it to put it out.
Governor Palin has taken a stand on every major political issue, often doing so with great prescience and foresight. She questioned the Fed's decision to engage in a second round of quantitative easing, warning that it would cause inflation and higher energy prices, which it has. She has spoken out on a variety of foreign policy issues as well, from Iran's nuclear proliferation and lack of support for Democracy to concerns about the START nuclear treaty with Russia, to a strong stance with Israel and warning of the threat of an Egypt controlled by the Muslim brotherhood. She has given speeches to business leaders on Long Island and in India, spoken to various trade shows, pro life events, and tea parties. She has traveled to Israel and met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and traveled to Haiti to do some humanitarian work with Samaritan's Purse. Her road less traveled has taken her all across America and across the world, and Lord willing, it will lead her to a position held by only forty-four other individuals in America’s 235 year history.