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Jan. 27 2010 - 11:45 pm | 749 views | 1 recommendation | 8 comments

Why Does Sean Hannity Insist on Calling Sarah Palin ‘Governor?’

Camp Buehring, Kuwait - Alaska Governor Sarah ...

Not a Governor. Image via Wikipedia

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.


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  1. collapse expand

    Generally, former Governors are still called “Governor” as a courtesy and tribute to the high office once held. The same is true for the President and for retired military officers. He probably does the same for all ex-governors. It could be seen as rude not to.

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      I know, and to a certain extent, I confess, this piece is merely rhetorical.

      That said, I do believe there’s a matter of principle at stake: I certainly understand such deference to the governorship in most cases. But Sarah Palin resigned her governorship under circumstances that she, herself, can’t even adequately (or persuasively, or cogently) explain.

      She’s an author, paid public speaker, and paid contributor for Fox News now. She’s evolved into something else. She abandoned her claim to the title when she abandoned the public trust in favor of media stardom. And when guys like Hannity insist on constantly calling her governor, it feels more like a manipulation of the public’s view towards her than a mere show of respect.

      Again, perhaps I should qualify this piece by saying that it’s largely rhetorical. I understand the SOP. But that’s really how I feel.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        You are a hack beyond belief, and stupid as hell to boot! What a pathetic loser you are.

        EVERY former office holder continues to retain the name of the highest office held. Rudy Giuliani is still referred to as Mr Mayor, or Mayor.

        Presidents Bush, Clinton. Bush, and even Carter (the second worse President we’ve ever had)…are all still called President.

        After 2012 the idiot sitting in the White House now will still be called President.

        BTW, moron..they still call Mike Huckabee Governor as well as Mitt Romney. It’s a show of respect.

        Hannity also refers, correctly, to Willie Brown, former Mayor of San Fransisco as Mayor or Mr Mayor. Brown is a frequent guest and a democrat.

        As for her leaving as Governor, Sarah Palin, and others have explained it very well.

        Barack Obama’s hand picked thugs…actually they were hand picked by his campaign chief of staff, Pete Rouse, who is a White House adviser now……were costing her state millions by filing all of the bullshit phony ethics complaints.

        Sarah fought hard to save the Alaska tax payers money, and these filthy Obama thugs were stealing this money from them…over $2 million dollars, with no end in sight.

        So…Sarah did the smart thing, the honorable thing, and handed power over to her Lt Governor, who is carrying on her agenda in peace.

        The progressive filth thought their Saul Alinsky tactics would work on her, but she’s turned it around on them and is now destroying Obama on an almost daily basis, and has been since she stepped down.

        Sarah is in that fool’s head. She has his number.

        Oh, and looser…if it pisses you off that Sarah…like ever other former Governor is still called Governor, you’re really gonna hate it after 2012, because from then on, into eternity she will always be known as Madam President!

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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          As a lifelong Alaskan, I agree completely with Mr. Considine’s post. It drives me nuts to hear people accord her an honorary title when she bailed on her office so dishonorably. (Please recall that she insisted she didn’t need no stinkin’ title to do whatever it is she thinks she’s doing.)

          Mrs. Palin was hired by voters to do a job, and she quit for reasons that were barely intelligible at the time. Now we see that she simply wanted to capitalize on her fame and make a lot more money. Good for her…but she really should stop pretending she did it for Alaskans. She doesn’t care about us anymore, and we return the sentiment. She will always have an asterisk by her name as a failed governor.

          Mr. Jackson, your claim that Barack Obama’s thugs cost the state millions because they were filing ethics complaints is hilarious. (You forgot to use the word “frivolous.” Better review your talking points.)

          This state is far too small for anyone to get away with that nonsense. (In fact, she started hemorrhaging popularity points here when McCain sent a campaign operative named Ed O’Callahan to run the governor’s office and control the Troopergate fallout while she was on the campaign trail and pulling her governor’s paycheck. You can find web videos of the ridiculous “Truth Squad” press conferences that he and Meg Stapleton held to trash various Alaskans. Nobody has ever turned up an Obama operative as part of the ethics complaints. Their campaign office closed up shop here as soon as McCain picked her.)

