From Jonathan Martin's piece on the sudden resignation:

“This was a positive, forward-looking decision for her state, her family and she cares so much for Alaska that she is going to get outside of the bubble and work to its benefit outside,” said Jason Recher, who worked for Palin on last year’s campaign.

Yes, exactly--Palin cares too much about Alaska to be its governor. Resigning is the ultimate show of respect. (Actually, now that I think about it, a lot of Alaskans would probably agree with that. I just don't think Palin is one of them...)

Just out of curiosity: How many half-term governors have won their party's nomination for president? (Though something tells me we're not going to get as far as primary season...)

Update: Okay, I spoke too soon. Bill Kristol's is even better:

If Palin wants to run in 2012, why not do exactly what she announced today? It's an enormous gamble - but it could be a shrewd one.

After all, she's freeing herself from the duties of the governorship. Now she can do her book, give speeches, travel the country and the world, campaign for others, meet people, get more educated on the issues - and without being criticized for neglecting her duties in Alaska. I suppose she'll take a hit for leaving the governorship early - but how much of one? She's probably accomplished most of what she was going to get done as governor, and is leaving a sympatico lieutenant governor in charge.

Riiiiiiight.

I'd like to ask a question some of you may have heard before: How many half-term governors have won their party's presidential nomination?

Update II: Okay, wow. I need to be more careful about making grand pronouncements. This, for the moment, is the best Palin resignation spin I've seen. Courtesy of K-Lo at National Review Online:

MSNBC is speculating it's a scandal. 

Or it's a brilliant way to keep people guessing about you, perhaps? 

If she means brilliant in the way that my showing up to the office naked Monday morning would be a brilliant way to keep my colleagues guessing about my sanity, then I completely agree.

--Noam Scheiber