Sarah Palin to Resign as Governor

The announcement came as a huge surprise to just about everyone — the expectation was that Gov. Palin would announce her decision not to run for reelection in 2010 (presumably so she could prepare to be a candidate in the 2012 presidential election) — not that she planned to step down from her job as governor effective almost immediately:

Speculation has swirled for weeks, perhaps months that Palin would not seek re-election in 2010 as she pursues a political career on the national stage. The former vice presidential candidate has long been rumored to be considering a run at the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Palin did not address those rumors at the press conference at her Wasilla home, during which she did not take questions from reporters.

She implied that her real decision was not to seek re-election, and that the resignation was a natural step after that in order to avoid a lame-duck final 18 months of her term.

“With this announcement that I’m not seeking re-election, I’ve determined it’s best to transfer the authority of governor to Lieutenant Governor (Sean) Parnell,” Palin said. “I’m determined to take the right path for Alaska, even though it is unconventional and is not so comfortable.

Steve Benen says Palin “is making a terrible mistake,” and he is far from alone in that opinion. Indeed, it’s hard to find anyone who thinks this is a good move, very much including Palin supporters.

Palin is toast, declares Ace of Spades:

It’s over. You can’t resign from a governorship and then run for higher office. Barring some strong reason, like needing treatment for cancer.

Jonah Goldberg just got done writing a “letter to Sarah” in which he urged Palin to stop “playing the victim,” and do what she needed to do to become a viable candidate for national office:

So here’s my advice. Stay home and do your job and your homework. You’ll still be a national figure come the primaries. But if you can’t surprise your detractors with your grasp of policy when you re-emerge on the national stage, you won’t win the nomination. More important, you won’t deserve to.

His response to the resignation news:

Well, aside from my timing being impeccable, the best I can say is I’m flabbergasted.

Not running again could make sense as a pre-presidential move. Resigning strikes me as very strange. I do hope all is well with her family and that there’s the best possible reason for this fairly shocking news.

Via Patterico, Howard Kurtz tweets: “No way Palin can run for president now. But give her this: the governor has, at least briefly, knocked Michael Jackson off the air.”

This makes it sound like Palin no longer wants to run for president:

Sarah Palin made a surprise announcement Friday that she will resign as governor of Alaska in a few weeks, saying she will try to “affect positive change” from outside government.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate hastily called a news conference Friday morning at her home in suburban Wasilla, giving such short notice that only a few reporters actually made it to the announcement.

She said the decision has been “in the works” for a while and comes after “prayer and consideration” and discussions with her family

[…]

Palin was vague about why exactly she is stepping down rather than finish out her first term, which ends in 2010.

“We know we can affect positive change outside government at this point in time on another scale and actually make a difference for our priorities,” she said. She added that she was tired of what she described as “superficial, wasteful, political bloodsport.”

Some have speculated in the past that Palin may be interested in running for president in 2012, but she did not mention running for another office at her press conference. Sources told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that this resignation announcement indicates Palin is out of politics for good.

Chris Cilizza, on the other hand, asserts that Palin’s decision “[frees] her to build a national political team and travel the country in support of an expected 2012 presidential bid.” He attributes this confident statement to “several sources familiar with her decision.”

Josh Marshall is skeptical:

A few have suggested that she’s resigning to free up time to run for president in 2012. (She would have left office at the end of next year.) But I’m not so sure about that. Generally, when you run for election to a high office it’s understood that you’ll stick around to do the job. Many people run for another office while they’re serving out one term and then resign to take the next job. Obama did that, after all. As did Bush and Clinton before them. But resigning an office just to run for another one leaves you open to a lot of criticism for not fulfilling your commitments. So I’m not certain this is really about freeing up time to run for president full time. And if it is, the wisdom of the move, from her perspective, is questionable.

4 Responses to “Sarah Palin to Resign as Governor”

  1. Ron says:

    More information on “grassroots” supporters gathering across the nation to support Sarah Palin for President in 2012 can be found online at http://www.palin4pres2012.com

    Note, the website is in danger of crashing due to the flood of readers and supporters signing up to show their interest in a Palin Candidacy. The GOP establishment had better watch out, Sarah Palin and Ron Paul combined with the power of the internet will remove the stranglehold of GOP special interests and the elites who have brought the party to its knees in defeat in the 2008 elections.

  2. Jack Jodell says:

    I have never seen a more vain or less qualified to govern person holding public office. This eccentric and egocentric loudmouth would do the entire world a big favor by shutting up and retiring to deserved obscurity once and for all. She has absolutely nothing to offer this country.

  3. eric gisse says:

    I think Alaska is OK with this announcement. Confused, but OK.

  4. Leslie Elliott says:

    Any speculation that she’s headed for her own tv or radio talk show?

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