Reporters are beginning to piece together an explanation for Sarah Palin's abrupt resignation announcement that stands in stark contrast to the reasoning Palin offered in her speech.
Speaking on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell reported that, according to "people very close to Sarah Palin," she has "told her supporters that she is out of politics, period. She is fed up with politics. She doesn't like her life. She feels that she needs to raise her family. She's sick of the commute from Wasilla to the capital. And she really does not want to run for higher office, that this is not a case where she is stepping down in order to clear the way for a presidential run. In fact, she has told some of her biggest backers in the national Republican Party that they are free to choose other candidates for 2012, which of course opens new avenues for Mitt Romney, for Tim Pawlenty, for other potential candidates who are definitely in the running."
Meanwhile, Alaska-based reporter-blogger Shannyn Moore is hearing potentially more damaging revelations are to come. "For weeks the rumors of a criminal investigation against the governor have been brewing," she writes. She spoke of the rumors with MSNBC's David Shuster, saying the talk of a criminal probe into Palin has been circulating for six to eight weeks, and that today's press conference seemed to be Palin's effort at "damage control for news to come out later."
Moore also noted that it made little sense for Palin to resign now to prepare for a presidential run, especially considering she continued on as governor during the 2008 presidential campaign unlike Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who both turned over power to their Lieutenant Governors when they were running for national office.
Writing for the Daily Beast, Max Blumenthal pinpointed a burgeoning story that may be the source of the rumblings in Alaska:
Many political observers in Alaska are fixated on rumors that federal investigators have been seizing paperwork from SBS in recent months, searching for evidence that Palin and her husband Todd steered lucrative contracts to the well-connected company in exchange for gifts like the construction of their home on pristine Lake Lucille in 2002. The home was built just two months before Palin began campaigning for governor, a job which would have provided her enhanced power to grant building contracts in the wide open state.
Filed by Nico Pitney