We feel she was just not ready for national politics, thrown to the liberal wolves! I love this quote and I think it applies in this case.
Well, the "we" in this case doesn't include "me." I think she, personally and as a politician was plenty ready for national politics.
If there was an area in which she wasn't ready, it's that she as a mom was not ready to see her children dragged through the mud, to see her infant special needs son to be savagely mocked by the left in some of the most ugly ways imaginable, to see her 14-year old daughter become the subject of statutory rape jokes by David Letterman, etc. However, no parent, politician or not, should ever have to be ready for such a thing. Any parent, politician or not, that would let their minor children be savaged the way hers were in order to satisfy their own personal ambition, is not much of a parent at all. There is no doubt in my mind that this weighed heavily on her decision, so as a mom, what she did was absolutely the right thing to do. I would ask my partner her to put on his parent hat for a moment and consider how he would react if it were his own offspring undergoing the same - and ask his wife the same.
I have no doubt that she can take those criticisms that are/were leveled directly at her. Indeed, she has taken many such criticisms over the years in her rise to the top of Alaska politics, as she not only challenged the opposition party, but challenged the status quo in her own. You don't do such a thing (much less succeed at as she did) without taking an awful lot of heat from the other side. Yet she took it all without so much as batting an eyelash.
What was absent from that criticism though that was in abundance since her ascent into the national limelight is the trashing of her family. Indeed, I defy anyone to show me where another politician had his or her family so viciously trashed as hers was in the last 10 months. Furthermore, while I am not all that surprised to see it coming from the left wing, soulless bags of donkey shit that they are, what really sticks in my craw is the cowardly way establishment Republicans sat on their hands, plugged their ears, and pretended not to notice.
So, when you say "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen", you shouldn't do it flippantly and without considering how her family, minor children included, were being dragged through the mud. It wasn't simply a question of whether she, Sarah Palin could handle it. It's whether Trig Palin (1 year old), Piper Palin (7 years old) and Willow Palin (14 years old) could also stand to be trashed by the left wing media and blogosphere in a situation over which they had no control.
Sarah Palin took the heat just fine, thank you. But it's not fair to ask underage children (who should be completely off limits in the political arena) to be able to take the heat as well.
The other thing that bears mentioning is that the Palins are not wealthy like a lot of politicians. Thus, the plethora of bogus ethics complaints had racked up over $500k in legal bills, which is a substantial amount of their life savings. Now she should get a nice, hefty advance on her book, but it's not beyond imagining that more and more of that advance could be chewed up by legal bills if she has to continue to answer to such bogus ethics complaints. It's easy to tell other people to take that kind of a financial hit, but how many people want to do it themselves?
Those ethics complaints also cost money to Alaska taxpayers - $2 million so far. The longer she is in office, the longer both she and the state government as a whole has to respond to these ethics complaints - and waste even more taxpayer dollars while getting less accomplished in the business of running Alaska. By stepping out of the way now, Palin protects Alaska taxpayers, while freeing herself to travel more, earn speaking fees, and do other such things if she so desires.
I will say that I do believe she hurt (if not completely killed) her chances to win the presidency in 2012 by this move, but I also have a gut feeling that in the wake of what her family has been dragged through in the last 10 months, she's probably decided against it. Some, such as Mark Levin and Mary Matalin, feel differently, and while I don't agree with them, I respect their opinions and know they are both solid friends of the conservative cause (and I won't be upset if they are right and I am wrong).
My crystal ball works about as good as everybody else's which means I really don't know what she will do - I can only guess. If I had to guess, I think she's going to take a break from elective politics for a while, possibly until her children are grown. In the meantime, she'll probably stump for conservative candidates in 2010 and 2012. If so, I confidently predict she will draw huge crowds (as she does everywhere she speaks) and will put a few candidates over the top. She can still do some serious damage to Democrats, regardless of whether she holds an elective office or runs for one.
Beyond 2012, I don't even venture to guess. I'm not sure even she knows.
In the meantime, we need to get some good candidates recruited, particularly for the presidential race. Mark Sanford's meltdown and Sarah's likely exit from the 2012 derby means we now have a weak bench to select for opposition to President Urkel. Romney has great hair but is a boring technocrat who couldn't inspire a Grateful Deadhead to smoke marijuana (he couldn't even beat McCain for crying out loud). Bobby Jindal, while being very bright, is only slightly more inspiring. The RNC and establishment Republicans may come to rue the day that Palin decided to step aside, and may wonder why they didn't do more to come to her defense against the ugly attacks against her family. Tough luck for them, I suppose, although we could all be screwed if we end up with 4 more years of Obama.