When we first heard of Sara Palin, she kinda grew on us, huh? She was pretty, outdoorsy, family-oriented and pleasant - and she was governor of Alaska.
So, how has she slipped away from our favor and why does she have to work harder than ever to prove she has what it takes to be the president of the United States?
Well, for one thing, she gave up her job as governor early, making some people feel she was a quitter. And, quitters as presidents are not all that popular. Actually, someone resigning from office early causes questions as to motives and brings closer scrutiny. Who is the real Sara Palin? Was it Tina Fey?
The lady's explanations for signing off as governor were bewildering. Would she rather join the lecture circuit and talk about power rather than exercise it? Is being an angry outsider suspicious of the media a better role than governor of Alaska?
As a new public voice of the Republican Party can she earn a better income from book deals, speeches, possible television offers and stumping for other candidates?
There's no question about it. Sara Palin is in the national spotlight and her story is unfolding before the world. The last time she faced cameras, some felt she did not do as well as she might have. She was asked some questions by television anchors that caused many to feel she was not ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Back then, Miss Sara became the focus of humor for the late shows. Maybe before returning to the national political scene, she could stop by the White House for some beer and advice from President Obama. Those who would divide us seem to be doing that lately. She might be able to pass on to the president some tips of her own about salmon fishing and how to shoot wolves from a low-flying airplane. The President, in turn, could help Mrs. Palin in her relations with the press. He could assure her there are ways to keep the media from making up bad things about you. And, the President could certainly provide excellent tips on how to live life on the road.
As the former governor embarks on her new journey, expect her to be asking how to stop the growth of government and how to pay for stimulus and healthcare. She will want to know, and so will we. We wish her well, but she will work under a sharper microscope as she seeks to prove that a quitter has what it takes to be a president.
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Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author, and law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.