Sarah Palin’s return to Alaska from the national stage was not a pretty one, the New York Times reports in a look at the series of personal problems and political missteps that led to her surprise resignation as governor. Beset by a suddenly hostile legislature, ethics investigations, and strains at home, Palin’s allies pleaded with her to spend more time with her family and build a home-state agenda centered around creating jobs. But Palin, never one to take direction, instead dove into public feuds with Levi Johnston and David Letterman.
Palin told the Times her VP run inspired a backlash in Alaska that paralyzed her work as governor. “It’s like, ‘Ooh, not so good anymore, because it’s got Sarah’s name on it.’ ” Politically isolated and struggling at home to help care for her daughter’s baby, as well as her own, Palin looked anxious and underweight, friends say. “When she came back it was pretty clear it was not a trip with any light at the end of the tunnel,” says one family friend. “It was a spelunking trip that had no light and no end.”