Palin: Could She Take it Back?

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Could Sarah Palin rescind her intent to resign? My friend and colleague, Josh Marshall, raises that intriguing possibility here. He notes that Larry Craig indicated that he intended to resign his office and then never did. (The arrested Idaho Republican did decline to run for reelection in 2008.) Could Palin, facing a bewildering array of criticism, decide at the last minute that she wants to stick around? It's unlikely, as Josh acknowledges, but it's no more erratic than Ross Perot who dropped out of the 1992 presidential race only to reenter it later. And it's no odder than the behavior of Marc Sanford in South Carolina.

It's hard to see how it would behoove Palin to suddenly take back her offer of resignation. She'd have to explain why she was so adamant about it. And Alaska Republicans would be even more sick of her. But it does have the advantage of letting her serve out her term. And she could claim, as Perot did, that she was responding to popular demand. Perot cited the public for his getting in the race the first time in 1992 and then again when he returned to the race that fall. The odd billionaire wound up with 19 percent of the popular vote, the highest garnered for a third party since 1912 and Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Mosse run for the presidency. So if the public was willing to forgive such lunacy then who's to say they wouldn't do it this time? Can I take a crack at her opening remarks?

"Gosh, the elites of this country say that you can't change your mind and rethink a major decision that has consequences for Alaska and all Americans. But they don't seem to understand what average people here in Wasilla and across the country know and that is that the freedom--yes, the freedom--to change your mind is the opposite of the so-called, quote Big Brother mentality. And what about our troops fighting for that freedom? Aren't they doing a great job? So as I made plans with Todd and everyone to start this next chapter in our lives we heard from lots of ordinary citizens who said it would be great if you helped promote freedom from outside government but why not stay in because we need more people like you? And ya know what? I listened to those people through their email and their Twitter Tweets and their Facebook and ya know what? I understood what they said. And so I've decided to make a personal sacrifice and stay on as governor where I can serve the peoples of this great state."

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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