Sarah Palin’s Resignation Catches Media Off Guard

It’s a classic technique: dump bad news late in the day on a Friday and hope the news media and the public mostly ignore it. Bonus points if it’s a holiday weekend. Double bonus for a summer holiday weekend.

We kept one eye on Twitter all day on Friday, waiting for some crazy news to break. Who knew it would be about former VP candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin? In the afternoon, news started to trickle in. The first reports from a press conference in Alaska without a live transmission were that Palin would not run for a second term. Then it became clear that she would be resigning, at the end of the month, and her lieutenant governor will be taking over her role for the remainder of her term.

In the days that followed, talking heads and critics have attempted to make sense of the unexpected turn of events, but Palin’s reasons for her resignation are still unclear. CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed Palin’s spokeperson Meg Stapleton on Friday but didn’t get any closer to understanding the decision (see video above). Conservative pundits Karl Rove, Mike Huckabee, Chuck Grassley and George Will all appeared on Sunday morning talk shows questioning Palin’s unprecedented move.

Some have (not surprisingly) managed to find the humor in the situation. Political analyst Andy Ostroy suggested a few other jobs for Palin including Alaska tour guide and personal shopper, while Berkman Center fellow David Weinberger listed the top 10 reasons she resigned. Number one? “Desperate bid to be mocked by Tina Fey one last time.”

Expect more weighing in over the next few days as all the “media elite” start to return from their holiday weekend vacations. No rest for the weary!