The resignation speech of Sarah Palin: a deconstruction

In what can best be described as mildly coherent rambling, Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska, announced her resignation on July 3. During her speech, she alluded to a combination of factors that lead to her decision. Reading through the full text of her speech, I was able to extract 11 reasons that were buried deep amidst her wandering prose and tangled logic. They are paraphrased below (along with the relevant text from her speech in italics):

Gov. Sarah Palin (Photo: AP)

Gov. Sarah Palin (Photo: AP)

1. Defending myself against claims of ethics violations by political operatives is distracting me from doing my job as governor. Therefore, I resign.
“Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations … Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn’t been cheap – the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads.

2. Life is short. Time is too precious to waste. I am wasting my time as governor. Therefore, I resign to make better use of my time.
“Life is too short to compromise time and resources… Productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time… to BUILD UP.”

3. I am expected to serve out the term I was elected for. But that would make me a quitter. Therefore, I am quitting because I don’t want to be a quitter.
“… it may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: “Sit down and shut up”, but that’s the worthless, easy path; that’s a quitter’s way out. And a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just hunker down and “go with the flow. Nah, only dead fish “go with the flow”.”

4. I want to help people. I now realize that I don’t need the title of Governor to do that. Therefore I will do away with my superfluous title of Governor.
“I’ve never believed that I, nor anyone else, needs a title to do this – to make a difference… to HELP people. So I choose, for my State and my family, more “freedom” to progress, all the way around… so that Alaska may progress… I will not seek re-election as Governor.”

5. I have decided not to seek reelection. Lame duck governors milk the system by traveling around and neglecting their state’s politics. That is wrong. The best option once one decides not to run for reelection is to desert one’s post. Therefore, I quit.
“And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn’t run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks… travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe), overseas on international trade – as so many politicians do. And then I thought – that’s what’s wrong – many just accept that lame duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck, and “milk it”. I’m not putting Alaska through that – I promised efficiencies and effectiveness! ? That’s not how I am wired. I am not wired to operate under the same old “politics as usual.” I promised that four years ago – and I meant it. It’s not what is best for Alaska.”

6. The political environment in Alaska has turned on me. I want to take a stand. Therefore, I am resigning to take a stand against those who wish me out of office.
“My choice is to take a stand and effect change – not hit our heads against the wall and watch valuable state time and money, millions of your dollars, go down the drain in this new environment.“

7. I want to pursue my priorities for Alaska and America on a bigger scale. Being Governor is holding me back. Therefore I will quit so that I might better serve as a citizen.
” Rather, we know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time, on another scale, and actually make a difference for our priorities – and so we will, for Alaskans and for Americans.”

8. I am Alaska’s governor in title only. This is wasting taxpayer’s time and money. While some may endorse my charade, I oppose it. Therefore, I resign.
“Some Alaskans don’t mind wasting public dollars and state time. I do. I cannot stand here as your Governor and allow millions upon millions of our dollars go to waste just so I can hold the title of Governor.”

9. My children told me to resign, primarily because an adult said something nasty about their handicapped brother Trig. An emphatic cuss-word used by one of my kids convinced me that they were right.
“In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life – my children (where the count was unanimous… well, in response to asking: “Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children’s future from OUTSIDE the Governor’s office?” It was four “yes’s” and one “hell yeah!” The “hell yeah” sealed it – and someday I’ll talk about the details of that… I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently.)”

10. Even though I am opposed to governors milking the state for unnecessary travel, a recent trip I took to visit wounded soldiers in Kosovo and Landstuhl showed me that their work is of national importance and real while my work as Governor is local and superficial. Therefore I will quit because I want to do something national and real.
“My decision was also fortified during this most recent trip to Kosovo and Landstuhl, to visit our wounded soldiers overseas, those who sacrifice themselves in war for OUR freedom and security… we can ALL learn from our selfless Troops… they’re bold, they don’t give up, they take a stand and know that LIFE is short so they choose to NOT waste time. They choose to be productive and to serve something greater than SELF… and to build up their families, their states, our country. These Troops and their important missions – those are truly the worthy causes in this world and should be the public priority with time and resources and NOT this local / superficial wasteful political bloodsport.”

