The stepping down of now-former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin included a very nice 19-minute speech by the former governor. The speech, along with the transfer-of-power ceremony, can be viewed right here, for your convenience.
(Thankfully, this clip is courtesy C-Span...the only other place at which I could find Mrs. Palin's speech was at CBS News. No thanks.)
Now, there are very, very few perfect speeches, and this wasn't one of them. I did like the tone of the speech (and I take exception, for example, to CBS News's characterization of her speech, especially the use of the word "angrily", which she wasn't), and I thought she did a good job of talking about what the Alaska state government accomplished during her administration, as well as her timely warnings about depending on the largess of government.
With that said, Sarah Palin could have given the most perfect oratory ever seen on the face of this earth, and there would be people whining that: 1) she wasn't smart enough to write such a thing (because, you know, everyone else who gives speeches writes their own, right, President Obama?); 2) she's a quitter (meh, I'll give that a whole paragraph in just a moment); 3) she's a polarizing figure (that will also get a paragraph shortly); and on and on and on. There are people who have as their goal to destroy Sarah Palin at any cost. Notwithstanding that this is a sad goal for people to have (how about something positive?), these ankle-biters have succeeded in convincing some people that somehow a total and complete idiot managed to hoodwink an entire state into electing her. And, when she tries to correct the record, they file frivolous ethics complaints against her in the attempt to bankrupt her.
And the ethics complaints deal directly with the reasons of Sarah Palin for leaving office. Is it good for the state of Alaska to have to spend outrageous amounts of money and time to answer all these frivolous complaints? Of course it isn't. (Yes, it's also hurting getting her agenda through, because a lot of people in the Alaska state legislature personally do not like her because she wouldn't play politics their way, and also because there are national forces who would like nothing better than to bring her down.) And so Palin resigned, not because she is a quitter, but because it was the best choice for her state, for her family, and for herself.
Oh, and by the way, President Obama all but quit on his job in the Senate when he started campaigning for his current job. So why do Democrat operatives feel that they can, in good faith, try to stick a "quitter" label on Sarah Palin? Sarah Palin is not a quitter, despite what anyone says, and I invite anyone who disagrees to use actual facts, rather than rhetoric and name-calling, which is all most Palin-haters have at their disposal.
And yes, I'd say Sarah Palin is a polarizing figure. So what? So is President Obama, and so are many others. Heck, if Jesus wasn't a polarizing figure, then I'll eat my hat. Polarization is not necessarily bad. There have to be distinctions drawn between different sides of a discussion, and there are necessarily going to be things that people will not come to agree on. That's fine. Without polarization, we end up with squishy types such as Arlen Specter, who seemingly votes for whatever works out best for him personally.
I myself hope that for Sarah Palin, to quote Churchill, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Particularly in a time like this in which the federal government is expanding at such an alarming rate, I hope to hear from Mrs. Palin for years to come regarding the true and proper role of government.
Thank you, Sarah Palin.