Like Palin, George W. Bush was a charismatic underachiever who hadn’t accomplished much in life and showed little intellectual firepower but was nevertheless presented by the GOP as its candidate for one of the most powerful jobs on earth.
However, unlike Palin who lost her vice presidential bid, Bush took the presidency for two terms – in two dubious elections – with disastrous consequences for the nation.
Then, even amid the wreckage of the Bush administration’s final days, the Republican Party enthusiastically nominated first-term Alaska Gov. Palin to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, which they hoped would be filled by 72-year-old cancer survivor John McCain.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's abrupt and unscripted holiday resignation is an odd way to launch a potential presidential bid and certainly no help for a party battered by scandal and fighting for relevancy.Yet from a folksy figure who catapulted from obscure governor to conservative darling and vice presidential nominee, it's merely the latest move in a political drama that has left Republican elders scratching their heads.
No one is sure why Palin took such an unusual path. All points suggest a strategy designed to maintain her political viability with an eye toward a 2012 presidential bid. Barring a personal surprise or scandal, little else makes sense.
Even in explaining her exit from the governor's office during the middle of her first term, former aides to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and current allies criticized Palin for what they said was a typically erratic and seemingly irrational act. McCain, who named Palin his running mate in 2008, issued a terse statement wishing her well.
"If this is her launching pad for 2012, it's a curious move," said John Weaver, a former senior strategist for McCain's presidential bids. "Policy is politics, and she has no real accomplishments as governor."