KTUU, the NBC affiliate in Anchorage, AK has the raw video of her announcement up.

Part I – here’s the link, I can’t get it to embed.  She discusses her administration’s accomplishments and brags on her team.

Part II (Update: apparently I couldn’t embed this one either, sorry.  It’s showing up in my Windows Live Writer, but didn’t when I published.  If I find YouTube video, I’ll put it up) – this is the actual announcement and reasons why.

Full transcript of the speech.

Here is some of what Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell had to say on this surprise announcement:

Thank you, Governor. It is with a heavy heart that I hear these words. I so appreciate what you have done for our state and your sacrificial service. You have been a strong leader for our state, you’ve inspired a nation, and you’ve ignited the fire of real hope around the world.

I profoundly respect your decision for I know the depth of character and integrity from which it springs. Rare, indeed, are such selfless acts seen in the public arena.

I agree.  This truly is a selfless act.  She said it is neither conventional, nor comfortable.  It would be easy to enjoy the privileges of office, but yet not accomplish anything for her state in the next 18 months.  There is a lot of speculation going on as to whether this is political suicide or just a risky political move.  For instance, we have this shrill opinion from Amy Holmes of the NRO:

No way around it.  She has just labeled herself a "quitter."  Someone who doesn’t finish what she started.  What in the world is wrong with Republican governors?  One self-absorbed politician after the next.  Governors: "It’s not all about you!" 

And her bit about polling her kids on her decision to resign was also egregious.  We women abruptly quit our public responsibilities because our kids don’t want mommy working anymore?  This is from the woman who wore a black business suit while she baked hotdogs for her kids.  (One of the many weird moments in her "Home with the Palins" Greta van Sustren interviews.) 

Here’s a suggestion.  How about a Ensign/Sanford/Palin YouTube mash up to the tune of "Another one bites the dust."  Disgraceful.

I agree with Pundette, that if she’s putting her family first more power to her.  I don’t honestly know what Ms. Holmes thought was wrong with that statement.  I consult my family before decisions less important than this.  And it doesn’t seem like Ms. Holmes actually listened to the whole speech as that is one of several reasons cited.

Then Steve Maloney, shared how Greg Hanson (not sure who that is) described Governor Palin’s actions:

"I just read the transcript of her speech, and nothing in there tells me that she’s the least bit interested in quitting. She is taking her fight to a completely new level. She is now free to come and go as she pleases, and will undoubtedly be taking advantage of some of the hundreds of invitations she’s received. Look for Sarah Palin at a venue near you in the coming weeks and months. I find it interesting that her resignation comes about the same time as SarahPAC’s numbers are reported. My hunch is that they will be huge, and will be a very big story both as to the amount raised, and the number of donors, all with very little effort on her part. This is the opening salvo of the 2012 campaign. Start packing 0bama, you’re finished."

Erick Erickson of RedState thinks that while she’s not done with politics, she’s done with elected politics:

I’m sure Sarah Palin is not done with politics, but I am equally sure she is done with elected politics. By removing all doubt that she is done with elected politics, she can be much more effective at helping other Republicans get into politics without overly ambitious potential 2012 rivals seeking to hurt her, her family, and those politicians she helps.

Honestly who knows?  Is this conventional?  Certainly not.  Is it the end of an elected political career, I’m not willing to say that.  She’s full of surprises.  I’m not writing off 2012, but I’m not banking on it either.  Will this give her enemies ammunition if she chooses to run?Certainly, but they seem more than willing to make stuff up.  Listening to her speech I believe she had compelling reasons to resign.

One thing I don’t think many Beltway folks understand is selflessness.  Taking what she said at face value, she’s doing what she thinks is best for the state and her family.  That is to be commended, not disdained.

One thing I am certain of is that this isn’t the last we’ll here from her.

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