11. I believe “no more politics as usual” is good. Deserting my post is highly unusual. Therefore deserting my post is good. So I quit.
“I have given my reasons… no more “politics as usual” and I am taking my fight for what’s right – for Alaska – in a new direction.”

There was a twelfth reason. It was not stated explicitly by Palin the politician, but stated clearly between the lines by Palin the hockey mom. That voice said:

“The pressure of publicity brought to bear on me and my family since last August are beyond my ability to cope, no less govern. Therefore, I resign.”

Saying this would have confirmed Governor Palin’s limitations as a politician but redeemed her integrity as a human being. Had Sarah Palin the courage to make that 27-word speech then she would have been living up to her credo of “no more politics as usual”. Lacking that courage she couched her resignation waste-deep in 2,571 words of empty political rhetoric, transparent positioning and populist prattle. Politics as usual. Her constituents deserved better from her.

Video here


34 Responses to “The resignation speech of Sarah Palin: a deconstruction”

  1. 1 thorswitch July 5, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Very good job! It’s stunning just how much double-talk is going on in that speech and how very well it displays her willingness to say whatever she thinks will get her “off the hook” even if it makes no sense at all.

    In some ways, I think that part of what happened is that she got used to being able to bully people a lot, especially while on the Wasilla council and as mayor of Wasilla. As she started getting into higher offices – and especially on to the national stage – she discovered that the with more power comes more scrutiny and more critics – many of whom are already so used to politicians trying to intimidate them that the tactic no longer works. (Not to mention that the more critics you have to battle, the more likely it is that there will be some who just won’t back down.)

    If she does try to run for office again – ANY office – this speech should haunt her day and night until she goes and crawls back under her favourite rock in Wasilla. She can’t hack it and she doesn’t deserve a 2nd chance.

    • 2 nonrhotic July 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks Thorswitch,
      I think you have very succinctly summarized exactly how Sarah Palin came to be Sarah Palin. Had McCain never chose her, she would have, no doubt, bullied her way through the rest of her term in relative obscurity and been much happier for it. She was not prepared for the media scrutiny that comes with national politics and has fared poorly because, above all else, she is simply not fit for national office. With an approval rating of around 50% in Alaska, it could be argued whether she was even fit for state office.

    • 3 mugzy July 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm

      Sarah Palin can read a teleprompter. Period. So, she can now apply for jobs on tabloid “news” shows. She does not seem to know the real news or history. Her future career choices are quite limited now. And, most polititians aiming for hire office do not quit a post. I hope she enjoyed her improbable fame.

  2. 4 NB July 6, 2009 at 4:20 am


    You got linked in a thread on MetaFilter .

    Great post!

  3. 6 wyldefyre723 July 6, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Hahahaha…good, now she can go be useless without us all having to watch her do it. Good ridance!

  4. 7 Jon Bauer July 6, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Wow its about time… I think a lot of people thought she isn’t all there. Well I think all politcian’s should step down because
    we have everything going right already.


  5. 8 Ricky July 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I like it. Good post. Let’s just hope she doesn’t decide to run for president in the 2012 campaign.

    • 9 nonrhotic July 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Ricky, If she does run it would be fun to see her try to B.S. her way through the debates. I suspect lambasting Palin would become a nonpartisan sport among republicans and democrats alike. – NR

  6. 10 Doctorate Upholder July 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    First off, I love your deconstruction.


    Gangs of Seahorses (George Washington and John Adams’ new rap-rock infusion band) just released their first single and music video!

    Check it out here!!!

  7. 11 lawyermommy July 6, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    This over analysis of Palin is just as insane as over analyzing SHAY RILEY the psychopath of the “Black Female Interracial Marriage blog” A raging low life criminal peasant and money WHORE who illegally wiretaps my phones and has done so for Nine years. Shay Riley is a common criminal piss ant nobody who is a crass vulgar vomit of a pig. Palin, an unpredictable politician.

