My gut is telling me that Governor Palin's resignation today was an effort to focus on her most important job: mom.
Her announcement today made my head spin. While I hadn't pegged her as the front runner for a 2012 nomination, I had thought she would emerge again on the national scene. Her decision to leave with more than a year left in her first term as governor makes her look like a quitter and definitely not a presidential candidate. It seems like an unusual path for someone who shot to political stardom in just the past year and who seemed to have a lot of ambition.
As I thought about it more this afternoon, I realized that one of the things I really like about Palin is that she has never been a conventional politician. She didn't attend an ivy league school and she doesn't have a law degree. Her husband is a fisherman and oil field operator. She doesn't come from a lineage of politicians, tobacco farmers or business owners. She has five children.
All of these nuances make her appealing to average joe Americans. The elite left (namely the media, comedians, and Hollywood) hate her because she is ordinary and yet she runs with the best of them. To Tina Fey, Keith Olbermann and Joy Behar her views are backwards, yet her platform is actually in line with most Americans. She is a real threat to the socialist machine pushing universal health care and over-regulating the private sector.
Palin was mocked out of the starting gate for her folksiness. Later, she was conversely reported to be a diva. The magnitude of her potential as a GOP leader had liberals falling over themselves to find something wrong with her. I do believe that being a contender Vice President makes you subject to such scrutinizing. But, as David Letterman had to be reminded, children are off limits.
Palin has been the most ridiculed public figure in recent history. Her family probably needs attention, but definitely not in the way they have received recently. Besides her family, Palin's next priority is Alaska and as she stated today, she is not doing the people of her state any favors by remaining in office where most of her attention (and money) is wasted on fighting ridiculous ethics complaints.
I'm not writing Sarah Palin off just yet. At the end of the day, I respect her more for keeping her priorities in order and acting as such.