I meant to post on this last night but got sidetracked. Anyway, I thought the opening riff in Palin's resignation announcement almost perfectly encapsulated Palin-ism:
I want Alaskans to grasp what can be in store for our state. We were purchased as a territory because a member of President Abe Lincoln's cabinet, William Seward, providentially saw in this great land, vast riches, beauty, strategic placement on the globe, and opportunity. He boldly looked "North to the Future". But he endured such ridicule and mocking for his vision for Alaska, remember the adversaries scoffed, calling this "Seward's Folly". Seward withstood such disdain as he chose the uncomfortable, unconventional, but RIGHT path to secure Alaska, so Alaska could help secure the United States. [emphasis added.]
The bitterness toward sneering elites--and the burning need to prove them wrong (and make them sorry they sneered)--have basically motivated Palin her entire life, not least during last fall's presidential campaign. I'm not surprised she decided to frame her announcement that way, even if it's not exactly the highest-percentage play for someone who still imagines herself running for president.