Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has gone fishing -- literally -- since her shocking announcement that she is resigning.
But the polarizing Palin resurfaced today on the morning news shows, wearing her waders but not taking the bait to make her political future clear.
Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee last year and in the conversation for 2012, told CNN that "all options are on the table" for her future and said she wants to stay involved in national public life.
“We have so many people who offer advice, but I’m going to continue to be, whether some of ‘em like it or not, pretty darn independent, and not get wrapped up into a strong political machine that hasn’t been extremely successful in some ways,” she said on Fox News Channel. "I want to work, right now, for people who are going to work in office or out of office for the right things. Those principles that built up America, those who are inspired by the values of America, and will not deride or apologize for the values we hold as Americans. I’m gonna work for those people.”
But she also told ABC's "Good Morning America" that she recognizes that her resignation -- disclosed in a rambling speech in the news dead zone of the Friday of July Fourth weekend -- might have damaged her prospects. "You know, politically speaking, if I die, I die. So be it," she said.
She tried to portray her unusual decision as befitting her political character. "That caught people off guard," she said. "It's out of the box and unconventional. That's what we are as Alaskans and certainly how I am as a public servant."
While Palin's critics have suggested that she is stepping aside to avoid some scandal, her lawyer has said she has no legal problems and just wants to end legal bills from ethics investigations and other distractions. The FBI took the unusual step on Monday of saying publicly that she is not under investigation.
In the Fox interview, Palin also continued her complaints against the media, whose critical coverage she suggests helped drive her from office.
“Most candidates, most public officials get to look into a camera and say, 'You know you better leave your hands off my kids." Well I haven’t been able to say that. And that double standard that’s been applied, that’s been a little bit frustrating,” she said.
“These are political shots. Other people take a heck of a lot tougher shots than I do, our kids over there in the war zone. People losing their jobs or their homes right now, they have it a heck of a lot tougher than I do taking political shots, or hearing bull crap that’s broadcast out there on the airwaves. I can handle that.”
But Democrats are having a field day. The Democratic National Committee compiled a web video of fellow Republicans criticizing Palin for quitting, calling her behavior "bizarre," among other things.
Her core supporters, however, remain behind her. Team Sarah, a political networking site, claims 70,000 members.
"Team Sarah members anxiously await Palin’s next decision on how she believes she can best serve our nation. Since the 2008 election, the continual presence of personal attacks on both Governor Palin and her family indicate that she remains a threat to the liberal feminist political establishment,” the group's co-founder, Jane Abraham, said in a statement. “Despite criticism, Governor Palin’s success will endure. Team Sarah’s thousands of members remain as engaged as ever on TeamSarah.org. The Governor has inspired millions, and her audience of enthusiastic support will only grow in the future.”
UPDATE: Palin's abrupt resignation doesn't seem to have changed many minds about her one way or the other, and she remains a polarizing figure.
In a USA Today/Gallup Poll conducted Monday and released late today, 70 percent of voters said their opinion of Palin hadn't changed/
Her core support of 19 percent of voters said they would be "very likely" to support her if she ran for president in 2012, while another 24 percent said they would be somewhat likely do so.
But 41 percent said they were not at all likely to back Palin.
Not surprisingly, there is a huge partisan divide. While 35 percent of Republicans said they were very likely to supporter Palin, only 19 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats said so.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.