Offers Pouring In For Sarah Palin

Bombarded with questions about what's next, Alaska governor has gone fishing.

July 06, 2009, 4:54 PM

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2009 -- Gov. Sarah Palin hasn't said what she'll do next, but the offers are pouring in.

The Alaska governor is fielding proposals for everything from hosting a TV or radio show to appearing for various speaking engagements, ABC News has confirmed.

Though early indications suggested Palin was being offered an opportunity from Fox News Channel, today Fox News' Richard White told ABC News, "Fox News Channel has had no discussions with Gov. Sarah Palin."

Palin is being represented by Washington, D.C., lawyer and agent Bob Barnett, who has made millions for other famous politicians after they left office, like former president Bill Clinton. The Alaska governor will not make decisions about any offers on the table until she officially leaves office at the end of the month.

Meantime, today -- bombarded with questions about what will follow her decision to resign -- Palin has gone fishing.

Palin, a Republican, has been out of public view since revealing her decision to step down. After Friday's surprise announcement, Palin made a brief stop at the Fourth of July parade in Juneau Saturday, then headed out to rural Alaska to visit local Alaskan Native villages and to do some commercial fishing with her husband Todd and family on Bristol Bay.

It's unclear exactly when Palin got there and when she will return. Palin posted a message on Twitter Sunday saying she was anxious to join her family for a day of "slaying salmon."

The tweet added little to her announcement outside her Wasilla home Friday. "It hurts to make this choice but I am doing what's best for Alaska," she said then. "I've explained why."

But the why is at the heart of the lingering questions about Palin. Why did she make the decision to leave her position before her first term is complete and what will she do next?

Before her announcement, Palin spoke privately with some prominent Republicans -- including former Vice President Dick Cheney and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

On many blogs this weekend, speculation ran rampant that a scandal is coming or that another shoe will drop.

But no evidence of anything more than rehashed rumors has appeared thus far.

After reports that she may have resigned because of a supposedly pending federal embezzlement investigation, her lawyers called such speculation 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."

In a rare move, the FBI issued a statement to say there was no ongoing investigation of Palin.

Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will take over the top state job later this month, said Palin is resigning because of the mounting legal costs the state of Alaska and she personally are incurring because of several ethics complaints filed against her during her term as governor. Even though the charges have been dismissed, she still has steep legal fees.

"What seemed to weigh heavily upon her was the cost associated with all the records request, ethics complaints, the cost of staff time, the distractions," Parnell told ABC News. "We are up to $2 million in costs to Alaskan taxpayers for that and I think there was just that sense that that was a burden to moving Alaska forward."

Palin's political opponents like Alaska senator and fellow Republican Lisa Murkowski have criticized Palin's unexpected decision.

"I am deeply disappointed that the governor has decided to abandon the state and her constituents before her term has concluded," Murkowski said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the man who launched her to the national stage by selecting her not quite a year ago as his running mate, was more gracious, saying Saturday Palin "will continue to play an important leadership role in the Republican party."

But other Republicans were more blunt in their critiques. Former Bush administration advisor Karl Rove said, "If she wanted to escape the ethics investigations and save the taxpayers money, she's now done that, but it is -- it sort of sent a -- sent a signal that if you do this kind of thing to a sitting governor like her, you can drive her out of office," Rove said on Fox News Sunday. "Also, she's not going to be able to escape media attention. If she thinks somehow that she's going to be able to protect her family against the kind of things that she's suffered over the last couple of months from David Letterman and others, and seek a role of leadership for effective change for our country, as she said in her speech, she's not going to be able to do it."

And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and potential 2012 contender himself said, "The challenge that she's going to have is that there will be people who say, 'Well, look, you know, if they chase you out of this, it won't get any easier for you at other levels of the stage.'"

Sarah Palin's Next Step

Of her future plans, Palin, 45, said in her Friday announcement, "I will support others who seek to serve, in or out of office, for the right reasons, and I don't care what party they're in or no party at all. Inside Alaska -- or outside Alaska."

A source close to Palin told ABC News she will raise money for other political candidates and causes, give speeches and write a book.

As for one hint of ambitions outside Alaska, Palin's camp says she already has plans to speak in the lower 48 states, including a women's event in Simi Valley, Calif., next month.

But the source insisted that her decision was solely about whether to run again for governor of Alaska, separate and apart from any future political ambitions. She wanted to get away from bitter politics and stop wasting taxpayer money to fight baseless ethics complaints, the source said

"She has made no decision on whether to run for president in 2012," the source said of a decision that will come later.

ABC News political analyst Cokie Roberts said that leaving her responsibilities as governor of Alaska could free Palin up to focus on a national campaign.

"Gov. Palin can spend full time for the next couple of years on the road, helping Republican candidates, shoring up her support inside the party, appearing on television, radio and newspaper interviews and becoming a national figure. She won't have to be spending her time in Juneau worrying about the state budget."

But, Roberts added, "If voters think Gov. Palin couldn't take the heat of being governor of Alaska with the negative press and the difficulties of dealing with the legislature, they certainly would say to her to get out of the kitchen of politics before you do something as difficult as the presidency."

Even some of Palin's former advisors say she may no longer have a realistic option of considering a 2012 run. Quitting her job, they say, isn't a path to the presidency.

"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.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican, said Sunday on CBS, "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."

A former aide to 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.

Palin Ramps Up Activity on Twitter and Facebook

Despite largely remaining out of sight since her announcement Friday, Palin has been active on social networking sites through the holiday weekend.

Palin posted a thank-you letter to her Facebook page Saturday, and, later, on her Twitter page, explaining the reasons for her resignation, and ending with a rallying cry.

"For months now, I have consulted with friends and family, and with the lieutenant governor, about what is best for our wonderful state. ... We have accomplished so much and there's much more to do, but my family and I determined after prayerful consideration that sacrificing my title helps Alaska most," it read.

"I am now looking ahead and how we can advance this country together with our values of less government intervention, greater energy independence, stronger national security, and much-needed fiscal restraint," the letter read.

"I hope you will join me," it said. "Now is the time to rebuild and help our nation achieve greatness! God bless you! And I look forward to making a difference -- with you!"

And while Palin said defending herself against ethics complaints in Alaska has cost the state around "two million dollars" and would cost her and her husband "more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight," she may continue to do it for free on Twitter.

"Critics are spinning, so hang in there as they feed false info," she tweeted Sunday morning.

ABC News' John Hendren, Kristina Wong and Kate Barrett contributed to this story.

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