Palin resignation motivated by ‘higher calling’

Author: By Stephen Foley in New York

With debate still swirling about the implications of her bombshell
announcement last week, Mrs Palin lashed out at coverage of her resignation
in the media, which she said would never understand that ?it?s about
country?.

Meanwhile, her lawyer was threatening to sue media organisations that indulged
in ?defamatory? speculation about darker motivations for her resignation.

In her often rambling speech announcing her decision on Friday, the governor
said that, having decided not to run again when her term runs out in 2010,
she did not want to be a ?lame duck? and would therefore go before the end
of this month. She cited other reasons, too, including pressure on her
family, the mounting legal costs of defending herself against accusations of
ethics violations, and the desire to pursue conservative causes from outside
government. So vague was the speech that commentators interpreted it
variously as the start of a 2012 presidential run and as a retirement from
politics.

Mrs Palin has been seen in public only briefly since making her announcement,
and was a no-show in the 4 July parade in the Alaskan capital Juneau, but
she did post a statement on her Facebook page which hinted that she saw a
future role for herself in conservative politics.

?I?ve never thought I needed a title before one?s name to forge progress in
America. I am now looking ahead and how we can advance this country together
with our values of less government intervention, greater energy
independence, stronger national security, and much-needed fiscal restraint.
I hope you will join me. Now is the time to rebuild and help our nation
achieve greatness!?

And she reflected on the coverage of her announcement, saying: ?The response
in the main stream media has been most predictable, ironic, and as always,
detached from the lives of ordinary Americans who are sick of the ?politics
of personal destruction?.?

Thomas van Flein, her lawyer, followed up her complaints with a four-page
letter to the media, warning organisations not to give credence to
long-standing rumours from the blogosphere that Mrs Palin might be under
federal investigation for ethics violations. ?Just as power abhors a vacuum,
modern journalism apparently abhors any type of due diligence and fact
checking before scurrilous allegations are repeated as fact,? he wrote.

The speculation as to the governor?s motives and her likely next steps in
public life continued on the Sunday television talk shows.

Karl Rove, former president George W Bush?s chief political adviser, said he
was ?a little perplexed? about the decision to abandon her post almost a
year and a half early. ?She’s not going to be able to escape media
attention.”

And a former Republican presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, who some
thought could be fighting Mrs Palin for the support of the party?s
evangelical base in 2012, said he would have resigned as Arkansas governor
after ?the first month? if he had taken Mrs Palin?s approach. ?The challenge
that she’s going to have is people who say, ‘Look if they chase you out of
this it won’t get any easier for you.??

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