In a rather bizarre, rambling announcement speech last summer, Sarah Palin announced she was resigning her position as governor of Alaska after just two years in office. She was doing it, she said, for Alaska.
Rather than take “the quitter’s way out” of hunkering down and plodding through her duties, she said, she had decided to take another course, “to build UP this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic, free people!” She wouldn’t go with the flow, because “only dead fish ‘go with the flow’.”
In reality, as a new story in New York magazine documents, Palin did it for the money, and it lays out a pretty good case that the decision was the right one:
“The numbers are staggering. Over the past year, Palin has amassed a $12 million fortune and shows no sign of slowing down. Her memoir has so far sold more than 2.2 million copies, and Palin is planning a second book with HarperCollins. This January, she signed a three-year contributor deal with Fox News worth $1 million a year, according to people familiar with the deal. In March, Palin and Burnett sold her cable show to TLC for a reported $1 million per episode, of which Palin is said to take in about $250,000 for each of the eight installments.”
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with making money, and these days there’s no more American way to make money than to cash in on your celebrity, whether you acquired it by having eight children, playing golf better than anyone on the planet, sleeping with the guy who plays golf better than anyone on the planet or running for vice president.
Reading the “New York” piece, you get the sense that Palin probably won’t be making a serious bid for the presidency because in an odd way she has become bigger than all that. She is a brand, and the confines and demands of a presidential campaign wouldn’t allow Sarah to be Sarah.
“Running for president is no doubt part of her business model,” Gabriel Sherman writes. “But forget elections (as many Palin supporters already seem to have done); she’s already the president of an alternative America — and also its CEO.”