The big question, of course, is what Palin will do next. There's growing consensus that quitting as governor won't help Palin's presumed presidential ambitions; the NYT's Adam Nagourney notes that while a similar gambit helped Nixon win the White House, Tricky Dick had already served as vice president, senator, and congressman before beginning his stint in the wilderness. In the Post, Dan Balz is similarly scathing, writing that Palin's decision to quit in midterm called into question her judgment and political instincts, and betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding of the responsibilities of governing.
The NYT argues that Palin's shock announcement, which apparently caught the GOP leadership flat-footed, is symptomatic of a broader decline in party discipline. It may also serve to reinforce the glass ceiling: "Big girls don't quit," writes the Post's Ruth Marcus, arguing that Palin's move damages both her own political future and that of women in general. But it's Maureen Dowd who comes closest to capturing the prevailing mood: "Caribou Barbie is one nutty puppy," she declares.