Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced at a press conference yesterday that she is stepping down from her post July 26 and won't seek re-election in 2010.
Palin, who has 18 months left in her first term of office, said she is going to spend more time with her family, but specific reasons why she quit are unclear.
Her rambling, holiday-eve decision to resign as governor blindsided both her supporters and critics and left everyone trying to come up with an explanation.
As Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic Monthly put it, "it was only a matter of time before she imploded or exploded or some gruesome combination of the two."
Does Palin simply want to devote more time to her family - or her status as a celebrity gossip fixture? Is she starting her 2012 White House bid super early?
Below are 10 theories why Sarah Palin is stepping down ...
- She's running for president. Conventional wisdom prior to yesterday was that Sarah Palin would be running - and not just in Runner's World - in 2012. Maybe she still is, and is just launching her White House bid three years early?
- She's not running for president. Conversely, some believe Palin isn’t aiming for the White House or any other office. If that's true, why stay Governor?
- She's pregnant. Pure, baseless speculation. But would you be surprised?
- She's sick of Alaska. A CNN source says Palin "thinks she has had a positive influence on people's lives" from traveling around the country like she did last year. Maybe she really believes this is what's best for the party.
- It was spontaneous. Hey, no one ever accused the loose cannon of thinking things through. See her response to all things Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.
- A federal indictment is looming. The Daily Beast's Max Blumenthal reports that Todd Palin's snowmobile sponsor, Spenard Building Supplies, may have been mixed up in questionable political and Palin family business.
- The media got to her. Palin is never one to shy away from butting heads with media, but Vanity Fair's 10,000-word critique of her this month was a killer.
- She is unstable. Well, to a point there's no doubt about this one.
- Her staff is incompetent. Ditto #8.
- She is a narcissist. Is her ego such that she is angling for greater fame, fortune and publicity than the Alaska Governorship could offer? Does she desire a TV show to go along with her recently-signed book deal?
We are interested to hear why you think she is stepping down. Share your theories with us via comments below. Here's the video of Sarah Palin's resignation ...