    However, the comparison stops there. At least Palin is not a suspected child molester, Pedophile or Predator as this Shay Riley aka Halima Sal Andersen aka Evia Moore also of the blog “Black Women Blow the Trumpet.”

    I honestly think people should be writing about more important things like SCUMBAGS like this woman who have been left to roam around online and commit felony after felony using the cover of the Internet to scurry hide and commit these vile acts.

    This woman being free is more news worthy than Sarah Palin’s resignation. Shay Riley is a Menace and disgusting a*** bucket who should be rammed into a jail!! Instead she is schooling CHILDREN in unrelenting criminality which will land them in the exact same place as their mother– a nobody committing crimes under the cover of the Internet.

    Give Palin a rest and discuss more germane matters like crime and criminals, Peophiles and people who probably sexually molest their children. People like this woman Shay Riley of the website!!!!

    • 12 nonrhotic July 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm

      Don’t mince your words, how do you REALLY feel about Shay Riley? (only kidding, don’t answer that, I’ve been to your site). I tried to check out the Shay Riley link three times, but it crashed my browser each time. Your defamation of Ms. Riley reminded me of how upset Palin has been about the nasty things said about her online. However, your character assassination of the a** bucket makes the Palin critics looks like rank amateurs. Sarah should be glad you are on her side:) Thanks for the comment and good luck with the derogation.

  8. 13 Forrester McLeod July 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    As far as my feelings about Palin go, you brilliantly and concisely nailed it in your blog’s tagline:

    “Nothing to see here folks, move along, nothing to see here…”

    Thanks! 🙂

  9. 14 1stboybandfan July 6, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Nothing wrong with her being a woman in politics that I admire as long as they respect the middle class and lower class people that need them the most and don’t abuse their powers to force people to the whimps of the rich, famous, powerful, and wealthly. I thought it was a good speech, but lame even for her. I respect most of her beliefs, but I think I can guess what happened if she is trying to go for 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised either. Check out both of my blogs. : and

    Trust me, the bottom one covers poltics too, or well soon, as well issues for consumers and writers, and yes, someday all bloggers too for companies or privately. So please read and enjoy and Sandra, your not funny, BSB is so gone with you and Brittany, they are so screwed and so are all the people you know to try and hurt me.

    • 15 1stboybandfan July 6, 2009 at 7:06 pm

      Correction, the second website is:, it is to help people, please view that and my one about the upside to celebrity culture that the shovenist business and artistic part tend to surrpress by some artists and businessmen. No offense against the men, it’s just is what it is. I did legally leave the contracts, Sandra, Brittany, and BSB too.

  10. 16 lawyermommy July 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    No matter what you call it, it is needed. People need to be aware of what goes on online and this woman Shay Riley of the site is a Predator. An online criminal. She is a 21st century criminal and thug.
    Cut and paste the site. Check out her other sites as well. There are many Shay Riley’s roaming around the Internet. This is a warning to people.

    Unfortunately, many people who are targeted by these crass felons allow it to cruise along believing that this type of conduct will pass. It never does.
    This psychopath female and others like her are online money whores who scurry around online illegally wire tapping, stalking and stealing from the lives of law abiding innocent citizens.

  11. 17 ConstantlyAmazed July 7, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Very good article about Palin that I’ll be forwarding, thanks!

    I feel really sorry for Shay Riley’s victims whoever they are, and also for whoever Shay Riley is, but it reminds me of this huge d-bag whom I’d like to go off on a random rant about for a minute and a half too, do you mind?
    His name is Ed Hill, an attorney in Portland OR. who backed out of a loan agreement after incurring costs of $2000 (appraisers, etc.)to the mortgage company my husband owns in order to screw up his ex-wife’s loan. When my husband (who thought he was dealing with a friend) threatened to sue, Mr. Incredible went on his legal listserve and called my husband “untrustworthy.” What a bottom-feeding scum-sucker! Or, as someone else hawking stuff on your page says, what a “shovenist”!
    Wow. thanks. I feel so much better. I wonder if lawyermommy might know Ed Hill, because now he’s available…I think they’d make a great couple.
    Again, thanks for the Palin analysis.

