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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Blind Ambition--the education of Sarah Palin

In America we are told we can be anybody we want--even President. Every boy and now girl has has this dream at least once. You can be President. It is the ultimate dream. To be at the top of the pyramid in this country is nothing less than climbing the Everest of personal ambition and emerging at the very top of the world. So it is with Sarah.

She quit Governor for one reason--she does not believe she can become President without a full all out three year marketing campaign that will remake her image and put her at the top of rainbow of personal gain. But blind ambition is just that. We all must face certain realities in our own lives and Sarah came face to face with one of her own when she ran with John McCain--that she was not Presidential or Vice Presidential material.

This must have been a very painful woman who has seen no limit since she went from a beauty queen to Governor of Alaska. But we all do reach our level of incompetence as much as we try to avoid it. Sarah bested Dave Letterman. She even scored points against the liberal media elite. She has managed to say in the media glare. But this is not the same as being a Presidential contender.

Sarah does not stir peoples hearts. She is about exclusion not inclusion. She defines herself by who she opposes. In Sarah's world you are either in or out. A populist President cannot run on fear mongering and defining themselves by the calamity of electing the opposing candidate. We will ignore the old hate rallies that elicited cries of "kill Obama" and "off with his head" as desperate last gasp electioneering. But even if we throw those tactics out as bad judgement--in the final analysis Sarah Palin is provincial. She is small town and does not have the world view necessary to the leader of the free world.

Shout outs and hockey moms and family and God and country appeal to a certain core belief in American ideals, but they are not indicative of an expansive mind. We see Sarah now spending years getting educated on international affairs and the geopolitical strategies of a viable twenty first President. She will remake herself. She will lose her accent. She will change her hair. But Sarah Palin is a small town girl who became Governor with the same kind of popcorn drive gumption that organizes hockey teams, drives Boy Scouts, and fulfills a sort of Hardy Boys tenacity that might produce a Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Unfortunately this is the year 2009 and that sort of gumshoe tenacity is just not enough.

So we are left with blind ambition. Sarah is very ambitious and believes that if she puts her mind to something then she can accomplish the task. But there are limits. There is the curve of diminishing return and all the handlers and strategists and think tanks of the world will not save Sarah Palin from her final heartbreak in the year 2012. Blind ambition, in the final analysis, is just that.

Books by William Hazelgrove