Look: it's Palin and she's crazy, so anything is possible.
But the following thoughts are the ones that make sense to me as a long-term Palinologist.
I don't quite buy that this is a brilliant scheme to win everything back by running from the base as a martyr of librul-media meanies. Why? First off, she lies about almost everything, so one's immediate response should be: if she said it, it's probably not true. Besides, if she really thinks she could do more for Alaska by leaving it (a rare display of insight on her point), she could at least do the minimum and finish up her term of office. I mean: I know the endless photo-shoots and Greta interviews can take time, but it's not like she seems to do very much. Her ratings my be sinking like a stone, but they have not incapacitated her. And as every Republican hack has pointed out, quitting a governorship before your first term is over is not exactly a good advertisement for being president of the United States. If she can't handle a few Alaskan bloggers and Steve Schmidt emails, how is she going to handle Khamenei and al Qaeda? Maybe her base is so ga-ga they don't care. But again the whole diva quitting-fit is totally at odds with the core image that turns them on - of a tough-girl, Thatcher-style, play-with-the-big-boys Alaskan Evita. You can't do that and then throw a sixteen-year-old fit and slam your bedroom door when the press gets too tough.
Here's Marc's view:
As a governor, she is ineffective; the moment she decides not to run for re-election, she had two choices: either untether herself from political customs and be the governor who spoke truth to power, or surrender to the whims of a legislature and governing apparatus that really grew to - not just dislike her, but hate her. Both options, she must have realized, are entirely untenable. Her relationship with Democrats and Republicans was irritable on good days, and her attempts to straighten her back and yell drew derisive laughter. For someone who has dipped a leg or two into the whirlpool of national politics, the contrast must be scalding. People who know Palin say that she cannot wait to - really wants to - play the role that she believes she now must play.
Okay: she's joining the Beck-Limbaugh-Hannity circus. It sure is more lucrative and far more fun than governing a state. Her main goals in life so far have been money and fame (and photo-shoots); and she doesn't handle power, understand policy or manage people well. So why not earn money from being a celebrity rather than from that excruciatingly arduous thing called governing?