In a political remake of Audrey Hepburn’s classic character, Sarah Palin is now pursuing a normal life, free of crushing attention. In both stories, this was a personal decision. That’s why—unfortunately—the governor told her national consultants to stand down. Palin is focused on protecting her family and her state. At her news conference, she spoke of cash outlays that are greater than her personal income. While few individuals have been saddled with half a million dollars in legal bills, most can understand the challenge of facing investigators and curiosity seekers while supporting a growing family. Palin noted that the media circus is a drain on her state’s budget, too, and refused to allow her bully pulpit to cost Alaska millions of dollars. Unfortunately, Palin’s lakeside press conference imitated Audrey Hepburn in front of the Trevi fountain: a princess seeking her independence; a girl-gone-missing story line. Unprepared for the announcement and its aftermath, Palin has missed an opportunity to market herself and her message.Palin’s personal crisis could have been resolved by professionals long before she felt the need to bolt from office. The researchers, managers and even lawyers who surround other politicians are paid to create options and solve problems—to protect the individual candidate or public official from media glare while maximizing marketability. Yet Palin did not consult the consultants.Palin has not had always had a comfortable relationship with “trusted advisors” on the national scene. After abuse by McCain’s team, the governor had no one to advise her on other ways in which she could have found the breathing room she desperately needs.Mounting legal bills? Open a legal defense fund. Playing too much defense? Go on the attack with research focused on the opposition’s vulnerabilities. Growing expenses? Leverage fundraising by deputizing strong messengers to reach out to major donors and the pink t-shirt brigade. Too much travel and time spent away from the family? Organize and discipline the scheduling, implement advance teams and plan for a consistent emphasis on family inclusion. In most cases, throwing money at the problem isn’t an option, but no politician—expect perhaps Obama—has more commercial market appeal than does Sarah Palin.It’s a crying shame the governor didn’t hire the consultants who research to find answers and options, advising her how best to leverage her obvious strengths.Dr. Dora Kingsley is founder of Trenton West, a national policy and opposition research firm based in California and Washington, D.C. As an adjunct professor with the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development, Dr. Kingsley has taught graduate coursework for fifteen years and is a lifetime fellow of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration. To contact Dr. Kingsley, click here.