Why Does Sean Hannity Insist on Calling Sarah Palin ‘Governor?’
I’ve taken the high road by forcing myself to watch Sean Hannity show after President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
Actually, I started with Fox, couldn’t deal with it, switched to MSNBC, realized I couldn’t deal with it either, and figured that I could at least learn something about the GOP party line by switching back to Fox. So I did. Just in time for a Sarah Palin guest spot.
Hannity’s show is difficult to watch for a lot of reasons. So is any interview by anyone with Sarah Palin. The two of them together are almost unbearable as one struggles — usually in vain — to find something that feels unscripted amid the softball questions and reciprocal stroking.
But what really got me was the fact that within the span of a few short minutes, I heard Hannity address Sarah Palin as “governor” at least three times. Not a flub, not a one-time gaffe — three times. Had I tuned in earlier in the interview, I’m sure I would have heard it more times than three.
Let’s get something straight. That’s to say, let’s underscore the obvious: Sarah Palin is not a governor. She’s not even a “governor” in ironi-quotes, which is what one might have called her during and after the 2008 presidential campaign. In fact, she doesn’t hold any form of public office whatsoever. The governorship she used to have was abandoned before she finished her term. Experts are still deciphering her Twitter tweets to figure out exactly why she left.
You had to feel sorry for the next guest, Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, who is actually a really real governor and commanded much less respect from Hannity, who couldn’t refrain from interrupting him every 30 seconds.
Still watching. I’ll post a clip once it goes up online.
I understand full well the standard etiquette with addressing former high office holders. I know that former presidents are still called “Mr. President.” I know it’s common to do the same for former governors.
It doesn’t change the fact that when Palin abandoned her office — an office she was trusted by the people of Alaska to serve to completion — she lost a lot of respect in my book. To have abandoned her post after two and-a-half years in favor of ultimately becoming an author and a paid talking head for Fox News is deplorable.
My point is largely rhetorical, though I admit it could have been better written: it has nothing to do with whether or not I agree with her politics. It’s the principal of the thing. Finish your term and I’ll call you governor. Finish your term and wait the two years required by the Alaska state Ethics Act before you start profiting from things like book deals and speaking engagements — then I’ll call you governor.
Quit your post half-way through and jump right into profit punditry, and ”Ms. Palin” is all you’ve earned.