  12. 18 lawyermommy July 7, 2009 at 3:55 am

    I do not know any such person. Shay Riley aka Halima Sal Andersen might know Ed Hill ! She, Shay Riley aka Gina of the “Black Women Blow the Trumpet blog” is a low down felon! A gutter snipe whose ability to scurry around the internet keeps the authorities at bay for now.

    Why the FBI and US Secret Service cannot apprehend this Felon who illegally wiretaps my phone, uses Trojans to track my computer usage and activates the microphone on my home and cell phones to spy on my life.

    This woman is a vile REPROBATE and accesses hundreds of websites daily to alter their contents for criminal purposes.

    This woman of the website as I have said here and everywhere else is a Predator who probably sexually preys on her children.

    It is ATROCIOUS this extent of criminality is being committed by this crude and crass vermin low life monster of a Thug and yet she remains free!!

    This woman runs very many interracial marriage sites pretending to be interracially married and using the lives of legitimately married women like me as fodder for her PREVARICATION.She is married to a BLACK NIGERIAN CROOK NAMED AKBAR SHABZZ of the Project 21 site.

    Shay Riley aka Evia Moore aka Halima Sal ANdersen of the blog Black Womens Interracial circle is an online THUG yet this matter has not been carried by the main stream media. WHY?
    This vile WORM continues to elude law enforcement and commit felony after felony.

    Why can this matter not be persistently and continuously investigated??? WHY WHY WHY? Why should this woman not be divested of custody of her children and jailed???

  13. 19 BK July 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Most people don’t understand the power of Sarah Palin.

    She will go after the corrupt power brokers of D.C. now. Her words cut through the crap being pushed down American’s throats and she is freeing herself of the crap the left is pushing down hers. She has been Alinskied by the left continuously and her family (other political families are untouched)has been dragged through the mud b/c of her office.

    Heartland America can’t wait for her, and yesterday she began her “higher calling” by speaking out.

    Millions of Americans will be behind Sarah,even if the MSM forever tried to blindside her.

  14. 21 Mike Cope July 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Maybe if we all ignore her she will go away faster. Remember Wilde: “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.”

  15. 22 Gary July 9, 2009 at 6:58 am

    You are exactly right. I think she realizes everyone is on to her and she is going to capitalize financially while her poker is hot. I can’t blame her except she is full of c%#*. What is all the fuss about her? She’s of average knowledge at best. The conservatives couldn’t wait to toot her horn, don’t they look stupid now?

  16. 23 Shay Riley July 9, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Lies lawyermommy! Damnable Lies!

    ps – don’t bother looking for the hidden cameras in your house, you’ll never find them all…

  17. 24 anon post haste July 10, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Absolutely brilliant!!! Thank you!

  18. 25 Zoe July 11, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Reason No. 10 clearly states her plans. You don’t even have to read it carefully — she puts it right out there. Sarah Palin plans to join the Army.

  19. 26 howard July 20, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Tina Fey, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

  20. 27 Blooper August 13, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Great post! I loved your ability to translate Palin’s incomprehensible babbling into coherent English.

    I think whenever SP gives a speech, she could make use of your services as a Palinese-to-English translator. It would save alot of people from damaging their brains trying to sort out the word salad that she tosses from her lips.

  21. 29 Malissa October 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I need to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every bit of it.

    I’ve got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…

  1. 1 Twitted by CaptainsChair Trackback on July 6, 2009 at 7:52 am
  2. 2 Gnxc’s Weblog Trackback on July 6, 2009 at 8:06 am
  3. 3 What is Sarah Palin’s Higher Calling « Nonrhotic Trackback on July 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm
  4. 4 I’m behind the times, I know. « Life of Di Trackback on July 9, 2009 at 8:04 am
  5. 5 Top Posts « Trackback on July 12, 2009 at 2:20 am

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