Palin: 'Politically speaking, if I die, I die'
• Alaska governor vows to save her state and America
• Palin makes clear she is still in the political game
• Resignation perplexes and divides Republicans
Chris McGreal in Washington guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 7 July 2009
Sarah Palin has offered the tantalising prospect that she may have destroyed her own political career with her shock resignation as Alaska's governor.
"You know, politically speaking, if I die, I die. So be it,'" she told American television when pressed about the wisdom of her resignation on Friday which has baffled and divided her own party.
But those Americans hoping they had seen the last of the former Republican vice presidential candidate who stormed the political stage last year will have been disappointed by her reappearance, in fishing waders, in a series of television interviews today promising to save Alaska and the country.
The point of the interviews wasn't clear other than to keep Palin in the news alongside Michael Jackson. But they were evidently staged to look as if the camera crews had stumbled on the Alaska governor hard at work as a fisherwoman in a remote village 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle. ABC news even took her out in her husband's boat and noted the fish guts on her overalls.
Palin did, however, make clear that she's still in the political game. "I don't need a title to be the one to usher in what it is that needs to be done in our state and our country," she told ABC news.
What that is remains a mystery other than vague assertions that she intends to focus on "energy independence, national security, small smarter government".
CNN pressed her on whether she is planning a run for president as has been widely assumed. "Don't know what the future holds. I'm not going to shut any doors. Who knows what door's open. Can't predict what the next fish run's going to look like... so I certainly can't predict what's going to happen in a couple of years," said Palin.
Asked why she quit, the Alaska governor fell back on her earlier explanation that she has resigned because her opponents unleashed a "political blood sport" of a barrage of ethics investigations that are costing the state millions of dollars. She also accused her opponents of trying to bankrupt her.
But resigning as governor will not necessarily kill off the investigations as the state would still be obliged to probe allegations of past transgressions. Today it was revealed that the Alaska attorney general is considering a fresh allegation, this time from a conservative watchdog, that Palin wrongly claimed a per diem to live in her own home.
If the pressure of the political blood sport is the real reason Palin resigned, it will suggest to some that she doesn't have staying power in the bigger coliseum of American politics.
There has also been widespread speculation that one of the ethics investigations against Palin has turned up evidence of wrongdoing. Her lawyer has denied it.
Palin dismissed the general scepticism and confusion over her motives for resigning. "You know why they are confused? I guess they can't take something nowadays at face value," she told ABC news.
The move has even perplexed and divided Republicans, drawing stinging criticism from some big names such as George Bush's political mastermind, Karl Rove, and Ed Rollins, who ran Ronald Reagan's election campaign, and who described Palin as crashing and burning.
Even the highly partisan Fox News, which championed Sarah Palin at John McCain's expense during the presidential election, is turning on Palin with one contributor caller her inarticulate and undereducated with "no credentials for any job".Source