Speculation as to her motive is rampant. Does this resignation signal a retreat from public life, or a plan to focus on building support in the Lower 48 for her 2012 run? Is she trying nobly to protect her family from the David Lettermans of the world, or more basely to protect herself from further ethics investigations?
Honestly, we have no idea. Nor have we much idea as to whether she seemed more cogent in person than she does in the radio and press clips that we have come across thus far. But in those clips, it must be said, she seems to make no sense at all: she rambles from one disjointed phrase to another, uses an awkward sports metaphor, seems to equate quitting with a year and half left on her term with deciding not to seek re-election, and gives Gen. Macarthur credit for something somebody else said.
Her main point, so far as we can tell, was this:
... I thought about how much fun other governors have as lame ducks. They maybe travel around their state, travel to other states, maybe take their overseas international trade missions.
I’m not going to put Alaskans through that. I promised efficiencies and effectiveness. That’s not how I’m wired. I’m not wired to operate under the same old politics as usual.
Um, Governor? One great way to spare your constituents the cost of unnecessary travel is to stay home and do your job. (Which, arguably, may often include travel around your state, but we suppose that's a matter of opinion.) You remember, the job they elected you to do?
It is one thing for an elected official to resign because they have betrayed the public trust -- like Nixon (certainly), Spitzer (lamentably), and Sanford (probably). Is is another to resign because they don't want to go on trade missions.