GOP Leaders Confused, as Palin Tweets On

As Palin prepares to step down, she defends herself online.

ByABC News
July 5, 2009, 4:54 PM

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2009 -- Republican leaders say they're just as baffled as everyone else by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's sudden resignation, announced outside her home in Wasilla last Friday.

Karl Rove said today that GOP leaders were "a little perplexed" and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said it was "astounding."

Several prominent Republicans have also questioned whether the 2008 vice presidential candidate was setting up an unconventional presidential run. But they questioned how stepping down now would help her in three years.

"If this is geared for her run for the presidency in 2012, it is one of the most politically tone deaf decisions that we've seen," said Stuart Roy, a Republican consultant.

"I would think, if you want to run for president -- and I'm not sure that's got anything to do with what she's doing -- that the forum of a governorship would be a better forum than just being a private citizen," Grassley said today.

A former aide to Sen. John McCain called Palin's decision, "one more odd decision in a series of odd decisions" that play into a negative image of the soon-to-be former governor.

Regardless of whether she plans to run for president in 2012, Palin has made it clear she will vigorously protect her image.

After reports that she resigned because of a supposedly pending federal embezzlement investigation, her lawyers called those reports false and warned in a letter to the media, "This is to provide notice ... that the Palins will not allow them to propagate defamatory material without answering to this in a court of law."