By now, you have most likely heard the news that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has resigned her position (text here). She says that she can best help Alaskans outside of the political system. Pundits and commentators, however, are less certain, utterly baffled, and without clear answers, speculation is ensuing. Marc Aminder, Nate Silver, and Mark Halperin each offer their theories, but by reading and listening to the news, several theories seem to have emerged.
Some are suggesting that Palin resigned so that she could better position herself for a run at the presidency. Here, she would need to stay visible and need to start putting together a national campaign team in order to focus full-time on the 2012 presidental nomination. Even throughout the recent drama, her favorable ratings among Republican activist is still high. Here, she can ride her popularity, without the confines of the governorship, into a strong position for the Republican nomination. Importantly, Alaska is too far away to effectively campaign in Iowa, New Hampsire, and South Carolina, and this resignation allows her to campaign more efficiently, clearing away the field of flawed GOP contenders.
But, as someone who has been criticized as a political novice, unprepared for the prime time, she foolishly truncates her political development. You don't run for higher office while resigning, especially this early, your current office. In effect, she quit. Palin quit on Alaskans and as such, she dashed any aspirations of higher office. She's finished.
Or, has something happened in the last few days, prompting her to resign the office? Are we going to see an ensuing investigation in the near future? An indictment? Some other type of scandal? The recent article in Vanity Fair has caused a storm of Republican in-fighting. But, are these leaked stories prelude to something larger?
Or, Palin could just be tired of public office. Here, the constant barrage of negative media wore Palin and her family down. That level of scrutiny, certainly, is tough for one person to handle, not to mention her family.
We are all speculating, and as Waldo states, this is a futile exercise. The truth is, at this point in time, we don't know Palin's motivations. More information, surely, will be forthcoming.
What are your thoughts? Got any ideas?