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Fox News is reporting that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is announcing that she is stepping down from office, handing over the reins to the state’s Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell.

Palin, who gained national fame as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign, had been expected to announce, earlier today, that she will not seek re-election in Alaska, fueling speculation of a possible run for president in 2012, but her resignation came as surprise.

According to Fox, she announced that she will not finish her first term and will step down “within a few weeks.”  Fox is reporting that they have confirmed her stepping down from Palin’s husband Todd.

Could this be a very clever beginning for Palin to run in 2012?

This move would certainly give her the time to re-tool her approach – a political makeover, so to speak – to learn about foreign policy (her weakest area in 2008), to visit leaders, to become more versed in the political ways of Washington.

Time will tell, but one thing is certain:  she definitely considered her family in this decision; the recent scathing she took in the media, including a cruel Vanity Fair piece recently, was hurting her loved ones.  My hat’s off to her for her strength.