Sarah Palin Resigns as Governor of Alaska

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is resigning. Reuters gives a few possible reasons. Since Palin has repeatedly said she's not a quitter, only this one makes sense to me:

She fears a looming political problem, perhaps even a scandal, and wanted out of the limelight, before the news broke.

Her statement does not allude to any problems. [More...]

We've got to put first things first. I love my job and I love Alaska. I am doing what’s best for Alaska,” Palin said at a televised news conference in her hometown of Wasilla.

Palin said she hoped people were not disappointed by the decision, which she said had been in the works for some time. She said she was taking “my fight for what’s right in a new direction.” She said she could be more effective and better serve Alaska and the country from outside the governor's office.

She's had a lot of bad press lately:

At home, she has faced new criticism that ethics inquiries surrounding her — including Troopergate involving her former brother-in-law — had cost upward of $300,000 in state money, according to The Anchorage Daily News.

And just this week, a new Vanity Fair magazine article exposing exceptional animus toward her by top aides to Senator McCain, her running mate, has revived questions about her political acumen and her political future.

I don't believe a word she says. She wouldn't time the announcement on such a slow news day if she weren't trying to minimize it. It's far more likely she's on a downward spiral than an upwards path.

Update: Wow, is she hyper during this announcement. Video part one here. Part 2 is here. The text of her statement is here.

Update: Two ethics complaints are still pending against Palin.

Jan. 26: Two complaints filed by McLeod alleged two of Palin's top aides misused their official positions for Palin's personal and political gain. The complaints said then-press secretary Bill McAllister and Kris Perry -- director of the governor's Anchorage office -- worked on state time to benefit Palin's interests during and after her vice presidential quest. Pending.

....April 27: Contends Palin is misusing the governor's office for personal gain by securing unwarranted benefits and receiving improper gifts through the Alaska Fund Trust. The fund was recently established by supporters to help Palin pay off more than $500,000 in legal debts stemming from other ethics complaints, including troopergate. Complaint filed by Eagle River resident, Kim Chatman. Pending.

Update: The Anchorage Daily News mentioned in an editorial last month there are two pending Freedom of Information Act lawsuits pending against Palin.

One case involves the governor's use of private e-mail accounts to conduct state business. She has said she stopped doing so, but the state continues to fight the lawsuit that seeks to end the practice.

...The second freedom of information case involves whether a governor can give a private citizen special access to official state information that is withheld from the rest of the public. The private citizen in question is Todd Palin, the governor's husband. He is also an employee of BP, one of state government's largest taxpayers, though he doesn't hold a managerial position.

The Alaska Report says a big, dirty scandal is coming. Another Alaska blog mentions an investigation into her finances and reports the money has been raised to pay for the release of the e-mails in the FOIA case, and it should only be a matter of days before they are released.

Update 7/4/09: The FBI says there is no investigation of any kind involving Sarah Palin.

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    OMG Another Palin Thread? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:26:47 PM EST
    Just kidding? lol....

    Fresh kill. (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:28:15 PM EST
    I just saw (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:28:38 PM EST
    you all were commenting in the open thread, but I thought it deserved it's own.

    I just put up a thread (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:28:14 PM EST
    (since deleted, had not seen this one) saying Sarah Palin resigned and I don't care.

    Still don't.

    Happy 4th everybody!

    Aw, come on. (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:28:44 PM EST
    I really don't (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:29:18 PM EST

    yeah, we posted at the same time (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:29:51 PM EST
    but I beat you so your's was the one to go. (All it said was you don't care so I didn't think you'd mind.)

    Happy 4th to you too!


    I don;t care . . . (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:32:53 PM EST
    except for the happy 4th part.

    Back 'atcha, to coin a phrase.


    Mark Sanford might just be the luckiest man (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by steviez314 on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:30:38 PM EST
    on the face of this earth.

    Naw, he'll wait until Mon (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:32:27 PM EST
    and then give the AP another interview ;)

    And (none / 0) (#49)
    by kaleidescope on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:34:54 PM EST
    Katharine Weymouth is the luckiest woman.

