Monday, July 06, 2009

Waiting for the other Shoe

If you've watched the news at any point in the last week, it's been filled with Michael Jackson retrospectives, heath-care debates, the governer of South Carolina digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole every time he holds a press conference, and, just for some comic relief, Sarah Palin quit.

Because she needs to focus on other things, she says. Because she doesn't want to be a lame duck and be ineffective in Alaska, and apparently she oesn't like not getting her way. It's pretty common, she says, and we're just being mean (and being threatened with lawsuits) in criticizing her rambling, incoherent and hastily-put-together speech.
And though it's honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make.
While I'd love for any media pundit to actually ask the question, "Sure, yeah, you betcha. Name a few." I know it won't happen. That would be just mean, you know.

So someone else did the research. Let's assume that she is referring to just Governers for the moment - so..."countless others" have resigned to follow a 'higher calling'. Well, let's see.
In the last 50 years only 33 governors have resigned:
  • 15 resigned in order to accept a presidential appointment
  • 11 resigned because they were elected or appointed to Congress or VP
  • 3 resigned due to scandal
  • 2 resigned after being tried and convicted of felonies
  • 1 due to illness
  • 1 resigned in order to prepare his fourth run at the presidency
Notice a pattern here? No one resigned because they were a lame duck or unpopular or not getting their way or even being investigated. Apparently, she's planning ahead for one of these reasons, right? Because I cannot see how quitting in the middle of her term is a positive act at this point. But I'm not a True Believer. Can someone explain this? I can't imagine a valid run for president (or any other national office) after conclusively proving that you simply can't handle the pressure or the job and have to quit.

Can anyone find numbers on congressional resignations? I can find yearly summaries, but nothing overall.

The TV is off at our house. If I see one more Michael Jackson piece or tribute concert or discussions about getting tickets (tickets?) to the funeral...ugh.

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