Commentary: Plenty of strange governors' tales to go around

Remember the '60s-era Summer of Love? Looks as if 2009 is turning out to be the Summer of Gov.

First Mark Sanford. Now Sarah Palin. Just as South Carolina's Sanford relinquished his tawdry hold on the headlines last week, Alaska's Sarah Palin on Friday shocked politics-watchers by announcing she won't run again and is quitting.

Why? It isn't clear. Specifics were missing from her news conference, her official press release and even her Facebook postings and Twitter tweets.

The official governor's office press release quoted her saying, "I look forward to helping others – to fight for our state and our country, and campaign for those who believe in smaller government, free enterprise, strong national security, support for our troops, and energy independence."

It also quoted her: "Once I decided not to run for re-election, I also felt that to embrace the conventional 'Lame Duck' status in this particular climate would just be another dose of ‘politics as usual,' something I campaigned against and will always oppose."

The news conference was similarly vague, although perhaps less coherent, and added a basketball metaphor about point guards passing off the ball and an excellent aqueous image: "Only dead fish go with the flow."

Plenty of people speculate that Palin, the ambitious 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, intends to run for president and wants time to prepare, including getting more national exposure.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Charlotte Observer.