Jacinda Ardern, the ditzy prime minister of New Zealand, who became famous for responding to a mosque attack by eliminating free speech and the right of self-defense, while calling on the rest of the world to join her, has announced that she’s retiring.
How can you retire when you don’t really do anything except travel around the world?
Not everyone can retire at 42, but Ardern claims that she doesn’t have anything more ‘in the tank’. Mostly, I suspect, she got bored. Governance is a lot less exciting when you don’t have a major crisis and the whole world isn’t paying attention to you. And unless she can get someone to shoot up another mosque, I doubt the rest of the world will pay any further attention to her.
Jacinda Ardern has been all over the world, using her platform to go everywhere from Antarctica to Vietnam to Seattle. That’s a whole lot of travel for the representative of a tiny country, but Ardern succeeded in building her own brand. And now I expect she’ll monetize it. Her shtick centered heavily on her youth, but after 40 that fades pretty quickly, and if she’s not a young politician, what is she? Nothing.
Give her points for heading for the exit on her own before voters punish Labor over the current miserable conditions. And while I won’t be surprised to see Jacinda shortly show up on a bunch of boards and writing a memoir to be adapted into a movie, she did make the right decision to walk away before the reckoning.
Leaving on a high note is a smart career move even if it shows that Ardern was always all about herself.