From The New York Times:
MICHAEL D. SHEAR
UPDATE, 6:35 p.m.: Sarah Palin is not running for president.
Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, ended her inscrutable cat-and-mouse game with the political establishment on Wednesday afternoon by saying that she would not join the field of Republican candidates seeking her party’s nomination, but would still work to oust President Obama.
“Not being a candidate, you are unshackled and able to be even more active,” she said on the Mark Levin show. “I look forward to using all the tools at my disposal to get the right people in there who have a servant’s heart.”
The decision from Ms. Palin on Wednesday placed a punctuation mark on the Republican presidential field. Her intentions were the biggest remaining question in the race. While there was not a groundswell among Republican leaders about a Palin candidacy, she has a deeply loyal following.
Her announcement, which took the Republican world by surprise, was vintage Palin. It also raised the question of how intensely she plans to be involved in the race and whether she intends to endorse a candidate or simply be a commentator, cheerleader or critic.
For a year, Ms. Palin had given many signals that she would not run. She has repeatedly suggested that she could have a bigger influence if she was not a candidate. But her supporters were convinced that she was running. A Labor Day weekend appearance in Iowa drew boosters from across the country, most of whom said they were certain she would run.
I can’t say that I’m surprised, because Mrs Palin had simply not done the groundwork required to mount a serious presidential campaign. She had some advantages, primarily name recognition, and a strong supporter base, which allowed her to delay taking a decision far longer than other potential candidates might, but she was clearly on the edge of being too late to start a presidential bid, if not well past the edge.
I like Sarah Palin, but I have long thought she was damaged goods. She might have been unfairly damaged goods, but our friends on the left have had three years to turn her image into a caricature, and they’ve been pretty successful at it. Just because something is unfair doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.