Commentary: Some governors aren't lame when they're lame ducks

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin suggested in her rambling resignation announcement last week that being a "lame duck" governor somehow obligated her to "hit the road, draw the paycheck and 'milk it.' " And she said that she's "not putting Alaska through that."

But not running for re-election in no way requires a politician to become ineffective or to milk taxpayers. Consider our own governor, Mark Parkinson.

Like Palin, Parkinson announced that he wouldn't run for governor in 2010. But rather than make him ineffective, the decision freed Parkinson to focus on solutions, not political ambitions.

In his short time as a "lame duck," Parkinson has negotiated an end to the standoff on building a new coal-fired power plant, helped guide a difficult state budget through the GOP-dominated Legislature, and ordered budget allotment cuts.

"What the state needs right now are not politicians. It needs problem-solvers," Parkinson said.

There are many other examples of politicians who were effective despite a supposed lame-duck status. Ronald Reagan, for example, accomplished a great deal during the final two years of his presidency.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Wichita Eagle.