In keeping with our recent spate of astounding, amazing, and downright shocking news stories, Sarah Palin has provided us with yet another. In order to enable herself to do more for the nation than she could if still governor, Palin announced today that she will not seek reelection for a second term - and to seal the deal also stated that she will be resigning effective the end of this month.
If this is her way of setting the stage for a 2012 run for the White House, I think this was a horrible move to make. During the election last year, the McCain-Palin team had a difficult enough time convincing the electorate that her time as mayor of Wasilla and brief period in the governor's mansion qualified as legitimate, national-level executive experience. But in all honesty, I don't think she can use that argument any longer, considering she wasn't even willing to finish out her first (and apparently only) term as Alaska's chief executive.
Unless she is about to sign a major deal with Fox News Channel or announce a potential run for Senate against Lisa Murkowski, this accomplishes nothing (other than giving her time to finish the manuscript for her soon-to-be-published memoir). The attention span for presidential primaries doesn't even really take hold until February or March of the actual election year, meaning that it's going to be the beginning of 2012 before anyone will - or should, for that matter - take a serious look at the contenders. Name ID certainly won't be an issue for Palin, if that's what she's thinking - anyone who hasn't heard of her by this point has been living under a rock.
And at the risk of offending my much more Conservative friends, I don't see Governor-for-28-more-days Palin as the savior of the GOP. I think she has potential at some level - Senate, perhaps, or maybe even a cabinet-level position like Interior secretary - but I just don't see her being the one crowned nominee at the 2012 Republican convention. Trying to determine a front-runner at this point is a useless exercise, and trying to make yourself a front-runner is even more pointless; people will get tired of you now long before your campaign even starts up.