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July 6, 2009
By Michael P. Falco, Account Assistant
I think we are all just about on Sarah Palin overload. But I would be remiss if I did not throw my hat into the ring. I will let the blogosphere and pundits continue to get to the bottom of Governor Palin’s abrupt decision to resign her post. (One explanation thrown around is that she may have been overwhelmed by mounting legal fees).
While idle speculation always seems to be the name of the game, I felt compelled to focus on the one tangible aspect of Palin’s announcement: her press conference. The speech is probably the primary reason why so many people have been left scratching their heads, both because it really gave us no clue to why she quit and the speech was, well, bizarre. I saw at least five takeaways from that speech:
1. Have a clear message. That speech was filled with contradictions. At one moment it seemed like she was done with political life for good, while in the very next breath she seemed to be staking a claim for the 2012 Republican presidential nod. She was all over the place and I am still not sure what she wanted me to take away from her speech.
2. Speak slowly. I am going to take her speech and statements at face value and, until I hear otherwise, assume what she did was truly just to avoid being a “lame duck” governor. However, she was so frantic and speaking so rapidly, I can see why so many people have assumed there was an underlying motive: her demeanor screamed “I’m guilty of something.” Which, at this point, appears not to be the case.
3. Be accurate. I am among the believers that most great things have already been said by somebody other than myself. So, I appreciated her decision to end her speech with a bang by quoting Maj. Gen. Oliver Prince Smith. The only problem is that she attributed it to Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Granted, this is a minor mix up. But, it’s silly mistakes like this that risk undermining your credibility — this is one of those silly mistakes that should have been easy to catch through a pretty basic google search.
4. Have friends (experts) ready to back you up. This was a momentous announcement. If Governor Palin really has political ambitions beyond Alaska, she should have spent a little more time being sure others were on board. Many of the people who should have been in her corner were so taken back by the announcement, with little understanding of Governor Palin’s motivations, that they couldn’t eloquently articulate a defense of their political ally.
5. Avoid sports metaphors. I know she was Sarah Barracuda. But, by the third sports metaphor, all I could think was “man, this is some seriously lazy writing.” I mean seriously, references to “full court presses”, “passing the ball”, and “calling audibles” — ugh.