Health for power, power for wealth

by D.G. Martin

Health for power, power for wealth

Why would Sarah Palin do it? Why give up the power and perks that come from being governor of a state before her term is up?

She has everybody wondering. Many smart political observers have declared that her political by DG Martin career is over. columnist Maybe, but back to the question, why? When trying to figure out why political figures do seemingly inexplicable things, smart observers remind us about one rule that answers so many of this kind of political question: Follow the money. I think there could be a guideline under the Follow the Money rule that might explain Palin’s resignation from the governorship. Let’s call it the “Wealth Wants Power and Power wants Wealth” guideline. Here it is: Lots of wealthy people who want fame and power try to convert their wealth into a successful political campaign for public office. On the other hand, lots of political figures who have fame and power, but not wealth, try to convert their fame and power into wealth. Whatever you think of Sarah Palin’s politics or suitability for elective office, you have to concede that she is a star of the first order. She can fire up a crowd, and more importantly, she can draw a crowd. Whatever you think of what she says and how she says it on TV, she can look the camera in the eye, and what she says, her many fans love. Her talents are marketable. Millions of dollars for a book contract. More millions for speeches. And maybe even more for television. While she is governor of Alaska, much of her income-producing potential could not be exploited. Meanwhile, the Palin family is not rich, not even close. Todd Palin’s work in the oil fields and fishing industry, along with the governor’s salary, might have given the Palins enough income to live comfortably, but that money would not secure the Palins’ future. North Carolina basketball fans ought to understand. Every year they watch their best college basketball players leave their teams before their four-year terms in college are up. They do it be cause, usually with their college coaches’ help, they conclude that leaving early for the pros is the best way to exploit their talents economically. These players are trading their fame and talent for the immediate wealth that might or might not be there next year. If they wait for another year, things might not be the same. Their talents may fade. A career-ending injury might occur. Anything could happen. Basketball fans understand. Sarah Palin was in the same spot. She had an opportunity to turn her fame into wealth by leaving the team early and going pro. Her decision allows her to sell her valuable talents and fame rather than continuing to “give” them away in the governor’s office. If she had waited until her governor’s term was up, who knows what might have happened to diminish her current value. So, a year from now Sarah Palin is probably going to be a millionaire and getting richer every day. She is going to be able to buy “” and even pay cash for “” all those dresses she had to “borrow” for her vice presidential campaign last year. As a wealthy woman, she may turn her eyes back to politics. The new wealth will be an asset in any campaign including the presidency. Remember Kerry, McCain, and Romney. These candidates’ personal wealth played key roles in their campaigns. Whether she runs for president or any other political office, a wealthy Sarah Palin will be a force in American politics for many years.

DG Martin is the author of Interstate Eateries, a guide to family owned homecooking restaurants near North Carolina’s interstate highways. He is the host of UNC- TV’s “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Sundays at 5 p.m. Check his blog and view prior programs at