I wasn’t planning to blog on politics at all over the long weekend, but the very recent news emerging that Alaska governor Sarah Palin not only won’t run for re-election in 2010 but also is stepping down later this month has changed my mind.
Right now, speculation is running rampant why Palin has chosen to take this course of action. John Hawkins at Right Wing News has taken a break from his vacation to offer up four likely scenarios:
1) She may intend to run for President in 2012 and feels like it’s to her advantage to resign now. It will mean no more phony ethics complaints. She’ll be able to raise money and campaign for Republican candidates without having it used against her as Governor as well. On the downside, it would hurt her in her weakest area: experience. Some people may perceive it as being flaky and emotional as well, which is something a female politician needs to work especially hard to avoid.
2) There may be some big scandal that’s about to come down the pike. That’s a pretty standard reason for resignations of this sort. What it would be, I have no idea at this point.
3) She, or perhaps Todd, could have a big health issue.
4) Maybe the Left finally wore her down and she just decided politics wasn’t worth it anymore. I’ve seen it happen to other conservative women who’ve endured far less abuse than Sarah Palin and her family have so far. Indeed, it’s part of the Left’s strategy with conservative women. They try to make politics so ugly, so nasty, and so vicious that conservative women just quit.
At first, I thought #1 made sense. But the more I ponder, it seems implausible. It would come across as a flaky course of action, especially to do on the verge of a holiday weekend with such little fanfare. And the GOP doesn’t need another high-profile flaky governor right now. Of course, she does have me and thousands of others writing about the event, so it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that she is focusing media attention toward 2012.
If it were #3, it seems like there would be no clear reason for Palin not to just come out and say it at her press conference. (A variation on #3 that Hawkins doesn’t offer is that one of her children — especially little Trig — might be ill. She might want to protect her child from the media spotlight.)
However, the “I’m doing what’s best for Alaska” line to me implies it’s either #2 or #4. Out of my own sense of personal respect and good will toward Palin, I do hope it’s the latter. She has very good reason to want to retire from the political limelight. Whatever it is, though, we’ll know soon enough. I wish her well.