Of all the gifts given to the Democratic Party in 2008, I think Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was certainly the most delightfully unexpected treat- one of those "Oh, I never knew I wanted one until I got it!" sort of presents.
As it turns out, she might just be a gift that just keeps on giving!
In an interview with Fox New's Greta Van Susteren, the Governor of the State of Alaska admitted that maybe, just maybe, she wasn't yet ready for the national spotlight in 2008, but, golly, by 2012 or 2016 she'll be fired up and ready to go!
"You know, I have -- faith is a very big part of my life. And putting my life in my creator's hands -- this is what I always do. I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is. Even if it's cracked up a little bit, maybe I'll plow right on through that and maybe prematurely plow through it, but don't let me miss an open door. And if there is an open door in '12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door."
Reading Sarah Palin is significantly more difficult than even listening to her speak, so I'll translate for those of you who couldn't get through the block of text above. Basically, Gov. Palin is saying she asks God to point her in the direction of open doors. Sometimes she gets a little overly courageous and plows through doors she shouldn't have- doors that lead her to finding herself explaining why the fact the Bering Strait is all that separates her state from Russia makes her the next Henry Kissinger- moments like that that, really, are just better avoided in public life. She then goes on to say that, holy heck, she might just be willing to try this all again in 2012 because, dang it, this was all just so much fun this time around, maybe next time she'll even manage to spend $300,000 on clothes!
As to Palin's admission she might have jumped onto the national stage a bit too soon, I, of course, agree, and really do pity her a little bit. The kind of spotlight she was suddenly under wasn't anything she had ever experienced, nor did she have any real idea of what to expect going in- because of that I really honestly do feel a little sorry for her.
With that said, if she honestly thinks 2012 is going to be more fertile ground for her brand of radical right-wing lunacy, I say, "Bring it on."
Palin's problem isn't just that she's greener behind the ears than the Green Giant, it's that she's out of her depth when it comes to the issues facing the country today. Sure, she can fire up a crowd of social conservatives with her rhetoric on abortion, gays, and the Second Amendment, but she pitifully clueless when it comes to foreign policy, economic policy, and, really, any of the sort of meat-and-potatoes issues that really effect the way Americans live our lives. Sure, she can revel as her adoring crowds cheer as she alludes President-Elect Barack Obama is a terrorist, but the very idea of her a heartbeat away from the Oval Office made my nearly 80-year-old Republican grandmother vote for Obama- something that I'm sure would not have happened had Senator John McCain picked nearly anyone else to be his Vice President.
So, dear Governor Palin, if you want to serve the party to which you belong (unless we're talking about the Alaskan Independence Party, which is a whole different can of secessionist worms), the very, very best thing you can do is vanish back into the barren no-man's-land of your state, never to cast your shadow upon the national stage again, for your very presence there damages your brand, hurts your party, and drives the formally faithful away looking for something, anything less radical.
Here's hoping, though, that you serve your own ambition, and that in 2012 we've got an Obama vs Palin match on our hands. You'll deal your party a drubbing unlike it has seen since the rout of Barry Goldwater in 1964. But at least you'll be true to your principals- and you'll help usher in mine.