|Photo by Bruce Tuten|
First, to be clear, it is a stupid argument on the sides of both liberals and conservatives to squabble over whether or not she "quit." Here's the dictionary definition of the word, for all curious parties:
quit –verb (used with object)
1. to stop, cease, or discontinue: She quit what she was doing to help me paint the house.
2. to depart from; leave (a place or person): They quit the city for the seashore every summer.
3. to give up or resign; let go; relinquish: He quit his claim to the throne. She quit her job.
4. to release one's hold of (something grasped).
5. to acquit or conduct (oneself).
6. to free or rid (oneself): to quit oneself of doubts.
7. to clear (a debt); repay.
Palin fits 4 out of 7. She quit her job; deal with it.
The real question is why, and most of the reasons offered are pretty good ones.
The most plausible is that she has political ambitions at the national level. In order to involve herself in the politics of the country at large, she needs to leave Alaska, but remaining governor while doing so would leave Alaska, well, ungoverned. While it is a common practice to hold one's position while campaigning (Bush, Kerry, McCain, Obama, Palin, Biden, etc.), it is an irresponsible one because it involves neglecting one's constituents. In this situation, quitting is a good call.
Also, if she felt the stress on her family was too much, quitting is perfectly reasonable, although continuing to be a media whore makes little sense after the fact.
Finally, if for whatever reason she felt she was incapable of fulfilling her duties as governor, quitting was the right thing to do. I think Palin is an endearing figure for many people. She is good at several political tricks -- pandering, question dodging, and righteous self-indignation to name a few. Still, she is a goddamn moron. Nothing she has ever said or done could possibly make anyone conclude anything different; she can barely speak in complete sentences.
Still, unless she is leaving office to avoid scandal, I don't think it is a bad decision. Oddly enough, her favorability among Republicans has dropped since her resignation, which could hurt any aspirations at national office she might hold. This disappoints me: I was looking forward to the Republicans running an ignorant religious nutjob as opposed to just manipulating one for his or her vote.