McNamara, Palin Share Lousy Exit Strategies

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2009 8:19 AM CDT
A US soldier holds his rifle above his head as he serves as a 'traffic cop' for helicopters landing in a field during an operation north of Saigon in the Vietnam War.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The governor of Alaska and the architect of the Vietnam War both make fine examples of how not to quit a government post, David Broder writes in the Washington Post. Robert McNamara waited 28 years to explain that he stepped down as defense secretary because of his grave doubts about US strategy, and "the public reaction was harsh"—many believed untold numbers of lives could have been saved if he had gone public sooner.

McNamara was at least keeping quiet out of loyalty to Lyndon Johnson. Up north, the news is more mystifying, and "the puzzlement and derision Palin has encountered are well justified," Broder writes. "McNamara stayed too long and left too quietly," he concludes. "Palin is bailing out on her people far too soon. Neither can serve as an example for those in government wrestling with the decision of when to quit."