What a surprise! Not the Republican governor who I thought would be making this announcement - South Carolina had that one in the bag...
When Palin said she was quitting, she didn't elaborate on her future.
"Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional Lame Duck status in this particular climate would just be another dose of politics as usual, something I campaigned against and will always oppose," Palin said in a statement.
"It is my duty to always protect our great state. With that in mind, my family and I determined that it is best to make a difference this summer, and I am willing to change things, so that this administration, with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future, can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success," she said.
Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell will be inaugurated at the end of the month. Her term would have ended in 2010.
Okay, now, the last thing you do is give up your power to go campaigning. Obama got his Senate seat sat in it for about a half a minute, then hit the campaign trail. He didn't quit. Neither did McCain. He's still got his job. So does John Kerry and Joe Lieberman (much to the chagrin of their constituents.)
My initial thought is that she isn't running - she's hiding. She is attempting to get herself and her family out of the punchline spotlight that she is in. Why else would a governor leave their job? Infidelity - nope, unless it's with a hooker. Gross incompetence? No, Grey Davis had to be recalled. Gross corruption? No, Blago had to get impeached by a room full of jokers just as corrupt as him... but he got nailed by the Feds. Health issues? No, there are two Democratic Senators that aren't even able to make roll call - let alone vote. I'm sure we can all think some more *(feel free to educate us in the comments bar)
If she IS running for President - well, we can always point at her and call her a quitter.