What happened
Sarah Palin said in televised interviews Tuesday that she knew her resignation as Alaska's governor could hurt her political career. Palin announced she was stepping down just as she was expected to start planning a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. "You know, politically speaking, if I die, I die. So be it," she said. (Associated Press in the New York Daily News)

What the commentators said
Sarah Palin can be a lot of things now that she has quit as Alaska's governor, said Tish Durkin in TheWeek.com. She can be an "obscenely paid" author, a big bucks public speaker, an "influential Republican fundraiser-thus-powerbroker." And she still has fans who would follow her anywhere—just not enough to get her elected president. "Therefore, she is never going to be president."

"It's silly" to claim Sarah Palin has no chance to be elected president, said William Kristol in The Washington Post. She survived a rough campaign as the GOP vice presidential candidate in 2008, and is still "a co-front-runner in polls of GOP primary voters for 2012." So why are the mainstream media and the Republican establishment trying to "bury her chances" of being nominated to challenge President Obama? They're panicking because they know she could pull off an upset.

If this isn't Sarah Palin's "adieu to political life," said Martin Peretz in The New Republic, the Republican Party will be tested in 2012 "as to whether its penchant for nutcases will override its lingering instincts as a political institution." One thing's certain—despite my "apprehensions about how feebly Barack Obama is conducting our foreign policy ... I am glad he and his advisors are sitting around that big table at the White House. And not John McCain."