          In any case, you also incorrectly claim, as she did, that the ethics complaints filed by these imaginary thugs cost Alaskan “taxpayers” $2 million. (FYI: Alaskans don’t pay taxes. We rely on people like the ex-governor to distribute money to us after raising taxes on the oil companies. Yeah, it sounds kind of socialistic, but we appreciated it at the time.)

          The ethics complaints were filed by well-known Alaskan citizens who were using an established process of citizen oversight. Mrs. Palin enjoyed trumpeting her (limited) role in collaborating with the Democrats to reform ethics. She just didn’t like being asked to account for her own ethics. It does seem odd that people who hate Big Government would want to restrict the public’s ability to question their leader’s behavior.

          You clearly don’t know that shortly before she quit, Palin finally succumbed to public pressure and released a spreadsheet purporting to itemize the cost of these complaints. It was a shoddy piece of work. It double-claimed some things, miscalculated others, and didn’t acknowledge that most of the work was covered by state employeees who were already being paid–i.e. the complaints didn’t create EXTRA costs.

          It also revealed that by far the largest expense incurred came from the ethics complaint SHE FILED AGAINST HERSELF. She filed it to evade the bipartisan Legislative inquiry that she herself had welcomed (before McCain picked her, of course). Most of the complaints were perfectly legitimate, and most cost less than $500 to investigate.

          I apologize for going on at length, but if there’s anything worse than the misconception that Mrs. Palin is competent now or that she was unfairly treated then, it is the inability of her acolytes to distinguish between facts and fiction. You probably believe everything she wrote in her book, too. You probably think she was “exonerated” in Troopergate just because she said so.

          But you’ll find out the truth of Mrs. Palin, by and by. She lies with a breathtaking casualness, and she believes her own lies, and that makes it incredibly easy for people like you to believe them, too. Sooner or later she’ll have to leave the safety of her Facebook foxhole and her Fox newshole and come out into the open, where people don’t throw money and confetti and softballs at her. She will lose control (again) of this carefully constructed fiction. It will not be pretty. I feel a little bit sorry for how betrayed your future self will feel.

          OK, I lied about that. I will laugh my ass off at the teeth-gnashing and the breast-beating of you and yours.

          P.S. Since you’re on such good terms with her, you might ask what she’s doing about the decision from an independent investigator that she most likely abused her office to establish that slush fund she calls The Alaska Fund Trust–the one run by her best friend. It’s supposed to be a legal defense fund, but of course Mrs. Palin is now a multimillionaire and can probably pay her own way instead of begging her beloved ordinary Americans to bail her out. As the administrator, her friend is supposed to release quarterly reports explaining how much money it’s taken in and what they spend it on. She hasn’t. But people like you should DEFINITELY keep sending Mrs. Palin money. She really, really appreciates it.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          I can assure you that Austin is not an idiot. I’ve known him for close to 20 years and he’s quite bright and a critical thinker.

          Call him a hack if you want, but his intelligence should not be in question.

          Our current President is also not an idiot and deserves the respect you so bestow on Ms. Palin.

          Ms. Palin has demonstrated numerous times that she lacks logical thought, the ability to think critically, and the ability to correctly interpret data. She also quit as governor of Alaska to chase money and to avoid being removed after what appeared to be obvious abuse of power.

          She was unable to handle the pressure of being the governor of Alaska and the media looking at her in the manner they look at Senators, Congressmen and the President. She quit, plain and simple. What the hell makes you sure she’d be able to handle the pressures of being President?

          I truly hope she runs for President. Then, maybe, we’ll see people crucify her for being so ill-informed and taken to task for quitting.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    Hannity uses the honorific “Governor” out of respect for Sarah Palin; and indeed, she does deserve our admiration & respect for her many accomplishments & for her public service.

  3. collapse expand

    I refuse to watch Fox News.
    Its news is not fair, accurate & balanced.
    Glenn Beck is an uncivilized piece of work who seems obsessed with uttering hate speech of any kind against whomsoever!
    Sarah Palin is contemptible~~ignorant, poorly educated, rude, untruthful, unethical, & as dumb as cat shit!~~beyond comment.
    I’m unable to find anything repeat anything that is comme il faut.

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