    She's done (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:35:20 PM EST
    Just wait, the other shoe is going to drop.

    Would you cite Gen. MacArthur (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:36:18 PM EST
    if you thought you were "done"?  Don't think so.  

    No but (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:46:41 PM EST
    a quick check of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders might be in order.

    What She THinks (none / 0) (#26)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:49:39 PM EST
    May be different than what we think....

    My money is on what we think.


    Quote not from MacArthur? (none / 0) (#58)
    by byteb on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 07:36:51 PM EST
    some are saying the quote is really from Major Gen Oliver Smith,USMC, during the Korean War



    No wonder she is resigning. Is it plagiarism (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 07:38:26 PM EST
    to cite the wrong General?

    Just checked (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:35:38 PM EST
    Yanks won 4-2. Burnett wins 7th. A-Rod goes yard Num 14.

    please take this to the open thread (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:46:10 PM EST
    thanks, this thread is about Palin.

    Heh (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:51:57 PM EST

    Actually I just checked in to see what was up at the site.

    I have nothng to say about Palin.

    enjoy the  weekend J.


    Dominating the headlines (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by sallywally on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:20:40 PM EST
    but in what way? For making a seriously inappropriate decision and a seriously flaky announcement of that decision. No way that wouldn't grab headlines: One more off-the-wall Republican governor.

    I think everyone outside the Repub base has thought her to be a loser and possibly a nut job....and stupid to boot, since she has no sense of how she's viewed.

    And this just confirms it, regardless of her reason for deciding to resign.

    She Has A Secret (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:23:49 PM EST
    And everyone wants to know. Whatever you think of her she has charisma and talent, and the public's ear.

    Yes I think she is an embarrassment but I also thought the same about GWB, and he won twice, sort of.


    Why stick around to fulfill your commitments (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by esmense on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 07:20:31 PM EST
    when you are probably getting lots of offers to profit from your national celebrity?

    I think this move demonstrates that Palin is not a serious politician. But she doesn't have to be. The extreme adoration of her fans in "the base," and the media's extreme fascination with her, have provided her with celebrity, attention and big opportunities. Opportunities she can't exploit while hanging out in Alaska and doing her job.

    I doubt Palin believes she can or will get the Republican nomination. More important, I doubt she actually even wants it (too much work). But, just by being the first woman to be considered seriously as a Republican presidential candidate by some elements in the party and given serious (even if disdainful) coverage by the national media, she wins anyway; a whole lot more wealth and attention (possible book deals, speaking fees, etc., etc.) than she would have ever obtained just by holding office in Alaska.

    Mock her if you will. But, whatever else she may be, Palin is a woman who clearly grasps her self-interest and has an instinct for exploiting opportunity -- including the opportunities provided by supposed victimhood at the hands of "liberal elites." The more she's disdained, the more attention she's given her -- and the more opportunities are created for her to profit from.

    One thing I, for one, won't be doing is wasting my time taking her seriously enough to fear she could some day be President.

    I'd believe this (none / 0) (#57)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 07:33:13 PM EST
    except her resignation speech was just a little too breathless.

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 07:39:52 PM EST
    Maybe she figured, "if I'm out of the spotlight people will stop taking pot shots at my kids, including my Down Syndrome baby with the help of a very forgiving press.  People will stop saying they wished I was the one to disappear instead of Sanford, as John F-ing Kerry did."

    ...although if this was the case, one would think she'd have taken the very public moment to say so.

    I'm thinking Faux News made her an offer she couldn't refuse, but she can't talk about it yet....or maybe she's taking over for Campbell Brown.  Palin versus Olbermann, now that would be funny.

    But scandal is definitely possible.

    The speaker circuit (none / 0) (#61)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 07:50:01 PM EST
    is another possibility...if it's not a scandal. But Alaskan bloggers are pretty convinced there's a major scandal brewing and it doesn't involve her family.

