I had just arrived at News Corp headquarters on Friday to have a preplanned debate on Healthcare with Fox News' Stuart Varney when I found out that Sarah Palin was resigning as Governor of Alaska. Due to the impact of that breaking news, the debate was off and discussion of the resignation was on. See this link for my discussion with Stuart Varney http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgYyGasM6RQ . Many of us speculated as to the reason for the resignation and what the impact of it would be if Palin decided to go ahead with a White House run in 2012, but having seen now the reports after a few days, it is Stuart Varney who I think nailed the reason for the resignation. Stuart's first read was that Palin got "Fed Up".
There are serious political consequences if that is the reason for Palin's resignation but I'll get back to that in a moment. Let me explain why no other explanation makes sense as the reason for her decision.
The blogosphere was filled with suggestions that a new ethics accusation or violation caused Palin to quit her job or that a Federal Indictment was imminent. It appears that there is no evidence to support those assertions. The LA Times reported, http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-palin5-2009jul05,0,7018263.story that the FBI issued a statement saying that they do not have an open investigation regarding the Palins. The Palin's lawyer then made an overly dramatic and probably unactionable threat of a lawsuit against blogs and other media who might print these allegations, see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5752181/Sarah-Palin-threatens-legal-action-over-resignation-rumours.html .
It's also clear now, two days after the announcement, that Palin does not intend to get out of politics. The USA Today reported on Sunday that Palin's spokesperson Meghan Stapleton said in a phone interview that she expects Palin to remain active as a speaker and campaigner. "I am listening to options for her," she said. That statement probably also negates any suggestion that she wants to spend more time with her family.
Nor is the reason for the resignation a need to start campaigning for President for the 2012 race. Sure, it is difficult to maintain a national presence from Alaska, but there would be no need to do that before the end of her term. Palin's term was due to end in December of 2010. If she had waited until then to begin a campaign, she would have 23 months to campaign for President. Compare that with Barack Obama who declared his candidacy in February of 2007 or 21 months before election day. That was even considered very early by past standards. Twenty three months would be more than enough for anyone to put together the best campaign that their political and other gifts would allow.
The reason she resigned is she got tired of being Governor of Alaska and got tired of the daily grind of being an elected official which includes accusations, people disagreeing with you and after being the Republican VP nominee, that scrutiny increased and she got as Stuart Varney said, fed up. The bizarre thing is that she and some of her supporters still think that she should be President, this includes many of the folks at Free Republic http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/palin/index?tab=articles . If she cannot handle the scrutiny in Alaska after being the VP nominee, she has no chance of surviving as President and the Freepers at Free Republic should know all about that since they are part of the constant pressure that Obama and Biden are getting. Right Freepers???... http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/obama/index?tab=articles .
Unlike with Sarah Palin, you don't see Obama or Biden displaying any ill effects from that pressure and the pressure they are under is about 100 times greater then what Palin experienced. If she got fed up being the Governor of Alaska, Palin wouldn't last a month as President. Before she even gets that far, she would have to convince the American electorate to vote for her when, before the resignation, around 59% believed she wasn't even qualified to be VICE President, see http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/31/us/politics/31poll.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin . In addition to that hurdle, Palin now needs to deal with the additional damage from quitting her job for no good reason and making an odd and rambling "Goodbye Cruel World" speech to announce the resignation. That combination is too much for anyone to overcome. Sarah Palin's career as an elected official is over, whether she and her supporters realize it or not.