by Walter Brasch
Sarah Palin said she had a "higher calling" that required her to resign 17 months before her term ended as governor of Alaska, and not to seek a second term.
I have no idea where this "higher calling" came from, but I suspect it could only have come from two sources. The first one is God. I don't know what God said to Sarah Palin, but I suspect it might have been something like this:
"Sarah. I am a patient God. But, you have tried my patience. You are an embarrassment to my ideals, to yourself, to the people of your state, and to your country. Me, and my wolves and moose, would like you to please resign and devote the rest of your life in spiritual embrace of a better life. Oh, by the way, I knew a Sarah, and you are no Sarah."
The other possibility of her "higher calling" is from the Sultan of Greed. I also haven't talked to him about Sarah Palin's "Higher Calling," but this is a possibility of that conversation:
"So, Sarah, what do you earn as governor?"
"Would you like to earn more? Lots more?"
"You betcha! Half my salary is already taken up on clothes and jewelry so I can be the best darned governor in these here greatest United States of America!"
"Resign as governor, sign with me, and I'll get you a book deal worth millions."
"But I've never written nothing before."
"All you'll have to do is talk into a tape recorder. We'll correct some of your facts, add some stuff, take out some stuff, and make you sound as if you were Hillary Clinton but without all that liberal nonsense."
"Maybe you could put in a lot of pictures. If there were a lot of pictures, I wouldn't have to have as many words."
"We'll give you the best writers and fashion photographers. You'll be in the Best Sellers list the day our—I mean your—book is published."
"You would do that for li'l ole me?"
"Not only would my team do that, we'll get you speaking engagements."
"But I already give speeches. All the conservatives want my opinions."
"It isn't your opinions they crave, but that's another story. I can get you speeches at maybe a hundred thousand each."
"And it's all mine!"
"Minus expenses, administrative fees, and commissions."
"You're taking a cut of my wisdom?"
"Trust me, Babe, we don't want your wisdom, but that's how this business works. You want to ride, you have to pay the operator. Now, about punditry."
"But, Sultan, I'm not so good with puns. Maybe—"
"Not jokes, Darlin'! We'll get you a radio gig. Couple of hours a day. You just say whatever you want into a microphone."
"That sounds tough. I might have to spend time researching issues, and reading something, like maybe a newspaper."
"You ever listen to talk radio?"
"No research and reading?"
"It'll only hurt your credibility. Once we get you a radio contract, we'll move you onto TV."
"Do you think I'll be able to do TV?"
"You're a beauty queen. Miss Wasilla. America's favorite hockey puck."
"Whatever. You're photogenic, nothing else matters. First, we get you a gig as a paid guest commentator on Fox—"
"Like, wow, that'll be the ultimate!"
"Sweet Cheeks, you ain't heard nothin' yet! Make the audience salivate when they see you on air, and we'll get you a regular slot. An hour, maybe more every week night."
"Wow! Like my idols Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly? Will Fox pay for my wardrobe? That's important. My contract has to have a wardrobe and jewelry clause. And makeup. I'll need my own makeup artist. And hairdresser. I can't be seen not looking like a superstar."
"No problem, Honey Bunch. Fox will probably throw in a personal trainer to make sure you don't gain any weight. It knows talent when it sees it."
"And I can make millions, just like Rush and Glenn and Bill, the greatest Americans ever!"
"Not as much as them the first year, of course. Maybe only a couple of million. But, hey, aren't I the Sultan of Greed? Am I not the one to lead you to the promised land, where you can rant all you want about high-paid celebrities and the government-controlled media? Did I not lead you to believe you have a higher calling than being a governor? Sign with Greed International, and we'll get you anything you want!"
"Can you make my ethics problems go away?"
"Hey, Doll, you'll be bathed by the media. Ethics won't be a problem."
"Sounds just gosh-danged wonderful, Sultan, but do you know what I want, what I really really want?"
"Whatever you want, we'll get. You're a money machine. So what can we get you?"
"Maybe a full time babysitter for Todd and the kids. They might be lonely without a wife and mother."
Walter M. Brasch is a university professor of journalism, social issues columnist, and the author of 17 books. His current book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available from amazon.com, bn.com, and other stores. The book was a winner in the politics/social issues category of USA Book News awards, and a finalist in the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group awards. His weekly column was this year's winner in contests sponsored by the Pennsylvania Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists; his column received honorable mention in competition sponsored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Forthcoming in August is the third edition of Sex and the Single Beer Can: Probing the Media and American Culture. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website, www.walterbrasch.com