Blurb at the top of CNN’s website right now:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is expected to announce that she will not seek a second term, a GOP source close to Palin says.
This is not a surprise – many folks (including myself) have been speculating about this possibility for a long while. What it means is that we’ll certainly have some damn good entertainment on the GOP presidential campaign trail – a welcome relief, given Mark Sanford’s implosion.
As for more Swing State-y matters, we now have to wonder if Dem Ethan Berkowitz will get into the race. The CQ piece cited in the linked post said that Berkowitz was “gearing up for another statewide race – against Gov. Sarah Palin, if she chooses to run for re-election.” So this may mean he won’t take the leap. And that would make sense – our best shot at this seat meant being able to run against the extremely damaged Palin. Now we have a Babs Cubin/John Doolittle/Duke Cunningham-type situation, where the toxic goods have vamoosed too soon.
The Swing State Project currently rates this as a Race to Watch. But if Dems fail to recruit a legitimate candidate, this race will likely drop off our watch list.
WHOA UPDATE (and edit to title): Just flipped on CNN, and they are saying that their affiliates in Alaska are saying Palin is going to resign in a month! WHOA!
LOCAL UPDATE: KTUU in Alaska is indeed confirming that she’ll leave office in a month. WTF? Scandal? Exhaustion? This would seem to irreparably damage her for a presidential run, no?
WHAT NOW? UPDATE: So according to the AK constitution:
If the governor-elect dies, resigns, or is disqualified, the lieutenant governor elected with him shall succeed to the office of governor for the full term.
The current LG is Sean Parnell, who super-narrowly lost in a primary last year against corrupt Rep. Don Young. Earlier in the year, Parnell talked up a possible rematch, but more recently seemed to back off those plans. Did he know something like this was coming?
ANOTHER UPDATE: Jed at Daily Kos is liveblogging her press conference. Even though any normal person would regard resigning mid-term as the end of one’s political career, Sarah Palin is anything but normal. She just said, “America is looking north to the future.” That lunatic actually thinks she’s running for president. Wow.
I CAN’T GET ENOUGH UPDATE: During her presser, Palin apprently said that the “decision has been in the works for a while.” So presumably Parnell was in the know here. Will Don Young live to ride another day?