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Sarah Palin's resignation makes sense to two journalists working on the upcoming book 'Sarah from Alaska' [Updated]

July 8, 2009 |  4:49 pm

Last week, as pundits and political reporters stumbled around trying to account for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's odd decision to resign before the end of her term, a couple of young journalists who are writing a book about her listened and shook their heads.

"They literally all admitted they have no idea why she did this, but Scott and I do," said Shushannah Walshe, 30, who is co-writing "Sarah from Alaska" with Scott Conroy, 26. It's all about the White House.

Though Walshe was coy about revealing any bombshells in the book, she and Conroy did post a juicy e-mail exchange last week between Palin and McCain's campaign strategist Steve Schmidt about Todd Palin's membership in the secession-driven Alaska Independence Party that called into question Palin's truthfulness.

(Palin urged the campaign to address the issue by making up a story about how Todd accidentally checked the wrong box when he was registering to vote. Schmidt also knocked down her claim that two reporters had asked her about Todd's involvement with the party.)

Walshe said Palin's abrupt exit was traceable to her deteriorated relationship with....

...the Alaska legislature and her fatigue at being picked apart. "Republicans never like her because they didn't see her as a fiscal conservative," said Walshe. "She had had a great working relationship with the Democrats --that's how she got stuff done on gas taxes and the natural gas pipeline."

But the harsh attacks she launched on Obama in particular and Democrats in general during the presidential campaign turned off her Democratic allies.

"Now, nobody likes her," said Walshe, who spent two months in Juneau, Alaska, watching the legislature and governor in action. "She wants to go back to the adoring crowds that you saw during the campaign," said Walshe, "and not put up with the petty stuff in Juneau -- her declining poll numbers, the ethics complaints, the legislature's disregarding everything she wants to do." (See Palin in Florida crowd below.)

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Walshe, who left Fox News in January, and Conroy, still with CBS, met during the presidential campaign when they served as "embeds" or traveling producer/reporters, on Mitt Romney's plane.

The embeds' work is grueling, and their stamina is impressive. The first-time authors found themselves in Palin's press entourage from the day McCain announced she was his vice presidential pick on Aug. 29 through the election on Nov. 5.

Palin, said Walshe, did not engage in off-the-record conversations or casual encounters with reporters, so her initial impressions of the vice presidential candidate were gleaned from watching her during her rallies and from the back rows of her campaign plane.

"What I saw during the campaign is only a part of her," said Walshe. "She was friendly, nice, personable, charming, charismatic. Those things were all real, but I didn't get who the real person was until I got into this investigative work in Alaska."

Here, in an interview by John Dickerson on "Washington Unplugged," they discuss what they think is going on with Palin, including that operatives from the presidential campaign have headed to Alaska to help her develop some kind of strategy for attaining her ultimate goal: the presidency.


Watch CBS Videos Online

[Updated at 2:33 p.m.: "Sarah from Alaska" was set to be published by Public Affairs in January, but due to Palin's reemergence in the news, it may be published a month or two earlier.]

-- Robin Abcarian

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Photo: Associated Press

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