PURDUM: No hint from that. Strong suggestion that she wouldn't run for re-election, strong suggestion she was unhappy and not enjoying life, not enjoying having to go to Juneau, she didn't like Juneau. She didn't like running the government, which had become very difficult for her, especially since last fall. STEPHANOPOULOS: And while you were up there, you've already seen Sarah Palin's lawyer hit back at the suggestions that there's another shoe to drop. There's another scandal. Any hint of that?
PURDUM: I don't look for that. I wouldn't be -- I can't rule it out. I have no knowledge that there isn't one. But I think, more of what has happened here, is people told me if there's any predictable thing about her, it's unpredictability and this is one of those.
TONY BLANKLEY, WASHINGTON TIMES: I think she's currently the best intuitive politician in the Republican Party.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What does that mean, intuitive?
BLANKLEY: That she's got a good, political gut sense of how to talk to the American people and how to advance herself. And I would bet on her intuition over the analysis of a lot of people right now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you think that performance connected the way, for example, her convention speech did?
BLANKLEY: I'll say something odd. There was a poll last week. So, before the announcement, but recent, that she has an 80 percent approval in the Republican Party, has a 47 percent plurality positive in Independents and is only negative amongst Democratic Party, self- identified people.
Given the really ferociously bad press she'd had for the last nine months, those are impressive numbers. I think she's doing something right that those in Washington don't sense.
MATTHEW DOWD, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: You know, I think she is a good, natural politician and has an intuitive sense. I agree with Tony on that. But just like an athlete, because we have all these analogies, it only doesn't take natural ability. It takes discipline and focus. And she doesn't have it all.
There's been a ton of athletes in this country, football players, quarterbacks, baseball players, that had a great natural ability that never were able to make it on the national stage because they didn't have discipline, they didn't have a focus.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And taking Tony's points on her political situation, it was even better coming out of the election. But she squandered those last several months?
DOWD: Well, that's the other thing about this. To me, if you're a conservative or if you're a Republican, part of what you say as leaders, that you're supposed to be the adult in the room. You're supposed to concentrate on governing. And her statement basically that says, I have a year left in office and I'm not going to do that to people of Alaska.
There's a lot of politicians out there, like Ronald Reagan, who spent the last two years of presidency and he was a lame duck, who did a lot internationally. But she basically decided that no politician can serve well if they don't have an election on their deadline.