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Dear Sarah: Just say no!

DEAR GOV. PALIN: Hmmm . . . maybe I shouldn't even be calling you "Governor." You were in office, what - less than three years?


Hmmm . . . maybe I shouldn't even be calling you "Governor." You were in office, what - less than three years?

You didn't even serve a full term before you quit. I never understood why. It's not like you were headed for a higher office or anything. It's just that you quit. And I don't like quitters.

Yes, I suppose you saw an opportunity to make a lot of money and gain a broader national platform. And I imagine Alaska can get pretty boring. But these concerns are minor compared with some of the concerns I have about you lately.

So, let me get right to the point: I'm quite conservative and actually agree with you on a number of issues facing the nation and the world. But I don't think you ought to run for president.

Certainly not now, and maybe not ever.

Here's why:

First (and this is hard for me to say) you simply don't seem to have the background and stature to seek or assume the office.

You neither look nor act presidential. And this isn't a gender issue. Hillary Clinton actually appears presidential. She's seasoned. She's serious. She's decisive.

I felt she was better qualified than Barack Obama to serve in 2008, and I still feel that way. But you don't make the grade. You don't have enough experience or seem to be prepared enough to be in this league. When I think of a great female conservative leader, I see someone like Margaret Thatcher or the late Jeanne Kirkpatrick. You don't measure up.

Second, you're too shrill. As a PR professional, I'm keenly aware of the public image that people project. And I also teach public speaking. You come across as a bit of a yelper. Your voice hits excruciatingly high notes. But it's more than that.

You're not modulated. Everything seems to be just this side of breathless. Regrettably, this bespeaks a lack of reasonable balance in your approach to things. And, I fear, this creates anxiety and concern among typical voters. It makes people nervous. That's not good.

Third, you're way too unpredictable. If you have a plan, I don't know what it is.

From one day to the next, you seem to careen about in a manner that defies logic. Your "Magical Mystery Bus Tour" stop at the Independence Hall the other day was a perfect example. It was rumored that you'd show up, but nobody knew if you'd actually be here or when. Even your most loyal supporters were stumped.

When you finally did appear, it was a near-calamity: disruptive, chaotic and apparently senseless. The only thing that seemed to fit was your arrival in New York later in the day to have dinner with that other paparazzi-magnet, Donald Trump. You make quite a pair.

Hey, I don't know if you've bought a home in Arizona, or if you're about to have your own TV talk show, or if you're writing another book or planning to be a shill for candidates or products or causes or what. I can't figure it out. It's too wearisome.

Don't misunderstand me. I think it's great that you've got the mainstream media dumbfounded. It's about time someone hoodwinked them.

And I'm sincerely grateful that you've energized the conservative base and even brought many new people into the Republican Party. Plus, I love the way you drive liberals crazy.

You've accomplished a great deal in a relatively brief amount of time. And I credit you with no small amount of chutzpah.

But you're also a polarizer.

Many people made up their minds about you early on. And they're not about to change them - especially those who just don't seem to like you. Sure,

you've got your core of fervent supporters. But for everybody else, you just don't wear very well.

Let me put it this way: If there's one thing we've learned since 2008, it's that the presidency is no place for on-the-job-training. It's no place for lightweights with overblown opinions of themselves or for ideologues, or also-rans, or would-be celebrities, or kooks. The 2012 GOP candidate has to have the maturity, judgment, experience and temperament to get down to do the job from day one. This is serious stuff. We want a president, not a soap opera. So, be well, succeed, prosper, enjoy life and contribute mightily to the national dialogue. But please don't run for president. You'll only be a distraction.


Daniel A. Cirucci

PS: If you can name the last defeated vice-presidential candidate who went on to become president, I'd appreciate it.

Daniel A.Cirucci is a lecturer in corporate communications at Penn State Abington. He blogs at