The Alaska governor's resignation seem to come out of nowhere. It was surprising that after enduring a brutal series of attacks during the campaign, Palin would cave now. A new article by Matthew Continetti over at The Weekly Standard provides an insight into what went in to her decision and makes it all more understandable:
The attacks did not stop when McCain and Palin lost the election. To the contrary: They shifted location and emphasis. Palin returned to a changed Alaska. Her first year in office had been remarkably successful because she governed with an ad hoc legislative coalition of Democrats and antiestablishment Republicans. That coalition broke down the moment Palin became a force in national politics and the most famous woman (probably the most famous person) in the Republican party. The Democrats in the legislature defected en masse. Compounding the problem: Because she had unseated it, the GOP establishment never liked Palin and wanted her to go away.
Suddenly "people were confronted with policy differences with the governor," Alaska state senator and Palin ally Gene Therriault told me. "The call went out from the national Democratic party to take her down. Some of the Democrats who worked with her previously took their marching orders." Gridlock ensued. Bipartisan comity was no more.
Anybody who had the opportunity to score political points against Palin took a shot. The Alaska judicial council, a body that recommends jurists to the governor, forced the pro-life Palin to appoint a pro-choice judge to the state supreme court. The legislature rejected Palin's choice for state attorney general. The governor and the legislature fought protracted battles over the replacement for Democratic state senator Kim Elton (appointed to the Obama administration) and stimulus money from the federal government. Civility with the legislature became untenable. John Coale, the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic lawyer who set up Palin's political action committee and legal defense fund, told me, "Something had to change."
Read the whole thing. It's worth it.