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Exploding the ‘she abandoned her post’ meme

If anyone abandoned a post, it was AWOL Sen. Barack Obama.

In the wake of Gov. Sarah Palin’s announcement that she will resign her office before the end of the month, she has been the target of considerable crtiticism from the punditocracy on both the left and the right who sneer that “she abandoned her post.” John Podhoretz says the charge is disengenuous:

Strangely, neither of these commentators, nor anybody else for that matter, accused, say, Govs. Kathleen Sibelius of Kansas or Janet Napolitano of Arizona of “abandoning their posts” when they resigned to take cabinet jobs in the Obama administration. Nobody accused Rahm Emanuel of dissing his Chicagoland voters when he quit Congress weeks after winning reelection in November to become White House chief of staff. That these elected officials took other jobs in public service is meaningless; they all ran for full terms and decided that they wanted to do something else, so they went ahead and did something else. That’s fine, and so is Palin quitting for whatever reason she chose to quit. Being elected is not a prison sentence; just ask Barack Obama, who didn’t let his promise to Illinois voters that he would serve out a full term impede him from running for office; same with Hillary Clinton, for that matter.

Podhoretz adds that Sarah Palin’s toughest task now is not to study the issues, which he believes she could master in a few months’ time. She needs, he says, to “achieve an image of stability in her private life.” Podhoretz blames Gov. Palin’s children for what he seems to think is her Achille’s heel. Perhaps he would prefer that they become paragons of stability like the Kennedy kids, with all their reported problems with drinking, drugs, rape charges and the like.

William Kristol further deflates the meme:

“Why is it more admirable to run for national office while a sitting governor (or senator), spending a fair amount of time out of your state (or away from Congress), necessarily neglecting or delegating some of your duties — than to turn the office over to your constitutional successor so your constituents have someone working full time on their behalf?”

Why indeed.

Update: James Antle reminds us that “Mitt Quit Too.”

- JP

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