Politics is dirty business and there is definitely a more seamy side than the photo ops, noble speeches, decision making. Sarah Palin got more than her share of the political roughing. Now she's throwing in the towel as Governor of Alaska with 18 months left in her term.
Of all the conjecture as to the reasons why -- not wanting to be a lame duck Governor, a possible run for the White House in 2012, a desire to increase her influence, rumors of an impending scandal, or a politically calculated act -- only one has any merit in my eyes: the personal attacks.
[Washington Post] Palin also cited the toll that life in the spotlight has taken on her and her family, and certainly it has been substantial. She talked about the relentless digging by political opponents and by the news media. She said she and her husband have accrued personal legal bills of half a million dollars from what she called frivolous ethics charges and "silly accusations." She said the state has spent millions on these probes.It costs nothing for someone to lodge an ethics complaint; but no matter how frivolous, the Governor is obligated to defend herself legally and personally, which means racking up huge lawyer bills. This seems to have been the strategy and it seems to be working: if you can' t beat someone on the issues or in an election, try to bankrupt them by endless lawsuits to get them to drop out.
This is dirty pool, and lots of it, practiced by persons with low moral aptitude. For a person with a larger than average family -- and a young one at that -- this is a difficult business to be in.
Even if the candidate or elected official has "got what it takes" to take the shots and play "with the big boys", the family likewise has got to be willing and able to do the same. It seems that gone are the days where family members were largely "off limits" to direct personal attacks in politics. I know my family wouldn't survive that grist mill.
As for the money angle, maybe that's why the millionaires have better luck staying in office than the average Joe -- they can afford to.