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Bridge to nowhere belongs to Sarah Palin

At first it was unclear how the bridge to nowhere was linked to the soon-to-be-ex Governor of Alaska, except that she supported it before she denied it.

Now it is all very clear.

Sarah Palin’s career has been short but exciting.

Picked as a very surprising VP candidate to run with John McCain in 2008 Sarah Palin entered the national scene with an electrifying convention speech.

She appeared to be a perfect fit for the somewhat lackluster, older politician that McCain had become somewhere during the 2008 election season.

Sarah was attractive, ultra conservative, unstained by political baggage, and held an every woman type of attraction to many potential voters.

The campaign spiked in popularity, and for 10 days seemed ready to win the election.

But then came the Palin bridge burning habit, annoying at best, defeating at worst. As many conservatives have since noted, Palin was not prepared on the national issues and while voters can be tolerant of gaffs and misstatements by politicians, they generally expect a person who could be our president to know at least as much as Katie Couric on national issues. Palin did not.

Her defense that the media was being unfair to her by asking such direct questions as what newspapers she read did not sound convincing.

As the Palin limitations became apparent her public support among Independent voters dropped and the ticket of McCain/Palin sagged in the polls.

Palin then began her first bridge burning as she resisted the advice of the McCain provided handlers for her campaign.

Much has now been written about the internal tensions between the Palin and McCain people. One of McCain’s aides commented “she doesn’t even know what she doesn’t know.” One burned bridge, one lost election.

But Palin shrugged off the election loss and returned to her elected position as Governor of Alaska. Only to discover that Alaska seemed so much smaller after becoming the Darling of the conservative movement.

Palin now has a book deal with a large advance, and speaking opportunities that offer big fees. She also has a national conservative following interested in seeing her as a Presidential candidate in 2012.

How does a Governor go back to small state budget issues with so much opportunity facing her?

How does she consider Chapter One when nagged by bothersome ethics charges, several of which came from Alaskan Republicans. One of which simply demanded she return to Alaska money for her families’ personal travel expenses?

The answer is she cannot be bothered to serve out her elected term as Governor of Alaska. Sarah Palin resigned as Governor without serving out her first term because to stay would be being a quitter.

She left her job because she wanted to serve her country. She quit because otherwise she would have been unmotivated to be a Lame Duck Governor.

One might guess that Alaskan voters would find Palin’s reasons less that acceptable. Palin has basically told Alaskans she is simply too big for the job and others, smaller folks, could serve the state more capably.

This too will be a bridge burned, and should Palin run for President ever, she might find Alaska voting for any other candidate.

As for any Presidential aspirations of Palin, her already difficult challenge with Independent voters was negatively influenced by her quitting Alaska. If you can’t serve Alaska, why would anyone think you could serve America?

Sarah Palin has burned her final bridge … she is now stranded on the bridge to nowhere … an Alaskan failure, again.

Jim Crawford is a contributing columnist for The Tribune and a former educator at Ohio University Southern.