Friday, July 03, 2009

Governor Sarah Palin Stuns Alaska By Announcing Her Resignation; May Be A Precursor To A 2012 Republican Presidential Run

Note: Post title now updated to reflect the fact that Sarah Palin has specifically ruled out running for Don Young's U.S. House seat in 2010.

Governor Sarah Palin shocked the living bejesus out of me and many other Alaskans by suddenly announcing her resignation on July 3rd, 2009. This has definitely come as a complete surprise; I saw no hint of this decision. National story now published by CNN. According to KTUU Channel 2, which offers the most details so far, the governor announced her decision at her Wasilla home, flanked by Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell and much of her cabinet. Governor Palin explained her decision in this press release, but chose not to take questions from reporters. Governor Palin then expounded at much greater length in this Executive Column. Direct link to KTUU news video HERE.

Thanks to Gateway Pundit, we now have a YouTube video of the announcement:

In her press release, Gov. Palin explained that she had already decided not to run for re-election as governor in 2010, and that she did not want to spend the rest of her term being a "lame duck", so she decided to turn the office over to Lt. Gov. Parnell at this time.

The formal transition of power will take place on Sunday July 26th, when Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell will be inaugurated as her successor at the Governor's Picnic at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks. Parnell said he will also seek election to the governor's office in his own right in 2010. Lt. Gen. Craig Campbell will replace Parnell as Lt. Gov.

Additional media stories now posted on the Anchorage Daily News, KTVA Channel 11, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and The Alaska Standard. The Mat-Su Frontiersman contains reaction from Valley lawmakers. Additional reaction on Conservatives4Palin.

Despite Gov. Palin's "lame duck" explanation, I believe there are also at least two other factors which may be prompting this decision. The first possibility is that Palin has grown tired of all the public attention directed to her family, and, in particular, the savage attacks her on character by both fundamentalist progressives as well as mercantile conservatives. These attacks have contributed to the over $500,000 in legal fees she owes. In this case, she would probably return to private life permanently. But since this would be a radical departure from her previous character as a fighter, I find this possibility unlikely.

More likely is the possibility that Governor Palin wants to clear the decks for a run for national office. While a campaign against Senator Lisa Murkowski, who is up for re-election in 2010, is unlikely, a campaign against Congressman Don Young, who's also up for re-election in 2010, cannot be ruled out. However, such a campaign, if successful, might pressure her into foreclosing 2012 Presidential ambitions, otherwise she might be portrayed as using a U.S. House seat merely as a stepping stone to the White House. It is also quite possible that Governor Palin may choose not to run for any office in 2010, and instead launch an all out campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012.

Update: It is now confirmed that Sarah Palin will not run for either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House in 2010. The original ADN article now reports Meghan Stapleton as saying that "asked if Palin is running for president, Stapleton said nothing has been ruled out, other than running against Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski or Congressman Don Young next year".

A plausible "snap" analysis by Reuters highlights a whole host of reasons, including the possibility of another scandal in the works. Jewish blogger Max Blumenthal hints at such a possible scandal HERE.

The decision by Palin to bow out of the governor's race in 2010 may attract even more prospective candidates. Rep. John Harris (R-Valdez), the former House Speaker, has previously stated that he would consider a run for Governor in 2010 if Palin wasn't running. This may also increase the certainly of former Republican state lawmaker Ralph Samuels running for Governor as well; he's an acknowledged expert on energy issues.

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