On the one hand, as bmaz @ Emptywheel has noted, "Her term was up in 2010; [leaving Palin] plenty of time to honor her duties and still run for national office in 2012."And Josh Marshall adds that "this clearly happened so quickly that Palin hasn’t even had a chance to come up with a coherent cover story for her resignation." There’s even vague speculation about a possible indictment forthcoming.
I wouldn’t rule that out. In the Age of Sanford, who knows if we’re about to find she’s hiked an Appalachian Trail or two in her time (either morally, or in terms of more mundane political/financial corruption)?
But then again, it could easily be the other way around — perhaps Palin realized that as long as she’s stuck doing a job she couldn’t care less about, the only possible developments would be unwanted controversies (issue-related, scandals, or otherwise). In that sense, not having an official position is the best possible preventive measure.
And remember, we’re dealing with someone who’s infamous for narcissism and having a short attention span. I was struck by this bit of pre-resignation spin
reported stenographed by CNN: "She thinks she has accomplished goals she has set forward." In other words, she’s nationally famous now — even in a "famous for being famous" way, a post-millennium equivalent of Charo or Kato Kaelin — so why waste a moment more in a remote backwater state, and being expected to work on top of it?
And to those who count her out as a presidential contender in 2012, or even hint that she’s "out of politics for good," all I can say is that six years after Richard Nixon made a similar statement that the press wouldn’t have him to kick around any more, he was elected President. And if there’s one thing we know about Sarah Palin, it’s that she’s a runner.
Who cares if even conservatives like Charles Krauthammer suggest that Palin "“is not a serious candidate for the presidency…. You cannot sustain a campaign of platitudes and clichés over a year and a half if you’re running for the presidency." Just goes to show that Krauthammer is always wrong — George Bush got away with it for eight years even after he got the job!