GOP Leaders Baffled by Palin's Resignation

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From the airwaves to the blogosphere, people are still trying to make sense of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's surprise move to step down from office.

"With this announcement that I am not seeking re-election, I have determined it is best to transfer authority of governor to Lieutenant Governor Parnell," Palin announced late Friday.

Palin says she's leaving politics because of the toll it has taken on her family and on the state. She said it's unfair to Alaskans that she has had to spend so much time fending off personal attacks rather than fulfilling her responsibilities as governor.

But fellow Republicans are split. Some see it as a way to set the stage for a possible 2012 presidential run. But several party leaders are expressing doubt.

"The question now is what kind of idea does she have about the platform she will have during the next three years," Karl Rove, former chief political aide of George W. Bush, said Sunday. "This is a personal decision. It's a risky strategy. She marches to the beat of her own drum, and it's going to be very interesting to see how she pulls this off."

"I'm a fan of Sarah Palin's," Rove said. "It is not clear what her strategy here is by exiting the governorship 2.5 years through the term and putting herself on the national stage that she may not yet be prepared to operate in."

Palin has been keeping a low-profile since making the announcement. but she has been busy on Facebook and Twitter, firing back shots against critics alleging scandal.

In one of several postings on Twitter, she promised to "smack down lies" about her.

Her attorney sent out this letter telling MSNBC, The New York Times and others that they will aggressively seek legal action against anyone who publishes defamatory material against the soon-to-be ex governor.

"At some level, she's really sick of the whole thing. She was tired of being governor. She was tired of the criticism she'd been facing at home and from around the country," Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum said. "Perhaps this is an attempt to hit the reset button."

But Palin, the self-described maverick, isn't necessarily leaving public life. USA Today reports that she will campaign, work the speaking circuit, and complete her memoir due out for next spring.

But as far as definitive plans for the future, Palin remains ambiguous.

"All I can ask is that you trust me with this decision and know that it is no more politics as usual," she said.

No one really knows except for Sarah Palin herself.

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