    I think (none / 0) (#79)
    by Natal on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 10:11:43 PM EST
    her decision was financially based.  Legal debts etc were beginning to pile up. It became clear her income and Todd's income was inadequate and that sooner or later a bankruptcy loomed.  Now she's free to go on the speaking circuit and get a huge book deal that will financially secure them for the rest of their lives.  Also, it's not inexpensive raising five kids with the issues a couple of them have. Frankly, I think she's making the right move and is going in a direction more suitable for her and will bring her happiness. Deep down I think she realizes what we all realize that 2012 is out the window. Some find their path early in life and others later in life.

    After a bit of poking around (none / 0) (#80)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 10:40:17 PM EST
    (I haven't been following her) I'm thinking you may be right. The amount of complaints against her in less than a year since she hit the national scene? Pretty interesting, especially when you look at some of these men in office . . .

    Sorry, not buying (none / 0) (#64)
    by brodie on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 08:11:27 PM EST
    the good of the family rationale.  She's a pol, a very opportunistic and ambitious one, and worst of all, a Repub pol from the say/do anything to get elected right wing of the party.

    The list of pressing family matters cited above were as much in play last year when she elected to go for the glory as they are today and probably would have gotten more complicated under the starker glare of D.C. media politics had she been elected.  

    It's also true that from time to time an honest pol with integrity and a solid sense of life's priorities will make the right choice and put family ahead of personal political ambition, but again I don't think that's what's going on here.

    One interpretation of her peculiar decision today is that she wanted to go out in Alaska at least somewhat ahead of the curve or at least before her continuing slide in the polls reached into the red, at which point any momentum she might have carried forward with the national party from the 08 race would have disappeared and her expected decision not to run for re-elect would have been seen as a force-out, and not as a positive to position her to run in 2012.

    Monetary considerations?  Only secondary concerns, imo.  I think she's driven more by the power and the limelight than for the money.  I just think she's made a politically very unwise move if this is all about 2012.  


    It sounded to me (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 08:03:59 PM EST
    like a scandal is coming. She mentioned the 'politics of personal destruction' and 'waste of money and resources fighting crazy charges' too many times.

    On the other hand, if she is quitting politics because she is truly sick of the viciousness, who could blame her? Not me.

    I feel the same way about quitting my career/field, and I doubt that it's as brutal as national politics.

    I heard the same thing Molly did (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 08:15:07 PM EST
    I don't understand why the press is saying she gave no clear reason.  I thought she said, several times, as clearly as she is capable of, that she is resigning to put a  stop to some pending or impending investigation of her.  I still need an explanation, however, of how a point guard keeps her "eye on the basket" while simultaneously keeping her "eye on the ball," both of which Palin said within the space of less than a minute.  (What's that syndrome called where your two eyes look in different directions at the same time?  Maybe you can help me with this one, Dr. Molly?)

    I must have missed (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by brodie on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 08:40:08 PM EST
    the part where she clearly stated she was leaving in order to put investigations of her to bed.  

    What I did hear were some odd reasons like she didn't want to waste the taxpayers dime or their time by staying in office for the final 18 mos as a lame duck.  

    To most people, that's called finishing the job you were elected to do.  To Sarah Palin, apparently, getting elected means you can leave at any time and without giving a coherent explanation to the voters.  Not very responsible, but hey, she's got all those kids (always propped conveniently at her side for important announcements) and we shouldn't be so critical.

    As for the basketball metaphors, you are right to note how difficult it would be for a point guard to both watch the ball (which is ridiculous, since a player stops watching the ball as soon as s/he learns how to dribble, or by age 7, whichever comes first) and watch the basket, then somehow be able to pass the ball to a teammate.

    Actually what any decent point guard does at the HS level and above is not watch for where the basket is, but scan the floor quickly for teammates up ahead, nearer the basket, for a passing and scoring opportunity for them.

    But, hey, she doesn't strike me as a pass-first type of guard, unless it's absolutely necessary or as a means to free her to get the ball back fairly quickly for a basket.


