Sarah Palin's sudden resignation (full speech here) seems to be a sort of rorschach for politics watchers—an act that absolutely screams "huge incoming scandal" to me apparently says "unbelievably brilliant strategy for 2012" to others. (Behold! Marginally sourced rumors support my baseline biases and assumptions!) The DNC is not treading lightly on this, putting out this statement:
Either Sarah Palin is leaving the people of Alaska high and dry to pursue her long shot national political ambitions or she simply can't handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are down. Either way - her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today.I have to agree with Steve Benen in not seeing any possible way to leverage this stunt into a successful 2012 primary bid. Even if she really thinks she's running, wouldn't this just become the Great Campaign Suspension Gambit of 2008 to the nth degree? How would she ever regain credibility? Why would she do it now, three years out? And why would she drop the news late on Friday afternoon before a huge holiday weekend if she weren't hoping to bury it?
I suppose in this respect I'm with Josh Marshall:
As with her speech itself, the tell is that the decision was apparently so rushed and sudden that there was not enough time to come up with a plausible cover story or to get out the word about what it was.Or, I suppose, she's decided she'll never be president and she might as well cash out instead. She's still very popular among certain demographics and she could write her own ticket on the lecture circuit. Is Fox News hiring?
It looks like a duck and quacks like a duck. Either Palin is resigning ahead of some titanic scandal (which should emerge in short order if it exists) or her resignation was triggered by an even more extreme mental instability than we'd previously suspected.
Stranger and stranger. Keep an eye on this.
More speculation on Palin's motives and future here, here*, here, here and here. The starred link may be the key one, as Think Progress speculates.
And remember kids: Not quitting is what quitters do. Real winners quit.