The era of two controversial political women has come to an end. With the recent expiration of Sarah Palin’s contract with Fox News and the resignation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, two of the most ideologically opposite women are departing from the public eye at the same time.
It has been five years since Palin and Clinton made their memorable impact on the 2008 presidential election, an election that was unique in many ways.
From one of the longest primary battles in recent memory, to the election of the first African American President, 2008 is one for the record books.
This election, the first major ballot many Mercyhurst students were eligible to cast, also brought forth two of contemporary politics’ most controversial figures: Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.
These powerful political women are different in almost every possible way, even down to the way in which they took their departure, however questionable the permanency, from public life.
Palin has certainly kept busy since her abrupt departure mid-term from the Alaska governor’s mansion, signing a contract with Fox News.
Rolling in $1 million a year for contributing to the conservative broadcast, a study conducted by the University of Minnesota reported that Palin made $15.85 per word during her time on air with Fox.
Is anything Sarah Palin says worth $15.85 total, let alone per word? The American public clearly thinks not; reports have surfaced which indicate Fox did little to attempt to secure a contract renewal with Palin.
When added to the fact that an article published by U.S. News and World Report indicates that Google searches for Palin have reached an all-time low, it seems that America has had enough of Alaska’s most famous hockey mom.
That is, unless Tina Fey is involved.
Contrast this petering-out of Palin with the meteoric end to Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
While her final weeks concluded with a fiery appearance on Capitol Hill to testify on the Benghazi tragedy, there was nothing tragic about her polling numbers going into the congressional hearings.
A Washington Post-ABC news poll from Jan. 23 showed Secretary Clinton pulling in a 67% approval rating across the country, reaching a 91% approval rating among registered Democrats.
Not too shabby for someone who has spent the last four years traveling the globe as the face of American foreign affairs.
Add to these poll numbers the outpouring of support Clinton has received since leaving office on Feb. 1; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign all sent messages to supporters to add their names to a thank you petition for Secretary Clinton.
Within the first 24 hours of this initiative, the DCCC reportedly gathered 170,000 electronic signatures of support for Clinton.
Even if you are not a fan of Clinton’s, you have to admit it sounds like someone had a great last day at the office.
While Clinton remains mum about her post-State Department plans, including a 2016 presidential bid, one thing is certain; 2008’s leading ladies are departing public life in very different ways.
As Palin’s rise and fall in the past five years seems to be resigned to the history books, one has the feeling Clinton’s star is still on the rise.