By Ray Fleming
SARAH Palin's resignation as Governor of Alaska on Friday came as a surprise to almost everyone -- even at times, to judge by her rambling press conference, to Palin herself.

There is much speculation about her reasons for going, eighteen months early, ranging from anxiety about her States' economic situation to wanting to clear the decks for a bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2012. It says a lot about the demoralised state of the Republican party today that Palin actually still has a basis of support in it despite her disastrous showing as John McCain's vice-presidential running mate last year. It would help to end the prevailing blame-game in the party if it could be established who was responsible for deciding to pluck Sarah Palin from the relative obscurity of Alaska and parade her on the national stage. McCain had a couple of meetings with her but someone must have pre-selected her. Suspicion falls on William Kristol who is editor of the extreme right wing magazine The Weekly Standard (funded by Rupert Murdoch). It rings true. Kristol is just the kind of high intellectual who would be impressed by Palin's folksiness and appeal without understanding that anyone could be as unintelligent and ill-informed as she is while becoming Governor of Alaska. The July edition of the magazine Vanity Fair is about to appear with an expose of Palin as a vindictive egomaniac who horrified Republic campaign workers with her arrogance and ignorance.

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