Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made a shocking announcement today, saying she will step down as governor.
"I'm not seeking re-election" in 2010, Palin said, adding she would transfer authority to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell on July 26.
"We are not retreating, we are advancing in a different direction," she said. "We know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time."
Palin, 45, said her decision came after much "prayer and consideration." She did not want to waste time on "political blood sport" and cited public criticism of her actions and her family since the 2008 campaign.
"You are naive if you don't see a full-court press right now on the national level picking apart a good point guard," Palin said, using a basketball analogy.
Palin's decision now allows her to avoid the difficult task of running for president while serving as governor in 2012.
She gained national prominence when Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked her as his running mate last year. But her approval ratings in the state have skidded in recent months.
Palin has been dogged in recent months by ethics inquiries. Her office last month announced the 15th dismissal of an ethics complaint against her or one of her staff.
Something seems very fishy here. We're all but certain there's something else to this story; everything isn't adding up. Some are calling her announcement political suicide, but we're waiting for the real story behind her surprising resignation.