    LOL (none / 0) (#67)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 08:25:10 PM EST

    She must have been extremely talented at b-ball what with one eye on the basket and one on the ball.


    Aye, Aye, Doc (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 08:42:12 PM EST
    Indeed: exotropia and strabismus.  I knew there was something fishy about Palin.

    Groan! (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 08:53:42 PM EST
    Resigning (none / 0) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:37:22 PM EST
    doesn't "put a stop" to an investigation of serious charges.  That makes no sense.  And I didn't hear her so much as hint at that, never mind say it "as clearly as she is capable of."

    Doesn't mean there isn't some investigation she's resigning ahead of, as is rumored.  But there's no indication of that in her speech that I can hear.

    If there's no big scandal about to break, then I think it's probably that she's just fed up and not having any fun anymore.  She was having a great time when she had the power to do what she wanted to do and everybody in Alaska adored her, but now her popularity is way down and she's fighting with everybody in the state and she and her family are continuing to get whacked by media, comedians and anonymous pols.  She loved being a very big fish in a very small pond.


    But it would stop new complaints (none / 0) (#75)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:45:33 PM EST
    and perhaps it was just getting too expensive for them (personally, not just the state)?

    I can't see money (none / 0) (#81)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:01:26 PM EST
    being an issue, really.  The woman's a walking gold mine and would make, will make now, gazillions on the lecture circuit and from her book.  What lawfirm in its right mind wouldn't be happy to wait for that payment in order to stay in her favor?  The Clintons were flat broke and had $5 mill in legal debts and then paid them off in weeks after they left office.

    But is it worth it? (none / 0) (#89)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:06:05 AM EST
    And at what cost to her and her family? This only started in July of 08. In one year she's already got 1/2 mil of legal fees. I dunno, maybe it's just not worth staying in office. It's looking similar to the Clinton's in witch hunt zone for sure. Geeze, remember during the primaries when the Clintons needed to release their taxes? And the bloggers that stayed up 24/7 looking for something/anything to bring them down? She doesn't have the Clintons' long history of accomplishments either and was not a lower 48 figure.

    All of that said, I do think she'll do well money wise, but it's their lives they are dealing with and what are they willing to gamble?

    OT: I think we are getting popping corn today :) Actually, maybe that isn't OT, lol!~


    Resigning from office does (none / 0) (#76)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:45:34 PM EST
    normally put a stop to an ethics-of-office investigation, by rendering it moot.  Resignation wouldn't stop a criminal investigation, but I haven't heard anything like that mentioned.

    The FBI says there is no (none / 0) (#95)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:15:55 AM EST
    investigation, see my update.

    Scandal. The breathlessness in the announcement (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Angel on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 10:02:59 PM EST
    was nerves.  She's very nervous about something.  I'm guessing it's a very serious investigation and she's trying to bluff her way out of it by resigning her position now rather than later.  

    Maybe (none / 0) (#84)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:05:52 PM EST
    She was clearly anxious.  But having had to do something similar once myself years ago, I can testify that it's traumatic to get up and announce you're leaving something that's basically defined you for a decade, even if it's something you voluntarily want to do.

    Since no newspaper columnist wants to say it yet (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:04:57 PM EST
    I'll say it as best I can.

    I can't comprehend how anyone could view this as a stepping stone to a run for the presidency. The people of Alaska elected her to be their Governor and she walked out on them. She quit. Forevermore she'll wear the label as someone that couldn't take the heat so she took her ball and went home.

    Other than possibly a return gig as Mayor of Wasilla, I'd say her days in political office are done. No longer can she lay claim as Sarah Barracuda. She's a flounder.

    Almost every non-Fox pundit (none / 0) (#85)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:07:58 PM EST
    and political analyst type I've heard on TV today has said that.

    That;'s what I get (none / 0) (#86)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:14:12 PM EST
    for only watching baseball on television.

    Shrug (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:33:37 PM EST
    Unless she stops running those "Sarah PAC" google ads, I'm convinced she's runnnig for prez.

