Ben Finzel

Sarah Palin Steps Out of The Spotlight? I Don't Think So.

Filed By Ben Finzel | July 25, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics, The Movement

I know I'm not the only one who doesn't want to have Sarah Palin as a neighbor - and leader - in the White House. But as the media and blogosphere has focused on her last days in office (after her surprising decision to resign her position mid-term), I feel like one of the few folks who sees her decision for what it is.

To me, this is just one more step in Sarah Palin's singular focus on promoting Sarah Palin. Just because she's seemingly "leaving the spotlight" now doesn't mean she's leaving it forever. In fact, I think this is merely an interlude before the next blast of "all Palin, all the time" in advance of the 2012 presidential election (something also pointed out in a recent story).

Unless there is some "other shoe" yet to drop (another investigation or further information about her alleged ethics issues with fundraising), I think there is only one reason for this decision: Palin wants to set herself up for a presidential run.

She has - rightly, I think - calculated that taking herself out of the public eye will allow her to quietly create a movement outside of the spotlight. Palin will resign and hand over power to Lieutenant Governor, and fellow Republican, Sean Parnell, at a picnic in Fairbanks on Sunday.

She'll likely take this time to build her base and talk to those who are her most ardent supporters. Then, when she's ready, she'll be able to step back into the spotlight with the strong support of a grassroots base that has been cultivated and is primed to vocally support the "underdog" and "good girl" of the Republican candidate pool.

I think her plan is to try to quietly tend to her flock outside the glare of the lights and constant attention and ridicule that she's endured since John McCain picked her as his running mate last August. I'm not suggesting this will work (will the media really stop talking about her once she's out of office?), but I do think it's Palin's plan.

What does this have to do with LGBTQ issues? Plenty. If I'm right, and Palin uses this "time off" to mobilize her base (when she can focus totally on herself without that pesky governing responsibility), LGBTQ people and our allies have a lot to worry about. Palin will be talking to those very folks who would (and have) deny us our full equality under the law. And she'll stoke this base by telling them what they want to hear (cloaked in nice words, of course) about the threat of "professional politicians" who want to listen to "special interests" on issues that will "undermine the principles of our great democracy." Ugh.

I really hope I'm wrong, but my political experience and instinct tells me this scenario is a very real possibility.

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