UPDATE at 7:09pm: Audio from Mark Levin, who discussed Palin’s resignation earlier today on his show:
UPDATE at 5:26pm: Charles Krauthammer weighs in, as does Juan Williams.
UPDATE at 5:13pm:
A very interesting update from NRO’s Jim Geraghty:
I am told the Associated Press is calling around to New Hampshire Republican political operatives asking if they’ve been talking to Sarah Palin about a presidential run. So far, no one’s given an indication that they are.
And this, from former Bush press secretary, Dana Perino:
I suspect the media is both concerned and delighted by her news. On the one hand, she’s great material — ridicule sells, and if she really does exit the stage, they’ll have to find someone else to pick on. On the other hand, the great 2012 GOP nominee chess match has already started, and this ensures that her name will be in the mix, even if she has no plans to launch a campaign.
UPDATE at 3:37pm:
Jonah Goldberg chimes back in, this time with substantive analysis:
If it’s 2016, why on earth do you resign now? Why invite all of the criticism about being a “quitter” and so on if you’re not running — and therefore don’t need to raise money — until 7 or 11 years from now? No, if she’s resigning to run it seems it has to be for 2012.
And here’s video from Bill Kristol on Fox News earlier this afternoon. He says this is a “shrewd” move, albeit a very big gamble, and that that he thinks she’s running in 2012. I’m still not convinced.
UPDATE at 2:41pm: Opinions keep flooding into the blogosphere.
Mark Levin makes a definitive declaration:
Palin is running for president, get used to it.
Bill Kristol says maybe:
If Palin wants to run in 2012, why not do exactly what she announced today? It’s an enormous gamble – but it could be a shrewd one.
After all, she’s freeing herself from the duties of the governorship. Now she can do her book, give speeches, travel the country and the world, campaign for others, meet people, get more educated on the issues – and without being criticized for neglecting her duties in Alaska.
All in all, it’s going to be a high-wire act. The odds are against her pulling it off. But I wouldn’t bet against it.
Rick Brookhiser of NRO has his doubts:
Are we to accept in an aspirant to the Oval Office cutting short her tour of duty in the Alaska statehouse?
Amy Holmes of NRO is angry:
No way around it. She has just labeled herself a “quitter.” Someone who doesn’t finish what she started. What in the world is wrong with Republican governors? One self-absorbed politician after the next. Governors: “It’s not all about you!”
Jonathan Garthwaite at Townhall looks at potential upside from the move:
Other than Rush Limbaugh, who doesn’t fly from state to state doing campaign events, is there a more popular conservative Republican than Sarah Palin? Nobody draws bigger crowds, raises more money and energizes activist more than Palin.
If she’s really done as a candidate, we may find out she ends up having a greater impact as an activist, prolific speaker and fundraiser for conservative causes than she would have had as a candidate.
First, (and why shouldn’t he be?) from Jonah Goldberg:
Just in the Very, Very, Very Slim Chance this Was My Fault….
I’m gonna need to write “A Letter To Barack Obama.”
Next, Jim Geraghty at National Review Online:
Not finishing her first term will provide a major, major, major obstacle to any presidential bid. I thought a 2012 campaign would be a mistake; from today’s comments, it’s not clear whether Palin is still interested in that option.
But the moment she expresses an interest in a presidential bid, every rival, Republican and Democrat, will uncork the ready-made zinger: “If elected, would she serve the full four years, or quit sometime in the third year again?”
Palin is departing the national political scene. But that does not discount a comeback, as a quite different figure, at some far-off date. She quoted Douglas MacArthur in her resignation announcement, referring to “not retreating, but advancing in another direction.” But the words most associated with Douglas MacArthur in American minds are “I shall return.”
From Duane Patterson, producer of The Hugh Hewitt Show:
The speculation now, of course, will be to determine why she is resigning during her first term. Some Sarah fans will try to spin this as a shrewd political move to a possible presidential run, but what remains to be seen is if Governor Palin can not only overcome all of the stereotypes and ridicule the left has heaped upon her and her family, with much aid and assistance from mainstream media, but if she can overcome the stigma of being a quitter on top of that.
From Matthew Continetti at the Weekly Standard:
Palin’s enemies have already taken today’s news to suggest that her political career is over. It isn’t. But Palin may also be thinking that her retirement from office will cause her critics to stop attacking her. She would be wrong to think so. Neither Palin nor the Palin-haters are going away.
From Carol Platt Liebau at Townhall:
The decision not to run again is eminently understandable. The decision to resign is not — at least if the Governor is truly interested in a career in national politics. Does she truly think her chances at securing national office would be enhanced by failing to serve even one full term as Governor?
Yes, yes, I know — Barack Obama won the presidency with the least impressive credentials of any modern candidate. But something tells me that as time goes on and voters evaluate his performance, they will become convinced that his inexperience was a problem, not a plus. And that phenomenon would not operate in Governor Palin’s favor.
From Rich Lowry at National Review Online:
She shouldn’t have said a thing without getting Matt Scully—or some similarly talented speechwriter—on the case first. As to how this decision plays out ultimately, we’ll see. There’s plenty of time if (as I assume) she wants to run in 2012, and she obviously has plenty of capital with Republicans. But not an auspicious start.