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July 6th, 2009
06:22 PM ET

It came from Wasilla

Program Note: Tune in to hear more from Todd Purdum tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Palin is stepping down.

Palin is stepping down.

Todd S. Purdum
Vanity Fair

Despite her disastrous performance in the 2008 election, Sarah Palin is still the sexiest brand in Republican politics, with a lucrative book contract for her story. But what Alaska’s charismatic governor wants the public to know about herself doesn’t always jibe with reality. As John McCain’s top campaign officials talk more candidly than ever before about the meltdown of his vice-presidential pick, the author tracks the signs—political and personal—that Palin was big trouble, and checks the forecast for her future.

The crowds begin streaming into the Evansville Auditorium and Convention Centre a couple of hours before the arrival of the “special guest speaker” at the Vanderburgh County Right to Life dinner on a soft Indiana spring evening—nearly 2,200 people in the banquet hall, 800 more in an adjacent auditorium watching the proceedings on a live video feed. The menu is thick slices of roast pork and red velvet cake, washed down with pitchers of iced tea, and when Sarah Palin finally enters, escorted by a phalanx of sheriff’s deputies and local police, she is mobbed.

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soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Susan Lewis

    How do I begin?

    Parading one's children, like props, is inexcusable.

    Dressing as if one is in her mid to late fifties, when one isn't yet 45 is an affectation, and a contrived illusion.

    Insistently wearing one's hair in the style of a bygone era, that one never lived in as an adult, is another affectation, another contrived illusion.

    Confusing the time warp image is the up to the minute glasses, clashing with the outdated look (huh?) Especially when one's own staff says laser surgery occurred years ago. Another contrived illusion, a silly affectation.

    I looked at this contrived image, outdated for the wearer, and assumed she thought she looked serious, and intelligent.

    Then she opened her mouth, and removed all such illusion.

    The scary part is, she's an icon for the emptyheaded l'il sugarplums of this country.

    They turned out in droves, proudly holding their lipstick high.

    I cringed at the sight.

    A tube of colored beeswax is what defines them. Scary.

    If she could have dressed her age, quit the updo hair don't, and shut her mouth, she'd have been an asset.

    Regardless of my wholehearted disapproval, and eventually dislike, there's no denying she remains a very pretty lady.

    Just the kind of woman that doesn't scare anybody.

    Cute as a button, dumb as a brick.

    When will this nation evolve?

    July 7, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  2. Brenee D

    It is so sad that the brilliant and ethical Sarah Palin is having such things said about her. She is head an shoulders above Obama and his league of idiots who are destroying our country. Obama has a lot of people who he is indebted to for putting him in office. That is his only agenda is serving them, not the people of the country.
    So all of you jealous females who don't get what Sarah Palin is all about need stop now as you simply can't hold a candle to her in any aspect we're sure....hence the criticism.
    She is a woman of beauty, integrity, intelligence, and drive.
    That is why she is being shot at by those who just don't have it or get it.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  3. Manuel Rivera

    Mitt Romney finished his term in Massachusetts, even when he announced he would not seek re-election a year earlier in order to run for president. I am not a republican, but I admire that he stayed to focus on the state's plan for health care coverage for all and manage the big dig. One can choose not to be a lame duck and do real work.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  4. Jimmy

    "I quit" then next day bleets "I'm not a quitter" URGH This woman is a lunatic. All she wants is publicity.
    She has made her decision now she should just go fishing and shut up. She is history. She has gone by her own actions. If only she had the brains to realise it. She is no more – finito – the end.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  5. Jack Storrow

    Sarah Palin’s departure from the governors office to pursue a “higher calling” shows that her delusions of grandeur have crossed the line between perception and reality.

    Strategically, it is wise move by someone who is ambitious, even though she fails to recognize her limitations.

    As the darling of the neo-conservatives, she will now be able to freely raise funds beyond her dreams and build a much needed war chest for the upcoming elections without any restrictions from her government post.

    All she has to do is continue to reiterate the conservative values of the republican party, even if they don’t make sense and has no empirical evidence to back up her claims. The right will love her and fund her efforts.

    Whether she wins the republican nomination or not is irrelevant because she will become a power player within the party and whoever she helps win a presidential election will reward her with government post.

    She has discovered a new way to exploit her talents in the limelight, something she has done all her life. This new limelight, however, resides in the lower 48 with expensive clothes, cars, restaurants, security details, private jets, first class tickets, invitations, TV appearances, speaking engagements and overall jet-setting. Who would like to return to Wasilla after enjoying a snow bird winter in Florida?

    Her next steps will be to enjoy a down to earth summer in Alaska while resting from the hectic life, then establish a residence in Washington, probably part-time and temporary at the beginning, while the hoopla subsides. Her permanent move will be another press conference on how she has to work hard to answer the call for her country, but is best to establish her permanent residence in lower 48 for the sake of the family.