    I still think the youngest Palin daughter (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:35:31 PM EST
    is quite cute, but, don't you think she (the daughter) was restless today on camera?  

    Chuck Todd (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:35:38 PM EST
    speculates that she's going to cash in on the speaking circuit.

    Makes sense to me.

    Isn't Todd's beat the WH? Or (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:42:06 PM EST
    conservative judical activism or something?

    She needs to be in the lower 48 (none / 0) (#30)
    by SOS on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 05:57:59 PM EST
    to be a serious political player. She's a lightening rod that gets automatic publicity so she'll come in handy in influencing opinion for the 2010 midterms.

    Already she's dominating the headlines.

    The Iranian election revolt (none / 0) (#40)
    by Radiowalla on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:17:31 PM EST
    gets displaced by Michael Jackson's death, as does Gov. Mark Sanford's zipper problem.  Now  Sarah Palin's resignation sweeps all the other stories aside.  

    Inexorable as the tide, the News Cycle strikes again.

    Well, it was a patriotic move (none / 0) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:25:22 PM EST
    on the part of still Governor Palin to announce her resignation on the 4th of July weekend.  She certainly brought fireworks to the McCain/Palin ticket although her political thinking was more of an overture to 1812 than to the present.  What is is the stars for her now is unclear, other than  association with Rush and others of his stripes.

    She will fight for change, and maybe hope, (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:32:03 PM EST
    and definitely something re climate change.

    And against the discrimintaion of women . . . (none / 0) (#52)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 06:51:46 PM EST

    Top 5 Probable Reasons for Palin's Departure: (none / 0) (#53)
    by santarita on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 07:11:51 PM EST
    1.  Some Scandal is On the Horizon
    2.  Can Make Money on the Lecture Circuit
    3.  Fox News Has Offered her a Job
    4.  Heritage Foundation Has Offered Her a Job
    5.  Local High School Basketball Team Has Offered Her a Job.

    Her basketball metaphor made my head spin.  I do feel a little sorry for her.  She was pushed by the Republican male leadership into a position that she wasn't up for and there's no simple way for her to back out gracefully.  

    Wasn't Up For? (none / 0) (#54)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 07:19:15 PM EST
    Really? Are you a republican christian? If not what do you base your claim on?  Seems like many thought, and still think that Palin is a major contender. Just because you think that she was not up to some standard, doesn't make it so.

    Many here said the exact same nonsense about Obama, also I do not see much difference between Palin and GW, save for the fact that Palin is much smarter than Bush. And he was an two term president.


    Did You Listen to Her During the ... (none / 0) (#62)
    by santarita on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 07:57:57 PM EST

    She was a small town mayor who became governor of a  state with a lot of resources and not so many people.  Bush wasn't exactly brimming with credentials either.  Neither Bush nor Palin were up to the tasks.  Unfortunately the electorate gave Bush two chances to prove his ineptness.  Fortunately the electorate passed on Palin.  


    Morning Joe (none / 0) (#65)
    by hp4578 on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 08:13:33 PM EST
    Didn't hurt Joe Scarborough to resign his position as Congressman for Northwest Florida.    

    From the ADN (none / 0) (#74)
    by nycstray on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:40:12 PM EST
    about all the complaints since 2008.

    The governor's office has said 15 "frivolous" ethics complaints against Palin or her staff, some on issues raised by bloggers, have been dismissed with no findings she violated the executive branch ethics act. "How much will this blogger's asinine political grandstanding cost all of us in time and money?" she asked about a March complaint.

    I'd like to see the ethics complaints from prior 08/2008.

    Bradblog is utterly not credible (none / 0) (#77)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:48:29 PM EST
    and not worthy of reading.

    When andgarden talks about the (2.00 / 0) (#91)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 11:22:21 AM EST
    credibility of someone, it is always in their facts, not the opinion they have.

    I think if you compared some of the things (none / 0) (#90)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 12:15:53 AM EST
    he wrote about the 2004 election to what we know about. . .reality, you'd come to the same conclusion.