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Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.)
Scholar/Administrator

Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.)

Todd Henshaw, a professor at Columbia University, is Academic Director of Wharton Executive Education. Previously, he directed the leadership program at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Palin Struggled Under Scrutiny

It's likely that Sarah Palin's announcement had to do with her realization that she didn't have a solid chance at national office. She may have realized that the unflattering exposure associated with her vice presidential candidacy limited her freedom to effectively govern Alaska. Her resignation could also be an attempt to have national voters forget about the last two years, to prepare for some type of political resurrection in the future.

Palin is an example of politician who enjoyed local support and fared well in Alaska politics, but when thrust onto the national stage, the stakes, expectations and corresponding level of scrutiny increased exponentially. Her experience is similar to the pitcher who was elevated to the majors, but failed so miserably under the bright lights of the big city that even hometown fans lost confidence.

The national press found in Palin a novice politician who often spoke before she thought, and carried the same absolute and unchangeable ideology that responded to the needs of many conservative Republicans, but left the impression that she was more spokesperson than strategic leader. McCain was looking for the "anti-Obama" when he selected Palin as his running mate, but unfortunately, Palin never achieved the credibility necessary to provide voters a viable alternative.

When Palin returned to Alaska, "the cat was out of the bag," and the corresponding pressures and continuing national scrutiny probably made governing very difficult. I would hope that Palin left office because she really was interested in helping Alaska move forward, with the knowledge that she had become more of an obstacle than a catalyst.

Mavericks are leaders only if people see enough potential in their ideas to join the movement. Being a maverick is often a lonely existence.

By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.)

 |  July 7, 2009; 11:19 PM ET
Category:  Politics Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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i also loved the dead fish issue, all the washington politicians are freakin dead fish, just going with the flow, there only one fish thats alive and its sarah..

Posted by: darin_holmes | July 8, 2009 4:24 PM
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lmao-- the only scrutiny shes getting is from people like you.. you know, the election has been over for awhile now -- the TRUTH is that palin is a threat, but to the rep. and the dems, media -on the corruption issue.. after all they dont need sarah in there messing up there scams, kickbacks, schemes,ect..i hope she does run against both parties as a independant and expose all the corruption in washington, including the corrupt media

Posted by: darin_holmes | July 8, 2009 4:19 PM
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If Palin was a Democrat - or a man - we wouldn't even be having this conversation. That guy would've been long gone by now to "spend more time with his family."

She is very media-genic (no, duh, she is a former TV sportscaster!) and people can't resist speculatin' about her government type ideas and roles.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | July 8, 2009 1:36 PM
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Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw, thank you for the common sense approach. But Palin left for MONEY. Not an intellect but an OPPORTUNIST. She could care less about her state and this country. She likes the bright lights. It's obvious.

Posted by: lindarc | July 8, 2009 11:37 AM
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