    She is no George Washington, who walked away from everything after the war to return to his farm. She does remind me of the movie Trading Places, where Eddie Murphy gets a taste of the good life and understands the reasons why to stay there.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  6. Terry / Washington State

    That was an amazing VF article. Explained how I see her to a T. I think her spokesman speaking to you that evening was sincerely rude. I SO APPRECIATED you saying, hey... I'm not into sports... several times to get clarification that many of us were seeking. You're second to none, Coop!!

    July 7, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  7. Art

    Palin quits in mid term, Sanford says he won't quit. "We" have a serious integrity and accountability problem in this country, in big business as well. Shameful!

    July 7, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  8. Betty Morton

    I am so disappointed as to the whys of the majority of comments and related articles are mainly negative and "rip a person apart ones". Even I can see not only why Sarah Palin resigned, but also why an icon is dead. People are more than cruel, even down right relentless and barbaric in their opinions alone of our fellow human being and neighbour, than I ever believed or thought they could actually be. My rose coloured glasses have finally come off. We consider ourselves intelligent beings, the compassionate ones, the loving ones, the forgiving and second chance ones. I wonder why and how people can be so judgemental, even down right cruel of one person who so obviously made a decision that I would hope most of us would have, place our families first. I have to ponder if these same critical people would treat their loved ones in the same relentless manner as so many have treated this caring and generous human being. What is this message being passed down for generations to come by trying to destroy yet another person? It is not what is said most times, but how it is said and perceived that can make or break another fellow human being.

    July 7, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  9. Marcus-Vinicius DeFaria

    Anderson
    Who cares about Sara Palin!
    By quiting she has shown her true colors and proven she has no vision and no clue that she has just destroyed any chances of being elected for any office ever again.
    We're so lucky that McCain chose her to finally nail his coffin shut.
    His decision to choose such a pathetic intellectually primitive inexperienced wannabe proved he had no good judgment and no vision either to lead this country.
    Republicans are just too uptight, plain stupid and hypocritical to realize they have become a sad joke by allowing a pathological liar and sociopath like Limbaugh to speak on behalf of the party in the national arena.
    It's sad to see the GOP has become a party laden with ignorant, judgemental, hypocritical protestant fundamentalist rednecks who only "embarrass" intellectually awakened americans in the international arena by denying science with their absolute creationism rethoric and making us all look like a bunch of retards in the international landscape.
    If the GOP is that intellectually challenged to realize they have become a cult like joke, they don't deserve to represent us anyway.

    July 7, 2009 at 6:50 am |
  10. EDMOND W MARTIN

    Palin won't be missed , If she's so tough on Russia , why didn't she volunteer to go with Obama? She believes she's a force in her own mind and she alone kept Russia from attacking us during her tenure. LOL. Too bad Alaska didn't have her Psycho-analyzed before the election , but then again so should've McCain as his people have stated.

    July 7, 2009 at 6:45 am |
  11. casimir

    Its clear Ms.Palin got a better offer.

    July 7, 2009 at 6:08 am |
  12. Dolly Jones

    let her resign the world would be introuble anyway if she beame president .she need to stay home and raise those kids she got .
    Her president a joke for real not hardly qualifided !

    July 7, 2009 at 4:32 am |
  13. Tonja

    I thought Palin was awful and not qualified to be a governer let alone a vice-president. So I wasn't surprised when she quit. Some how I knew she wasn't tough or smart enough to be representing any part of the U.S. Government.
    As a mother of a special needs child, what really dissappointed me about her was her choosing power and fame over her young children.
    Especially her young baby with down syndrone. What was she thinking? Did she think that baby was just as well with a baby sitter, or his dad, or her older girls? Take it from someone who knows children with special needs need their MOTHER like no other child does. And where was Sara Palin? Trying to become VP????? Funny she can quit being governer now but didn't quit when she gave birth to a special needs baby when he needed her the most???......Shame on Sara.
    This is what happens to some power hungry women who have children. There children suffer and it doesn't even matter if they are special needs and they need extra, extra care from the MOTHER !! SHAME ON YOU SARA PALIN !!!!! Was it all worth it ?????

    July 7, 2009 at 3:21 am |
  14. Sharrieff Saalakhan

    Evidently,Sarah Palin has become addicted to her 15 minutes of national fame,she cant accept the relative obscurity of serving the people of alaska.She wants accolades without the actual accomplishments that warrant them...poor thing,she was a cosmetic accessory that john mccain used in desperation. She has morphed into a c-list celebrity as well as a tragic and unfunny joke.

    July 7, 2009 at 2:54 am |
  15. nobuskidotcom

    Stop the hating. For real news, crank up the AC right here nobuski.com

    July 7, 2009 at 2:46 am |
  16. Training Girl

    Sarah…
    Keep followin’ the rainbow … it’s been brutal but you’ve past with flying colors! Know that It will all be returned to you…1000 fold and know that we’re here for you girl, praying you through … every step of the way!!!

    July 7, 2009 at 2:03 am |
  17. Claudia

    I am happy for Alaska. Yay! You just have a couple more days with someone in charge that has NO clue. Palin didn't know what she was doing. She just could not face admittttttting it. I just hope she leaves the political world alone. Stay away! Do not enter!! Good Bye!!! Adios!

    July 7, 2009 at 1:49 am |
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