Sarah Palin: Take This Job And Shove It!

Is Sarah Palin laughing all the way to the bank?  Perhaps.

And if so, feminists of all political persuasions should high-five themselves.

I don’t say this lightly.  When it comes to public policy, I disagree with virtually everything Sarah Palin has to say (and that’s when I can actually understand what she is saying, clarity of speech and a grasp of the finer facts not being two of her stronger skills).   But hearing all the chatter condemning her for being a quitter and questioning her mental state got me thinking.  While it is entirely possible that she has taken a swan dive into the looney bin… it is also possible that she’s made a highly rational decision from a purely economic standpoint.

As is routine during campaign season, details of her personal finances were released.  With an annual income of $125,000 from her post as governor and a husband, five children and one grandchild to feed – she may well be looking to unleash her inner sugar mama given legal bills from ethics abuse charges that reportedly run over $500,000.  Power to her if that’s the case.  While her publisher has declined to confirm figures, it is rumored that her Harper Collins book deal is well into the seven figures.  The book is scheduled to come out around Mother’s Day 2010 which means she needs to pop that baby out asap.

If you had a choice between staying in a job that was making you miserable – or being the boss of your own time and writing a book for a seven figure contract… which would you choose?

I don’t know about you, but I’d jump at the latter.   Does that make a person “a quitter” or does that make a person empowered and brave enough to change course?   I, for one, and happy to see a woman (even one I would never vote for) be in an economic position to figuratively say, “Take This Job And Shove It!”  To me, that’s what financial empowerment is all about – the ability to live the life that makes you happy on your own terms… crazy as those terms may seem to others. For entirely too many years women have been forced to stay on life paths they didn’t want for financial reasons.  If it turns out that Sarah Palin resigned her governorship because she felt financially empowered to do what her heart told her to, I say we have indeed come a a long way baby.

17 Replies to “Sarah Palin: Take This Job And Shove It!”

  1. Manisha, this made me laugh – at myself. I’ve been so consumed with wondering what the heck she’s doing, wondering if she had some wild and devious scheme that she believed would somehow take her to the White House, that it just didn’t cross my radar that it could be a strictly financial decision.
    The fact remains that I think there’s more to this – and the other shoe may eventually drop.
    But I must admit that I have to agree – if Palin made this choice because it simply made sense on both financial and lifestyle levels, I almost give her credit.
    My inner perfectionist still says she bit off more than she could chew, couldn’t handle it and took it all of her own free will (and, I suspect, hubris) and left her constituents holding the bag. But my inner perfectionist is really annoying.

  2. Ok, maybe that’s true for her, but first of all her analogy of the full court press was ridiculous. You don’t pass the ball and then walk off the court and head home. Duh. It’s the way she says things that shocks me, not the outcome of the conversation.
    Loved your thought provoking post.

  3. Manisha:
    I agree with you on all points and I find that you are a refreshingly pure and generous feminist to find something empowering for women to do with Sarah Palin.
    I am fascinated by her, mostly because I find her popularity so mind boggling. As far as I can tell, she is even more dangerous Phillis Schafly ever was. She stands up there with all her power and denigrates women on every level. To say that she is making a financial decision is a gimme. Of course she’s making a financial decision: it’s that or ruin. Let’s look at Bill Clinton as another example of how this could have gone. He was fighting ethics suits that cost him millions and was completely broke by the time he left office. Yet he understood his committment to serve. Sarah Palin might have empowered herself financially, but as far as I can tell, she hasn’t governed the state of Alaska since last August, so she only fullfilled 25% of her committment.

  4. Interesting take. I guess there’s always a silver lining. I’m glad you found one here. If Sarah Palin empowers people to value women more in some way, then I guess that’s a positive…especially since many of her biggest fans tend to be male social conservatives with a 1950s view of a woman’s role. It’s actually great to hear these people screaming about sexism (for the first time in their lives!)
    Regarding Sarah Palin – I hope that at the end of the day, people understand that she failed not because she was a woman, but because she is an idiot. She’s an aftershock of the 80s culture wars that were supposedly between snobby “elites” and “regular folk”. She’s a politician that is out of place and out of time. She could have been elected president in 1980 or maybe 1988. I firmly believe it. But the culture wars are over. The liberals won, and Sarah Palin is a sub 40% national candidate.

  5. AS an Illinois resident, I can tell you Palin’s decision is far more admirable than Obama’s was when he decided to run for president after just getting elected senator- and then stayed on the taxpayer dole while he did it.

  6. I am a 30-something gay male who would vote for her in a heartbeat, and I have more than a few friends of my demographic that would do the same. She has a wider base than many suspect…

  7. 7 figures to write a book, when does it end, in a depression like the one were in now they should be happy they are even getting a book deal.

  8. Manisha, before criticizing Palin’s “grasp of facts” I I suggest you look into a few facts of your own. You could begin with Palin’s fiscal responsibility as governor. I think you’ll be surprised at just how effective she was.
    Compare the economic status of Alaksa to other states…look into the negotiations with oil companies that Palin tackled.
    And finally, do read this article which clearly delineates Palin’s very sensible and responsible reasoning for her step-down:
    http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jziegler/2009/07/09/the-truth-about-sarah-palin%E2%80%99s-resignation/

    1. I find the very strong emotions – for and against – Sarah Palin absolutely fascinating; she’s clearly touched a national nerve. Personally, I fall in the Peggy Noonan camp, … That said, I can’t help but note that when a male corporate executive (who has a duty to his shareholders, customers, employees, etc.) leaves a job after a short period of time for a more lucrative position no one bats an eyelid. My goal with this post is simply to highlight that when a woman – albeit a very polarizing one – embraces her financial star power, it still raises eyebrows. Here’s to a world where men and women (whether you agree with their politics or not) can both pursue the life paths they feel right for themselves.

  9. Manisha, this made me laugh – at myself. I’ve been so consumed with wondering what the heck she’s doing, wondering if she had some wild and devious scheme that she believed would somehow take her to the White House, that it just didn’t cross my radar that it could be a strictly financial decision.
    The fact remains that I think there’s more to this – and the other shoe may eventually drop.
    But I must admit that I have to agree – if Palin made this choice because it simply made sense on both financial and lifestyle levels, I almost give her credit.
    My inner perfectionist still says she bit off more than she could chew, couldn’t handle it and took it all of her own free will (and, I suspect, hubris) and left her constituents holding the bag. But my inner perfectionist is really annoying.

  10. @CI
    My inner perfectionist is TOTALLY with your inner perfectionist… on all points :). Thanks so much for writing in and sharing your thoughts. Here’s hoping that other shoe isn’t too pointy if/when it does drop!

  11. Aw, shucks. Thank you for your sweet note. I’ll do my darndest to keep putting out content that you and other readers find useful. Times are tough out there – and the more we all help each other learn to be money $mart the faster we’ll get this great nation back on it’s feet. Thanks for taking the time to write in.

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