Why Sarah Palin resigned

Is the Alaska governor stepping down due to political ambition, media persecution, or something else?

The political world is “flummoxed” by Sarah Palin’s decision to quit as Alaska governor, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial, and “understandably so.” Her explanation was “hardly clear or persuasive.” If she’s leaving public life, “who can blame her” after her “mauling” by Democrats and the media elite? But if she’s readying a presidential bid for 2012, she should be studying hard now, to “add substance to her natural political talents.”

Talented or not, Palin’s presidential hopes are dead, said Anchorage Daily News columnist Michael Carey in the Los Angeles Times. “The road map to the White House doesn’t include a stop at ‘I quit’.” Why did she do it? This famously thin-skinned politician “couldn’t take it anymore,” neither the “mockery” nor “the hard work of being governor.” Whatever Palin’s reasons, you can be sure she did it for her own advantage, not “the good of Alaskans.”

“A Sarah Palin who stepped down for the sake of her family" deserves our sympathy, said Ross Douthat in The New York Times. But if she quit in the “delusional belief” that it will help her in 2012, she “warrants no such kindness.” Her great appeal is the “democratic ideal” of the “ordinary citizen who takes on the elites.” She (by quitting) and the elites (by trashing her for her “gender and social class”) both tarnished that ideal.

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Yes, my “hostility” toward Palin is partly gender-based, said Ruth Marcus in The Washington Post. I want to see see women succeed, and Palin has “set back that cause.” Hillary Clinton didn’t quit her losing campaign; Jenny Sanford hasn’t quit her floundering marriage. “Big girls don’t quit,” and Palin not only quit, she praised herself for doing so.

Palin hasn’t quit, said Bill Quick in the New York Post. She’s gunning for 2012, and stepping down now “isn’t necessarily a bad decision.” She needs to tap and nurture real conservatives to forge a “shadow GOP leadership,” stop trying to "make herself likable” to the media and other “enemies,” and work to win over the “sisterhood” of disgruntled Hillary supporters. If she does that, this ending will be a “forceful beginning.”

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