The only difference between her and Nixon is that she might actually be politically relevant in the future. Which is the only reason that she's leaving now. And like Nixon, dismissing all charges against her as the product of partisan vitriol.
Here's what we're looking at here.
1: She was once the most popular governor in the country, boasting approval ratings over 80%. Now she leaves with 55%, not exceptionally less than Obama's. If she'd stayed on, decreases in oil revenues would have either forced her to seek federal money, leaving her wide open for attacks by a Romney campaign and effectively ruining her chances at winning the Republican nomination, or watch her state continue to decline into total economic ruin, killing any remaining illusions of competency.
2: If she were to remain governor, she'd likely be forced to reveal the terms of her book deal, which I doubt that she's all that keen on doing
3: It's far easier to build a campaign warchest if you don't have to spend your time, well, being governor of Alaska. And while she's been spending a fair amount of time shirking those duties to keep herself in the limelight, continuing to do so for the remainder of her term is a losing strategy.
4: If there wasn't news of some new scandal lurking, she wouldn't be Sarah Palin.
But I sincerely doubt that that's the sole reason for her leaving. I'm not sure what's big enough that its revelation would have significantly more damaging than what's already been revealed about her but small enough to not have been uncovered when the spotlight was shining brightest on her. Of course, it could be something that's happened since then, which would be evident of yet untold levels of stupidity on her part-- starting new shit at the peak of the national interest in her is something I'm almost certain she was repeatedly cautioned against by her handlers during the election-- which of course I'm not ruling out entirely.
Redacted because I found new information while I was writing this post. If the rumors turn out to be false, pretend I didn't strike any of this out. If it's true? Well, I should learn never to underestimate the utter fuckwittery of Sarah Palin
5: All that remains is explaining just how fucked up that speech was. Impressive quantities of doublethink (gee, all those legislators wasted 2.2 million taxpayer dollars investigating me that could have gone towards education, but gosh, taking money from the federal government would be WRONG), delivered at what I believe was the most rapid pace I've seen from her just yet. Incoherent ramblings that failed to live up to even the subterranean expectations that she's led us to have for her public addresses.
Simply put, she wasn't prepared. And yet, it's been suggested
that this news was at least a few days old
Resignation is certainly out of character for Sarah Palin. Senator Mark Begich had a meeting with Sarah Palin two days ago with no mention of her leaving office. Palin's press secretary, David Murrow had posted on his Facebook page Wednesday, "David Murrow is considering life's ironies." He was hired less than a month ago. Yesterday he wrote, "There's gonna be some fireworks this weekend!"
It seems possible that on Wednesday they didn't think they'd be doing it today. If that's true, it's likely that this was either the result of some new development in the Iceberg scandal
that's been rumored to be gaining momentum--it's been rumored that building materials intended for her pet project, the Wasilla Sports Complex were used to build her home-- or they decided to take advantage of Fourth of July Weekend and attempt the most EPIC Friday newsdump in recorded history, with the holiday news vacuum pre-empting not only Olbermann and Maddow but also their substitutes. Which will no doubt be a vain attempt unless something bigger than her happens over the weekend. No matter what though, this story will have long legs.